MiniSuit BluBoard Wireless Keyboard Hardware Review

MiniSuit BluBoard Wireless Keyboard Hardware Review

May 8, 2014

One of my ultimate goals with regards to mobility is to not have to carry a laptop; thus, peripherals like MiniSuit Bluboard Wireless Keyboard have such potential for creative folks on the go.

The review unit MiniSuit provided comes with the piece itself, documentation and a USB cord for charging. Size-wise, it comes in as full external keyboard, almost matching the Apple keyboard dimensions precisely at 11 x 7 x 0.5 inches. It has a different physical look, with the hard plastic personified in brushed aluminum finishing. The keys are all black, with white standard (and blue function) lettering. At the top of the keys towards the right, there are a bank of buttons and indicators: on/off toggle, Bluetooth pairing button, caps lock, battery indicator and a Bluetooth indicator as well; on the right side, there is a micro USB charging port. The whole frame tapers into a deliberate U-shape that anchors the tablet as well as giving he top of the keyboard a lift to create mk3an ergonomic slant. Finally, the whole unit is wrapped in a black case.

Getting the device fully charged took a lot less than the advertised two hours, so I surmise it comes almost topped off. After that, it’s a simple matter of pairing to a compatible Bluetooth device via a generated pairing code, and it’s business time.

The keyboard feels exceptionally comfortable, and there is hardly any latency. I like how easy it is to pair and use, and it actually feels pretty natural. I was able to get a lot of usage over a day or so without needing to charge.

While the keyboard is fully functional on iOS devices, there are a bunch of function keys that do not work on Android hardware, but to be fair, the manufacturer’s documentation notes this. Also, even though it is a universal keyboard, the built-in stand is best used with the thinnest devices only, as thicker ones just won’t fit right. It’s also good to know it isn’t rated for Bluetooth 4.0.

For basic entry, it’s tough to pass up, especially with the addition of the stylish cover. It feels infinitely portable, and that’s half the job right there.

The BluBoard Wireless keyboard is available for $39.90 from the MiniSuit site and $39.95 on Amazon.

Bracketron NanoTek Stand Hardware Review

Bracketron NanoTek Stand Hardware Review

Jan 16, 2014

We drop quite a lot of money on mobile devices. With good reason, too. They are the ultimate business, entertainment and everything in-between tools. But after purchase, it just makes sense to dress them up right. Protection. Accessibility. Extended functionality. And more.

Some accessories promise to give a combination of features, and this is just what the Universal NanoTek Stand from Bracketron purports to do. It comes in silver or black (we received a silver review unit).

The stand itself comes in very subtle but strong appearance. The main stem is made out of aircraft grade aluminum, and curves into a short sided V-shape. A wide T-shape is cut into the metal frame for cabling, and each end has black padding. Nothing is sharp or overly demonstrative, with soft edges and an appreciated lack of glinty touches.nano2

What is truly intriguing is the advertised NanoTek technology. It works in a slick way as a soft adhesive, so that a smartphone leans back in the the cradle, held by only this black material. It’s pretty slick, and makes for easy placement and retrieval. The adhesive is strong enough to hold my cased HTC EVO 4G LTE, though not permanently; really weighted devices tend not to be held in place, but larger phones, such as an uncased Sony Xperia Z, work just fine without leftover residue. In my experience, it tended to help to wipe the padding periodically.

The T-shape slot for charging cable isn’t effective with my phone in the upright position (the charging port is the left, not the bottom), but works swimmingly with devices that are more conventionally constructed. It does work with my phone in landscape orientation.

In practice, the stand is reasonably sturdy, balanced on flat surfaces and feels durable. Because of its portability and design, using with a keyboard or as a consumption holder is possible. In this, it provides multiple usfage opportunities, good for a somewhat permanently placed accessory or even as a part of a go bag.

It’s another fine tool from a trusted company, and it is always pleasant to try something so small but yet relatively useful.

The NanoTek Stand can be obtained from the Bracketron website for $29.99, and elsewhere, like Amazon for $18.86 before shipping. It comes with a year-long warranty.