Review: Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard
- — 15 October, 2012 22:00
|Name||Bluetooth keyboard: Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard|
|At a glance:||Keyboard cover doubles as a tablet prop-up/holder,Battery powered, with no recharging station,Around 90% full-size, with media and Windows 8-specific shortcut buttons|
|Summary:||A reasonable compact keyboard with a great tablet-stand case.|
Hexagons are back, baby. This is the third product I’ve seen in as many weeks where hexagons are a key element of the design. In this case, it’s the case that uses hexagonal patterning and texturing. That case is quite a marvel. It’s rigid but pliable via a central fold, and acts both as a hard cover for the keyboard and as a strong foldable stand for a tablet. It’s rubberised and grippy, so it won’t slip on a table – it does collect cat fur. Honestly? It’s awesome. I’m not sure why its interior is covered in hexagons, though.
The keyboard itself is around 90% full-size – it reminds me most strongly of the first generation of HP netbooks with its squared, tightly compact keys. The tab key is shortened, and the arrow keys shrunk to a barely-usable size, but you get full-sized number keys. The slender row of function keys includes quick access to Windows 8 Charms, which I sadly couldn’t test; I spent a few frustrating hours trying to get my laptop’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview Bluetooth drivers to work before I gave up. In Windows 7? Those buttons do nothing, which is a shame.
Typing is comfortable but cramped: the keys have lovely bounciness and response, but I found that I mistyped more often than usual at first simply because of the smaller size of the keyboard. It’s easy enough to get used to, if it’s your main keyboard, but if you’re switching back and forth from a full-sized keyboard to this regularly, you’ll probably be a little slower than usual. As with the Wedge Mouse, this has a cunningly hidden battery compartment. It’s in the wedge that gives the keyboard a comfortable angle for typing – press one side and the battery reveals itself. The other side houses the Bluetooth pairing button.
All up this is nice, but. If you absolutely need a wireless keyboard for a Windows tablet, keep the Wedge in mind – not least for the funky case – but otherwise, I’d suggest something full-sized instead.