Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Microsoft Universal Keyboard

Picked up Microsoft’s Universal Mobile Keyboard via Amazon yesterday and I’ve spent the morning getting used to typing on it. I had been using a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard as my portable but it felt huge in my bag alongside my Thinkpad 10. Microsoft’s UMK will actually slide inside the sleeve with my tablet, a definite plus. 

The keyboard, particularly with the keyboard attached has some heft to it. The cover accounts for some of that weight as it can detach and serve as a stand for your tablet. Depending on the tablet it can have two positions, but my Thinkpad 10 is too slender for both, working at about the 45 degree angle only. The case and keyboard attach to one another via magnets. 

This is a small keyboard. Being me, my hands adapted to it quickly, but if you’re used to a full sized mechanical keyboard there will be a transition period to endure. The keys have pretty good travel, given the size of the device, and have a satisfying thud that accompanies each keystroke. So far all the features work and I’ve had no typing errors like what plagued me with Logitech devices. 

I don’t have an Android device to test it with, but the Microsoft UMK has a switch allowing you to pair it with Windows, Android, or iOS devices. The transition is easy. As I write this, I’m jumping between my iPad Mini and Thinkpad 10, opening and closing the same document in Word. I don’t think the frequencies are specific, as I was able to pair the iPad while the toggle switch on the keyboard was set to Android. Likely, you could pair the keyboard to any three Bluetooth devices you want, and the markings are just a way to sort that out.

Update 11/20/2014: This keyboard does not work with Windows Phone. I knew that when I bought it, but thought I should include that for anyone reading this. Add it to the list of ways Microsoft have left Windows Phone users out in the cold. 

iPad Mini w/ MS UMK 
Thinkpad 10 w/ MS UMK
From top to bottom; UMK, iPad Mini, Thinkpad 10

Monday, November 10, 2014