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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: Wizo Ultra-Thin Folding Keyboard

After my surface pro died, I contemplated buying a replacement laptop like the Dell XPS 13. But rumors keep popping up that a large device travel ban was imminent any day soon, and if that were to happen I’d lose 90% of the use case for a laptop, which was to process photos and write while traveling.  (In any case, the laptop ban has now been lifted, so you're now free to buy a laptop if you need one)

A much cheaper subsitute is a Wizo Ultra-Thin Folding Keyboard. The idea is that the keyboard would connect wirelessly to your phone, and then you could run say, the Microsoft Word mobile app (or Google Docs) for writing, and use whatever crappy smartphone app you liked for photo processing. (They all suck, except for Photo Mate R3, which sucks slightly less) I simply gave up on photo processing during the trip (except for the times when I shot pictures on the phone and processed them there).

The keyboard is surprisingly pleasant to use. While not nearly as nice as a full size keyboard, I found that in certain cases, I could out-type the phone’s ability to keep up with my input! The big compromises are the lack of number keys, which means you have to hold down the “fn” button when entering numbers, and the fact that  if you forget to turn off the keyboard after the job is done, your phone would stay paired and you might find yourself unable to type using an on-screen keyboard!
The keyboard’s extremely aggressive about re-pairing over bluetooth, even if you disconnected temporarily, your phone would repair the next second, so your only recourse is to turn off the keyboard physically via the power switch.

It’s small enough that the tiny tray in economy seats is roomy enough to stand the phone (using a phone stand) and still have plenty of room to type. I wrote several book reviews, and a travel entry, and of course this review of the keyboard itself on the keypad.

The keyboard does have an internal battery that requires charging, but one charge seems to last forever, so I have no complaints about the battery life so far.

All in all, this solves 50% of my travel use case that a laptop is for, so for the time being I’ve decided not to buy a laptop. Consider me a very satisfied customer, and I’d highly recommend this travel keyboard for your phone. Even after the trip, I would carry the keyboard with me whenever there’s a chance I might have time to write, so I don’t lose writing opportunities. Highly recommended.

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