Being productive when you travel can be a challenge - especially if you try to travel as light as possible. As many of us have traded in our laptops and netbooks for an iPad or smartphone, typing long amounts of text is a major hassle. Don't get me wrong - I think the on-screen keyboard on the iPhone is one of the best in the market, but trying to type 1000 words on a piece of glass is a pain in the backside.
This is where the Mini Bluetooth Keyboard from Budgetgadgets,com can help. I found this little keyboard when I was browsing for some affordable cables, and have started using it as my new best friend when I need to type more than "I'm running late".
The keyboard is not much larger than the iPhone or iPod itself, and connects over Bluetooth. All the keys are perfectly mapped, which means you even get special characters and cursor keys. The keyboard charges off MicroUSB, and a charger cable is included. Its battery is sufficient for up to four hours of use.
I tested the keyboard on several devices - a 4th generation iPod Touch, the Google Nexus One and a Samsung Galaxy S, and it worked perfectly every time. On the iPhone, iPad and iPod, no additional software is required. On Android devices, you won't need extra software as long as you use it on a phone that supports Bluetooth input devices. If your phone lacks that profile, you can install the included Android application. According to the manufacturer, the keyboard will also work on Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.
I won't pretend that this keyboard is great for typing your next novel, but it does get the job done if you need to reply to some emails or draft a last minute document.
The Mini Bluetooth Keyboard costs $37.68 and is available from Budgetgadgets.com. For that price, you also get a PDA stand and a carrying case. When you check out, apply coupon code SM5OFF33 to take 5% off the purchase price. I have found this keyboard available at other stores for a little less, but none of those come with the case or stand.
Filed under: Gadling Gear Review