are hardware elements that perform the same function as a keyboard built into a desktop or laptop computer. They are very popular among tablet users who need to use the device for office tasks or as a work tool in general.
The compatibility of each keyboard with the tablet will be determined, fundamentally, by the manufacturer of the latter. One of the main advantages it presents is its dimensions: it is usually light, compact and easy to transport together with the tablet.
Tablets are one of the best-selling technological devices of the moment. They combine the advantages of a compact computer −even more so than a laptop− without the inconvenience of the small screen of mobile phones. They are ideal for professionals who work on the move, although they have also become a source of leisure and entertainment.
However, those who are used to typing and are not used to a tablet format with a touch screen, miss a physical keyboard. Let’s think about professionals, academics or students who need to create and edit documents in Word or Excel formats. For all of them, tablet keyboards are the ideal solution: practical, removable and mobile.
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The Best Tablet Keyboards in the Market
Now that we know what they are for and why these devices can be useful to us, we will see some of the most interesting options that the market offers. By comparing some of the models that are for sale, we can understand the differences and particularities that define them, so that you can find the best possible solution according to your needs.
Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard – IKOS BT Foldable Ultra-Slim Keyboard
This super slim and wireless keyboard, with Bluetooth technology, sneaks into the list as one of the most revolutionary and groundbreaking models. Its main advantage over other competitors is the possibility of folding it, reducing its size from 29 centimetres to only 14.5. In addition, it weighs only 145 grams. Lighter and more manageable, impossible.
It also stands out for its versatility, since it supports compatibility with any operating system. Thus, in addition to Windows and Android tablets, we can use this keyboard with Apple devices. It works with a built-in lithium polymer battery with an operating autonomy of 80 hours and a full charge in just 2 hours.
Editorial evaluation: Thanks to its foldable design and lightweight, this tablet keyboard is very convenient to carry. In addition, it is compatible with all operating systems.
Lightweight tablet keyboard – 1byone Ultra-slim Wireless keyboard
The tablet keyboard stands out for its lightness. It weighs just 259 grams and measures 25.8 x 0.8 x 17.2 centimetres. It works with a 500 milliamp-hour rechargeable battery, with an autonomy of up to 90 hours (up to 4 months in standby mode) and a charging time of 4 hours.
Its super-slim touchpad allows you to mimic the functions of a physical mouse with total precision, without making a difference. It also provides a range of 10 meters and fast Bluetooth 3.0 technology.
Editorial evaluation: Another ideal option to transport, as well as to store, since it takes up almost no space. In addition, it stands out for its great range and comfort.
Backlit tablet keyboard – Rii RK100+ Innovative Backlit USB Keyboard
We include this model in the list as one of the most colorful and attractive from an aesthetic point of view. It has a backlight that offers up to 7 different colors for the user to choose between them. It weighs 177 grams and measures 23.8 x 13.3 x 0.6 centimetres.
Another advantage, from a technical point of view, is universal compatibility. On the other hand, its lithium battery has an operating autonomy of 96 hours and is fully charged in 2 hours.
Editorial evaluation: One of the most attractive models, due to its backlit keyboard that offers up to 7 different colors.
Everything you should know about tablet keyboards
Before buying a tablet keyboard we have to know its characteristics. First, those that have to do with the nature of the product and its reason for being. Also, the most concrete and specific features of each model, because not all are the same. For this reason, we will see what there is to know about a tablet keyboard before approaching the purchase, trying not to forget anything.
What is a tablet keyboard?
A tablet keyboard can be considered a hardware peripheral device − it is not assembled into the physical structure of the tablet − Like a conventional keyboard, but rather is made up of alphanumeric keys and can integrate other special types with associated specific functions. It is used to type remotely and write and/or edit texts on the tablet.
How does a tablet keyboard work?
Tablet keyboards mostly connect wirelessly to tablets or similar devices. This means that they do not require a connection with USB cables, as was the case with previous models. Generally, this connection is established via Bluetooth, hence the importance of it being fast. Today, most advanced keyboards offer Bluetooth 3.0 which is a wireless connection.
Why is a tablet keyboard useful?
There is no doubt that tablets have many advantages over desktops and laptops, but they also have some disadvantages. Being halfway between these and a mobile phone, some of the additional features that it offers us with respect to mobile phones may be limited. This is due to the lack of a physical keyboard.
Let us think, for example, of the use of the tablet as a work tool. To create and edit Word documents, the most common, or even to write a long email, using the touch keyboard can be a nightmare. We will save time and be more precise if we have a physical keyboard. The same happens if we want to dedicate the tablet to leisure.
What do experts think about tablet keyboards?
Undoubtedly, the evaluation of a product by those who know it best is always very relevant for the user. In this sense, when talking about keyboards for tablets, we turn to William Marchiori, responsible for Loop Infinito, who defends them and attributes great utility to them as essential accessories to get the most out of our tablets.
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Can I use any tablet keyboard on my device?
As a general rule, no. Another thing is that nowadays universal tablet keyboards or those compatible with any operating system are very widespread. But it is the exception, not the rule. When comparing models, you have to pay attention. For example, many tablet keyboards are not compatible with iOS; others like the Apple Trackpad will only work on Apple devices.
Most tablets still work with Android operating systems −the cheapest on the market, while the market segment occupied by Windows has also grown in recent years thanks to some interesting models. For this reason, most keyboards will be compatible with Android /Windows, and may or may not be compatible with iOS.
How is a tablet keyboard powered?
Tablet keyboards work thanks to power systems that can be of various types. As with any other device, older models require a cable connection to a power source – the tablet, for example, or use rechargeable lead-nickel batteries. These materials do not offer much autonomy or long useful life.
The most modern and advanced tablet keyboards on the market today are powered by lithium batteries. These offer a much longer autonomy − up to 100 hours of use, in some cases and an ultra-fast charge that eliminates the inconvenience of having to constantly recharge the batteries. Thus, the keyboard is unlikely to stop working at the worst possible moment.
How much does a tablet keyboard cost?
This is one of the good news about this product: tablet keyboards are relatively cheap, as long as we adjust our needs to models that are not part of the premium segment of the market. It is not, therefore, an expensive accessory, as we might initially think. As we see, there are affordable electronic products.
From a starting price of around €15, we can go up to €25-30, where we will find most of the standard models with very similar technical and physical characteristics. If we continue to climb the ladder, there will be a jump that will take us above €100-120 to branded models, more exclusive and not always universally compatible.
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Things to Consider before Buying Tablet Keyboards
There are certain things a user needs to know before spending some bucks on a piece of tablet keyboard. This will help save some cash and give the user an insight into what to expect from the keyboard.
Dimensions and weight
We must bear in mind that the keyboard, not being physically incorporated into the tablet, occupies additional space in our suitcase or travel bag −if we travel frequently− or on our desk −if we use the tablet in the office. In any case, the measurements and weight of the keyboard are important when evaluating the purchase.
They all generally come in a standard size and weight. If we are looking for something as compact and light as possible, we will have to filter out the folding and ultra-thin models, because we will hardly notice that we are transporting them. All this without giving up the basic benefits that we want to cover with the purchase. Size Matters!.
An ultra-thin, ultra-fast and ultra-modern tablet keyboard would be useless if it doesn’t work with our device. Therefore, first, we will have to know what operating system our tablet uses. It may seem like a truism, but it is not. Sometimes even the versions and updates of those operating systems matter.
In general, we will have an Android, Windows or iOS (Mac) tablet. Either we buy a keyboard that is specifically compatible with the operating system in question, or we bet on a universal model. The advantage of this option is that, if we renew our tablet, we will not necessarily have to change the keyboard at the same time.
Not all keyboards offer the same technical complexity or the same user benefits. Depending on the use that we are going to give it, we will prioritize one over the other and we will look for more simplicity or more functionalities. Some keyboards will only offer us the most basic: an alphanumeric combination. Others will surprise us with shortcuts and direct access.
If we are only going to allocate the keyboard to the creation and edition of texts, an alphanumeric QWERTY is enough for us. If, on the other hand, we navigate and use other more advanced functions of the tablet, we may be interested in the keyboard allowing us, with a click or a combination of keys, to execute quick and efficient actions. Thus, we will save time.
Harmony keyboard + tablet
Although a tablet keyboard is, per se, an external and independent element −not physically assembled on the device, it will end up forming a whole with our tablet. Therefore, just as we try to fit a tie to our suit or socks into shoes, we will try to do the same with these two pieces of the same outfit.
The colors, the size provided and the ease of transporting them in the same case or briefcase may be some of the factors to take into account within this section. If we are going to use our keyboard together with the tablet in public −means of transport, libraries or shared offices, for example− we will tend to take more care of the image.
Design and visual appearance
Speaking of the keyboard itself, and not necessarily its combination with the tablet, there are also very diverse options regarding its visual image. We can opt for classic keyboards, with typical colors – black and white are typical – and without decorations. Or we can go for something more groundbreaking, like electric tones, mixes or effects.
In this sense, backlit tablet keyboards are an interesting option. Not only because they are striking −especially if we choose a backlight with unusual colors, but also because they will help us work in dark or poorly lit environments. It is a 2 x 1 in advantages, combining the aesthetic and the practical.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of tablet keyboards?
When evaluating to purchase one of the best tablet keyboards, one of the mandatory stops is the objective assessment of the advantages and disadvantages that it entails. What would it bring me? Does it improve the performance of my device? Am I going to take advantage of it? Is it worth the necessary investment? Next, we see graphically advantages and disadvantages of this technological product:
- Easy to use
- Enrich the tablet
- Just like the smart notebook, it is useful for professionals
- Not very high cost
- Most have a simple design
- Additional expense
Given the general and specific characteristics, as always, the user has the last word. The decision on the purchase of a product corresponds exclusively to him. First, in relation to whether the purchase is necessary or not. Second, if the previous question is affirmative, regarding which of the different models is more convenient to acquire.
We have exposed the most notable features of tablet keyboards. Depending on the type of user and their needs, one option will be more recommended than the other. In any case, readers now have more and better elements of judgment to opt for a particular model. All in order to improve the performance of our tablet and squeeze it to the fullest.
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