Product Review: Inateck BK1001E Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard
Back in June of this year, I wrote about the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air, a nifty bit of tech designed to act as a protective enclosure for your tablet's screen when closed, and a Bluetooth keyboard with iOS specific buttons when opened. As far as keyboard cases go, the Logitech is top-notch, but for many of us, the idea of foregoing a traditional cover or case—and thus any protection when the keyboard isn't in use—isn't appealing. What we need is a standalone Bluetooth device that is just as lightweight and functional as Logitech's product (with button support for other non-Apple tablets to boot).
Enter the BK1001E Wireless Bluetooth keyboard, a sleek accessory from Inateck. Will it meet our mobile typing needs? Will it exceed them? Let's dive in and find out, but first...
Inateck is a relatively new tech company (founded in 2012) based in Leipzig, Germany. Their motto is, "Experience is everything," and judging by this keyboard and various other reviews of their products I've perused, it seems they're staying true to these words. Inateck manufactures everything from USB hubs, hard drive enclosures, Bluetooth speakers and audio receivers, to cases for MacBooks, Kindles and iPads. Check out all they have to offer at their website.
Thinness: This keyboard has an overall width of 4mm—that's less than a quarter of an inch, people. We're talking thinner than a No. 2 pencil.
Super Lightweight: The BK1001E weighs 7.4 ounces. It feels like a feather in your hand.
Compact Design: It's not much longer than my iPad, and yet the device sports full-sized keys, traditionally spaced so that your hands rest comfortably in the typing position.
Great Key Response: Typing on the BK1001E is fluid and quiet. The keys feel nice and cushy.
Rechargeable: No need for AA batteries here. The Inateck website boasts 30 days of standby power, and I have found this to be a more than accurate statement.
Dust-Repellant Surface: I'm not sure what type of plastic Inateck used to make this keyboard, but it doesn't get overly dusty. It's weird, but it's cool.
Comfortable Lap Typing: No desk in sight? No problem. The BK1001E works quite well on the lap, particularly due to the gripping fabric on the backside of the device.
Dedicated Mobile Buttons: Access your home screen, search bar, and multitasking functions without removing your hands from the keyboard—and it doesn't matter if you use Apple, Android, or Windows mobile devices. The BK1001E goes many ways.
Some keys are placed a bit awkwardly, the right-hand shift key being perhaps the most egregious offender—it sits just a bit too close to the pinky, resulting in either typos or stilted writing. After using the keyboard for a while you get used to it, though, and for the price (see below), it's not a bad sacrifice.
PRICING AND WHERE TO BUY
Inateck's website links you directly to Amazon for purchasing, and that seems as good a place as any to buy the keyboard. It usually retails for $32.99, but Amazon consistently lists it for either $18.99 or $19.99. My contact at Inateck also informed me they're running a special promo until December 31st for 20% off the Amazon list price (use code DZNRHLNL at checkout). I've seen other keyboards priced this cheaply, but they're nowhere near as nice, so if you're going to spend the money, I'd spend it on the BK1001E.
Any other BK1001E users out there? What are your thoughts? Any other Bluetooth keyboards with mobile support you guys like? Let us know in the comments section. And of course, if you have a keyboard or any other writerly product you'd like to see reviewed here, send an email with a link to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll check it out.
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