Bluetooth Keyboards: Different Keystrokes for Different Folks

A wireless keyboard can be a tablet owner’s best friend when editing long documents. The right one for you depends on how you’ll use it.

Tumi Wireless Keyboard

Pros: Good-looking and light and includes case with cord storage.
Cons: Pricey and no rubber feet; keyboard slides on smooth surfaces.
Bottom line: Adequate travel companion for infrequent use.

The $125 Tumi Wireless Keyboard from Tumi, a company known for luggage and other travel gear, is an adequate traveling tablet companion with a mix of pluses and minuses. The handsome keyboard comes with a zippered case with a small pocket inside for storing a short USB charging cable.

Touch typing takes a little training since some keys have been moved from their standard locations. For example, the PrintSc key is in the bottom row instead of the top and the quotation mark/comma key is on the left next to the Shift key instead of on the right side next to the colon/semicolon key.

On the plus side, important keys like the Shift and Delete keys are at the extreme edges where they’re easy to find without looking. Across the top are five special keys for Home, Mute, Bluetooth pairing and Power as well as a well-designed multimedia key cluster with a four-sided rocker button. Pushing the center of the multimedia key starts or pauses playback of audio or video, a touch up or down on the rocker button controls volume and a click on either side expresses to the next or previous media selection.

Unfortunately, the bottom of the keyboard is smooth with no rubberized feet to keep it from sliding around, which is exactly what happened when it was tested on a standard wooden desk. Swiping the space bar with a thumb is all it took to jostle the keyboard out of position.

Instead of replaceable batteries, the Tumi Wireless Keyboard’s internal battery charges in 3.5 hours, will hold a charge for up to 60 days and provide up to 30 hours of typing per charge, according to Tumi.

The unit, which promises compatibility with Windows, Windows Mobile 6.0, Apple iOS devices, Android 3.0 devices, Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console and the almost forgotten Blackberry Playbook tablet, is a good choice for frequent travelers providing users make a stop at a hardware store for a rubberized strip to attach to the bottom to give it some desktop friction.

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