For the true computer geek there’s nothing like the finger-friendly feedback of a quality keyboard. The reassuring clack of spring-loaded plastic keys can help even two-fingered typists get through a long document faster.
In the age of the tablet, however, the keyboard has given way to flat virtual touchscreen keyboards that give little, if any, tactile feedback, thus making it hard to know if you actually hit the keys you wanted. On-screen keyboards also partially block the view of what you’re working on.
The solution, short of switching to a notebook, is to use a Bluetooth wireless keyboard that you can connect only when you need it. There are dozens of Bluetooth keyboards on the market, but the six here represent what you can expect to run into. Two are full-sized and have the key spacing of a standard notebook keyboard, three are compact and meant for traveling and one is mid-sized and meant specifically for Android tablets.
Connecting a Bluetooth keyboard to a tablet is no tougher than linking a wireless headset to a cell phone—the pairing method is essentially the same and only needs to be done once. All of these keyboards here successfully link with a variety devices.
So what do you gain when you connect a Bluetooth keyboard to a tablet? If it has a touchpad you get something you’re not used to seeing on a tablet: A floating mouse cursor. Some units offer one-key access to functions like e-mail and the presence of Ctrl and Alt keys on some mean easy access to familiar word-processing shortcuts like Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V for cutting and pasting.