What is a Mini Keayboard
A mini keyboard is a compact version of computer keyboard designed for people who are constantly on the move, need a keyboard to work with mobile gadgets or/and simply do not want to keep a huge keyboard on their working table all the time. There can be some deviations in models' sizes, shapes or functionality. However, the basic principle is pretty much the same for all of them - you hook it up to your digital device either wirelessly or via a cord and use it just like you'd use a conventional keyboard. A lot of them are compatible not only with Windows and Mac OS but many other OS allowing connecting them with many different gadgets but PC.
On a related note, you can also find our recent review on the best iPad keyboards designed specifically to work with Apple devices. Or check the best ergonomic keyboards promoting a more natural wrist position while typing.
Logitech K480 Bluetooth
In 2016, this Logitech K480 wireless keyboard has won the 2016 iF Product Design Award for its innovative design and functionality. The first thing that strikes an eye is the yellow-colored cradle for mobile gadgets. Connect them to the keyboard via Bluetooth and simply put in there. The cradle can hold devices up to 10" long and up to 0.4" wide. Even if your tablet is a bit bigger than that, you could still place it there upright. Note, with a heavy device in the cradle, however, the keyboard might be tipped over so you should type more carefully. On the exterior part of the keyboard you'll find a special round knob with which you'll be able to quickly switch between up to 3 devices: a laptop, a tablet or a phone. The keys layout is similar to that of Windows laptops. Still, the K480 has interchangeable cmd and an opt key for Mac OS and iOS as well. And if you think black color won't go well together with your Apple devices, you can pick a white-colored alternative. Concluding, the K480 is an optimal choice if you are looking for a handy gadget to put on your desk or grab with you to some remote location and type comfortably on mobile devices.
Edgy Pocket-sized Keyboard
The QQ-Tech is a mini keyboard with touchpad, and it is compatible with pretty much most of the mobile devices and computers. The length of the keyboard is just right so that you could reach more than half the keyboard with your thumbs for typing while holding it. What's more, there are two sets of the buttons corresponding to left and right mouse clicks. The first set is right below the touchpad along with the arrow keys. The other two buttons are placed on the upper sides of its body and designed to be pressed with index fingers. The keyboard is compatible with most of the modern devices that have a built-in Bluetooth 3.0 module.
Compact size has also affected the shape of the numeric and letter keys - they are pretty small and are set in the herringbone pattern with a small divider in the middle between G and H keys. Therefore, touch-typing with your thumbs may require some time getting used to but nothing to complain about. The keyboard operates on 250 mAh rechargeable battery that can work for several days straight on only 1 charge. The keyboard also features a battery charge status indicator right above the touchpad. Thus, you'll always know when it's time to recharge it. The USB cable for this is also included. What's more, the QQ-Teck mini keyboard has an auto-standby mode that turns the keyboard off when it's not used for several minutes to increase the battery life. To turn the keyboard on, simply activate the on/off-switch again or press any button to wake it up if it's already on. Finally, the keyboard boasts a backlight, so you can use it in the darkness as well.
Rii i8+ Wireless
Player 1 Start!
At first, we have been hesitant about what category the Rii i8+ belongs to as it looks almost like a console controller with a keypad rather than a mini keyboard. Turned out, though, it boasts a wide multimedia keyboard functionality. Even more, it features a small touchpad that recognizes different gestures. For instance, a double-tap serves as an RMB-click, while dragging up and down with two fingers at once rolls the screen. Alternatively, you can also use the LMB and RMB buttons on the left.
This model comes with a 2.4 GHz wireless USB dongle that works at up to 33 ft. under ideal conditions. Realistically, as it works on the same frequency as Wi-Fi modems and routers, you can expect the signal to reach up to 20-25 ft., which is still far enough to satisfy different needs. Speaking of gaming, the Rii i8+ Wireless Mini Keyboard is compatible with both Xbox and PlayStation. Therefore, if you love gaming and chatting, this mini USB keyboard might be exactly what you need. Of course, it also works with computers, laptops, and even tablets that have a USB 2.0 port to plug the included adaptor in.
Arteck HB030B Universal Slim
Personalize Your Keyboard
The Arteck HB030B is a mini wireless keyboard that works with seemingly any device that supports Bluetooth 3.0 connection, including Windows, Android and Apple devices. Although it has neither numpad nor touchscreen, the keyboard has many other special keys for above-mentioned systems. The switch between the layouts is done with a 2-key combination.
In size, the Artech HB030B is almost the same as an iPad Air - only 9 3/4" long and 5 9/10" wide. Its ergonomic design features two bumps to place your palms on for more convenient use and to prevent accidental key inputs. The keys are very quiet and responsive to touch. Moreover, the keyboard features a LED backlight with 7 changeable colors, including green, purple and cyan. Thus, you can customize your keyboard to your own style. The profile is pretty slim with the upper part made of ABS plastic, and the bottom one - of lightweight anodized zinc alloy that provides additional durability. Overall, the build quality seems very durable and lasting. The battery life is so impressive that it's a bit hard to test it. The manufacturer promises up to a couple of weeks of its non-stop 24/7 use without the backlight on. A USB-to-MicroUSB cable for recharge is included. What's more, the keyboard has a 15-minute auto-off function as well.
One glance is enough to see that the Anker Keyboard was designed to match the style of Apple devices. Actually, it looks almost exactly the same as the Magic Keyboard, except for the function and arrow keys, that, in our opinion, are more convenient in the Anker variant. Also, it's made of plastic, instead of aluminum alloy but it also costs one-ninth as much as the official Apple variant.
Functionality-wise, the Anker Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard is compatible with Windows and Android devices and connects to them via Bluetooth 3.0. Hence, your device also needs to have a built-in Bluetooth module. The keyboard is powered by a couple of AAA batteries (not included) so, the battery life depends on their capacity but, still, this gadget is pretty energy-efficient and should last for at least a couple of months. There are 2 non-skid rubber feet on the bottom that provide stable support for the keyboard on any smooth surface and create a convenient incline for typing with your fingers.
Concluding, this model is a nice alternative to the Apple's Magic Keyboard that has a decent build quality and all necessary functionality for you to effectively work with your mobile devices at work, on travels or simply control your laptop, lying in bed.
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