What’s Your Type? Four Mini Keyboards to Maximize Your Smart Devices
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If you’ve already gotten a mini PC, a mini keyboard is a great next step to simplify your setup even more. These portable keyboards take the place of traditional big, wired ones, and are generally held two handed – like a video game controller would be. Keys are typed using your thumbs, much like texting, and there’s often a built-in trackpad on it, to take the place of a mouse and declutter your desk even more. Some are even designed to be flipped vertical too, and held like a remote for one-handed control, or do a complete 180° for better use of a bigger touchpad on top.
In fact, the best mini computer keyboards can offer a lot despite their small size. Most are wireless, running on WiFi and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and they generally have about a 25-foot range on average for Bluetooth – plenty of distance that instantly cuts down on any messy wires too.
The best mini keyboards also are extremely lightweight, which makes them even more versatile for multi-tasking with different devices. While small, the keys are often backlit for better use in the dark, and sensitivity makes up for size when it comes to typing.
Space is valuable on such a little device, so don’t go for something with features you know you’ll never actually use (like pause/play/track skip controls or an additional gaming-type directional pad).
Since there are so many similarities when it comes to mini keyboards, some things to consider when looking at these is what you’ll be using it for and what’s most comfortable to you. Seasoned gamers, for example, with dexterous thumbs might be fine with a small trackpad, while others will want more room to move the cursor around. If you plan on using this with a smart TV or projector, but your sofa is far away from the set, getting one with a long range is a good idea. For business travel, a compact and slim model is convenient for your carry-on, as are backlit keys for working when the plane or train’s lights go off, and a long lasting battery with lengthy standby time (sometimes up to two months) is a must.
These four handheld, mini keyboards are small but still loaded with everything you need to wirelessly operate a ton of modern devices from a distance.
1. Rii i8+ Mini Bluetooth Keyboard with Touchpad
Anyone who’s used to a gaming controller will find Rii’s mini keyboard familiar and easy to use, but even for a new user it’s got plenty of features that make it a great choice.
The connection is strong, with anti-interference tech and a 15-meter Bluetooth range. Directional pads are at opposite ends at thumb’s reach, with a trackpad in the center that responds to double-clicking and dragging (there’s also a right-click and left-click button on the side if you prefer that too).
A full, backlit QWERTY keyboard is sensitive to the touch, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery can last weeks in standby mode. It’s also compatible with a long list of devices, from laptops to phones and consoles, even Raspberry Pi.
2. PONYBRO Mini Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse
At about six inches wide, this keyboard has a lot going for it, without being too bulky and impractical.
With the on/off switch on the back, there’s no more waiting for your keyboard to automatically connect to your device and wonder what’s taking so long, thanks to the USB pairing sensor. Once paired the first time, it should connect up right away to any device without delay, and waking the keyboard after inactivity is as simple as pushing any button.
Typing on the keys feels solid, with a satisfying snap-back every time they’re pressed, and rainbow backlighting to illuminate your workstation.
3. Fosmon Mini Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard
For any device with a Bluetooth connection, this eye-catching little keyboard is efficiently designed to pair up and stay linked from afar. The keys are backlit, and a small but sensitive touch pad is placed at the end right where your thumb lines up. The mouse-click buttons are on top too, where your index fingers fall naturally.
Despite there being a full QWERTY keyboard, this is still slim enough to be turned sideways and comfortably used as a one-handed remote, from about 33 feet away. Battery life is notable too – a two-ish hour charge via its micro USB cable can power it for 10 days of continuous usage, or up to 50 days in standby time. For smart TV setups that lack a keyboard like Nvidia Shield and Firestick, this is a really nice extra add-on.
4. iPazzPort Wireless Mini Handheld Keyboard with Touchpad
This noticeably slim keyboard runs on three AAA batteries, and connects wirelessly with a USB sensor. Having to charge up a lithium-ion battery on empty can strike at inconvenient times, so if you prefer to always keep recharged regular batteries nearby, then this is a solid option.
Similarly, for small smartphones that make it difficult to type and text, this serves as a nice external keyboard. However if a lithium-ion battery is something you’d prefer, they also make a model with that too.
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