I have never been considered a workaholic, at least not when it comes to my day job. But when it comes to The Gadgeteer, I can’t unplug and to be honest, I don’t want to. I enjoy working on reviews and answering emails, even while I’m on vacation. This year we went to Sanibel Island Florida for the week and I decided that I would not take my laptop. Instead I took my Nexus 7 2013 Android tablet, the iwerkz Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard and a Bluetooth mouse. I thought I’d see if I could turn the Nexus 7 tablet into a laptop alternative and at the same time work on my review of the iwerkz. Two birds, one stone kinda thing.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
MicroUSB charging cable
The iwerkz Bluetooth keyboard is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows devices. It’s available in Red, Blue and Pink, and features a built in stand. It has a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that provides 44 hours of runtime with approximately 30 days of standby time.
When folded, the keyboard is nice and compact. But when unfolded, it turns into a 11.55″L x 3.3″W x 0.3″H QWERTY keyboard.
Unlike other small Bluetooth keyboards like the Minisuit Nexus 7 (2013) Keyboard Case which I also took with me on vacation, the iwerkz is much better suited for touch typists like myself due to its spacious key layout.
The protective plastic cover has a slot that can be used as a tablet stand, which places the screen in the perfect angle for working on documents with the keyboard and for watching videos.
The plastic cover also offers a 2nd stand for smaller devices like smartphones.
I tested the iwerkz with an LG G2 Android smartphone and a Nexus 7 2013 tablet. Pairing with either device was simple and quick.
The keys are nicely sized and have really good tactile feedback. I found the keyboard size to be very comfortable and almost perfect for touch typing.
I say “almost perfect” because I started noticing problems as soon as I began typing. The iwerkz has been designed to fold, which is a great feature. However, the center hinge area introduces a problem that you don’t find on other non-folding keyboards. The space between the two halves makes it harder for the opposite hand/fingers to reach some keys. If you touch type, you will know that your left index finger is used to press the B key. Nine times out of ten, my index finger missed the B key and ended up pressing the center blank area.
Other layout issues included the odd placement of the ? key, which almost always caused me to end up pressing the up arrow instead. I also had issues with the 9 and 0 number keys and -/_, =/+ punctuation keys due to their location which is too far to the left when compared to a normal keyboard. Compare the keyboard on my Macbook Air with the iwerkz in the image above and you’ll see what I mean about the placement of the number keys on the right side.
On the plus side, the iwerkz offers some nice short cut keys that allow you to keep your hands on the keyboard instead of needing to use the touch screen. There is a Home key, media player controls, volume controls, back button and more.
There are several things I really like about the iwerkz and several things that keep me from absolutely loving it. The key layout issues mentioned above are my biggest complaint and the fact that I have to use the keyboard on a flat surface like a desk make it less than perfect for me. But, the almost full size design, touch type ability and folding capability will keep the iwerkz Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard on my favorite gear list.