Microsoft introduces a Universal Foldable Keyboard

{ 21 comments }

ms-folding-keyboard

Who besides me remembers the Stowaway folding keyboard from ThinkOutside? Although it’s been over 15 years ago since I reviewed it, I continue to think about how cool it was and still is after all these years. If there was a Bluetooth version of this Stowaway keyboard available today, I’d buy one. But there isn’t, so I am always on the look out for something similar. A new folding keyboard from Microsoft might be the next best thing. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard features a water resistant full-sized key layout and the ability to pair simultaneously with two mobile devices like an iPad, iPhone, Android device, Windows tablet or compatible Windows phone. Unfolding it turns it on and a single keypress switches between paired devices. The lightweight thin Bluetooth Universal Foldable Keyboard will be available this July for $99.95 through Microsoft and other retailers.

Posted in: Android, Bluetooth Gear, iOS, News, Windows Phone
{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Andrew Baker March 14, 2015, 8:23 pm

    I really miss the old Trifold Palm Pilot keyboards.

    • Ruti Eastman June 1, 2015, 10:38 am

      I do, too! I actually still own one, hoping that some techno-wizard friend can tell me how to convert it. Failing that, I’ll have to try this one…

      • DragonMama July 28, 2015, 2:10 pm

        There are knockoffs of the Stowaway that are bluetooth compatable. You can also sometimes find the bluetooth Stowaways on Ebay. They were last made by a name-brand manufacturer in 2006.

        Here is a link to one of the knockoffs on Amazon: http://smile.amazon.com/Moonmini-Folding-Wireless-Bluetooth-Keyboard/dp/B00NV5I0Y4/ref=sr_1_18?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1438106306&sr=1-18&keywords=folding+bluetooth+keyboard&pebp=1438106353787&perid=1D20BB1RDS5XPWR9EGE4

        I just got one of these, the right shift key/up arrow placement and small backspace key are a tad annoying, I went with this one because it had the holster included but probably shouldn’t have bothered as I’m not all that enamored with the holster and will likely rig myself something more functional: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R5QK0GQ?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

        That is a knockoff of what Jorno finally started shipping, which is very similar to the above (still has the small backspace key) but has a larger right shift key with the ? key to the left of that, as found in a standard keyboard, and smaller up/down keys to minimize odds of hitting those accidentally.

        • Andrew Baker July 28, 2015, 2:55 pm

          :O WOW

        • Viqsi July 28, 2015, 8:57 pm

          Saw this linked to from that “Moonmini” page:
          http://www.amazon.com/LapWorks-Folding-Bluetooth-Keyboard-tablets/dp/B00R8GUN1K/

          Does that look familiar to anyone else? 😀
          I may have to try getting one…

          • Julie Strietelmeier July 28, 2015, 9:00 pm

            @Viqsi the price is crazy expensive though. There’s no way I will pay that much for a Bluetooth keyboard 🙂

          • Viqsi July 28, 2015, 9:18 pm

            @Julie – not *that* much more than the Microsoft keyboard here, and it’s a reborn Stowaway.

            C’mon. You know you want to. 😀

          • Julie Strietelmeier July 28, 2015, 9:22 pm

            I do… I just don’t want to fork over $140 for one of them 😉

          • DragonMama July 28, 2015, 10:06 pm
          • DragonMama July 28, 2015, 10:08 pm

            more expensive doesn’t necessisarily mean better in this case – they’re quite likely all made at the same factory. I’d go for the one that’s easier to return if you get a dud. I didn’t dig around much to find one with Prime for my first reply.

          • DragonMama July 28, 2015, 10:11 pm

            (urg excuse the typo in the above comment, half-asleep toddler on my lap and forgot to click the “you spelled that wrong” squiggle to fix it)

            Just wanted to make sure I clarified in case there was any confusion – the smile.amazon.com links are not affiliate links, I just got in the habit of going to smile.amazon.com whenever I’m searching for a product, Amazon Smile is a program whereby you tell Amazon a charity you want a portion of your purchases to go to and then any elligible item you purchase automatically sends a portion of the money to that charity. I have mine set to my local PTA.

          • Andrew Baker July 29, 2015, 8:37 am

            Yeah that’s a bit out of my comfort zone for a portable bluetooth keyboard, even if it does bring back the warm and fuzzes of my youth. Maybe if it brought back my hair too I might consider it, or I perhaps was a daily traveler.

        • DragonMama July 28, 2015, 10:19 pm

          OOPS! The cheaper one isn’t bluetooth, but if you don’t mind plugging the wire into your phone, it also gets around the security issues of bluetooth keyboards for those whom have concerns about that… and it’s a LOT cheaper and probably has better battery life…

  • Forr March 14, 2015, 9:10 pm

    I’m looking forward to reviews of both this keyboard and the Textblade.

  • John Kes March 16, 2015, 2:05 am

    I still have my Stowaway (for my Visor Deluxe!).

    • John Kes March 16, 2015, 2:06 am

      Actually, I sold the Deluxe but still have my Visor Prism. Battery is shot, though.

  • jason March 16, 2015, 8:54 pm

    I still have my ThinkOutside/Stowaway/iGo Ultra-Slim BlueTooth keyboard.
    The perixx PERIBOARD-806 looked close.

    Anyhow, I moved on to the iWerkz Keyboard (for $20-30); I have two.

  • Bonnie B Bernardo March 17, 2015, 2:50 am

    i still have my stowaway folding keyboard. i can’t get myself to get rid of it. i got it for my Palm Pilot. it is some sort of memento i guess of days gone by when PDAs were hi-tech.

  • Babyfacemagee March 20, 2015, 8:51 pm

    The Perixx 805L is the best foldablet bluetooth keyboard out right now…and it’s only $30 on Amazon. It has full size keys so no cramping and several months of use on a charge. This Microsoft foldable keyboard might prove a good contender though. I like the ability to pair up with more than one device simultaneously.

    • DragonMama July 28, 2015, 2:13 pm

      As a long-time touchtypist, I can’t deal with the split keyboards – the keys in the middle aren’t positioned where my fingers expect them to be when the keyboard ONLY folds in half. That’s also what makes this Microsoft offering a total non-starter with folks like me. I’ve been touchtyping for 20 years, more than half my life. My fingers aren’t easily retrained, particularly for a less-frequently used keyboard than the full-sized one at my desktop or on my laptop, which get much more heavy use and always will due to my line of work.

  • Viqsi May 24, 2015, 5:08 pm

    FYI: The Stowaway design IP has been jumping back and forth between a bunch of Shenzen knockoff designers, so it’s still sort of possible to find that keyboard style (although reviews suggest they’re not as well made as they used to be, which if true would be a pity). The most recent one I’ve found is the Geyes “GK308e” – google that and you’ll probably find a few. 🙂

    (For my part, I still have my original Stowaway Sierra from over a decade ago; it still works perfectly and I still use it for notetaking at meetings. And I STILL refuse to do any business whatsoever with iGo (and encourage others to avoid them) as a result of that company’s abruptly and senselessly killing the product line off. Yeah, I can be a tad bitter when it comes to my favorite gadgets. 🙂 )

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