Saturday, 21 March 2015

IT Show 2015: Microsoft Universal Keyboard

I bought the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard at the recent IT Show, March 2015. The stated price was SGD99 on the brochure but the actual price is SGD89.

I intend to use it with my iPad2 for my business trips. Eventually, I will replace my work laptop with my iPad2 and keyboard combo. The laptop that I am using is a Dell Latitude E5430 which is approximately 2kg, which is quite heavy for business travel. It does not make sense to be carrying such a heavy load just for powerpoint presentation. It is unfortunate that the iPad2 does not have mouse support, unless it is jailbreak. If not, it would be ideal

I wanted to purchase the Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard. It was selling at half-price at SGD49.50. But I was told by the kind gentleman that it does not work with iPad. I was shocked. He mentioned that only the Universal Keyboard works with iPad effectively. Was this a scam to get me to buy an expensive keyboard?

Wedge Mobile Keyboard

I like the Wedge Mobile Keyboard because the keyboard cover can double as a stand for the mobile device. I bought the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard nevertheless and thankfully, it was the right decision.

When I got back, I did some researching on the compatibility of the keyboards. According to Microsoft Singapore and US website, 

'The new, ultra-slim Wedge Mobile Keyboard was designed for Windows 7 and Windows 8 tablet users who are constantly on the go. (It also works with iPad and Android devices.) '

The compatibility table below:

It indicates that the Wedge Mobile Keyboard has limited functionality for Android and iOS devices.

It gets confusing when it is the Universal Mobile Keyboard. The compatibility table as follows:

MS Singapore site.
From the MS Singapore site, it shows that it is not compatible with the iOS version.

MS US Site
From the MS US site, it shows full compatibility. Although the part number is from the one in the Singapore site.

Thankfully, the Universal Mobile Keyboard that I bought works find with my iPad2.

The features for the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard:

Comparing the dimensions between the Universal and Wedge Keyboard:

Dimensions of the Microsoft Universal Keyboard

Dimensions of the Wedge Keyboard

It can be seen that the length of the Universal Keyboard has been reduced. But the breadth has increased. This could be due to the spaced between the keys on the Universal Keyboard.

The unboxing photos:

Box Front Cover

Compatibility reminders.

Box Back Cover

The cover can also be used as a stand for the mobile

Includes a micro-USB cable and instructions.

There is a slide switch on the top left hand corner to select the
mobile device. Opening the cover wakes up the keyboard.

It uses the same shiny plastic material as the Sculpt Ergonomic

The cover magnetically attaches itself to the hinge.

However, my iPad2 is quite thick due to the Otterbox cover
I used for it.

So instead, I used the Otterbox cover as a kickstand
and the keyboard cover to increase its incline.

A view of the Otterbox cover which also doubles as a stand.

The overall set-up.

Pairing the device on bluetooth is quite easy and very fast. However, the location of the keys are still too close for me. The feedback from the keyboard is not strong enough. Maybe its because I am so used to mechanical non-gaming keyboards. But it is quite nice to be typing on a keyboard instead of the virtual keyboard on the iPad.

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