Hardware Review – Bluetooth Keyboard and Case for Google Nexus 7

Bluetooth Keyboard and Case for Google Nexus 7 AsusIt’s been a few days since my Bluetooth keyboard and Case for Google Nexus 7 arrived from MobileZap and I can honestly say it’s a bloody good product.

As a case it fits the Nexus well, sporting the same style of black textured plastic and silver trimming iconic to the Nexus 7. The surface is somewhat less ‘grippy’ than the Nexus but this doesn’t cause an issue in normal use, in fact the keyboard base functioned brilliantly on all surfaces I tried including my kitchen table, my office desk and my lap (in bed or otherwise). I wouldn’t advise using it on your lap, as the small keys really need a stable base to be functional (this might change as I grow used to the tiny layout). It would be unfair to expect aluminium construction considering the keyboards price and weight, but it does a good imitation that doesn’t come off tacky. Visually it is a complete product and offers a robust solution to protect the screen during storage. For those of us who require a keyboard more than a case, looks and physical security are secondary.

Nexus 7 - Bluetooth Keyboard without Nexus 7Upon un-boxing I was a little disappointed with the lack of charge cable but at an affordable $42 AUD (from MobileZap) I wasn’t expecting one. The packaging was a neat white box packed inside a protective cardboard sleeve and arrived without signs of scuffing or crushing. It came without frills which is nice when you consider the environment and the amount of packaging we throw out daily.

It charged relatively quickly (less than the 4 to 5 hrs stated on the product) and the Bluetooth connection process was painless (manual not required) and I have yet to recharge the keyboard. The keyboard can be used while on charge and with the Nexus 7 sitting upright it becomes a micro laptop. I can’t say as it was particularly conformable compared to a full size keyboard but we need to be realistic about the offering of a keyboard that measures a tiny 185 mm across. As a stand the keyboard offers a great viewing angle and with the Nexus 7’s IPS screen works equally well as a bed side stand for LCD clock display or late night movie viewing.

Nexus 7 - Bluetooth Keyboard Closed on Nexus 7Typing on the keyboard is quite good with real tactile feedback. The device performs admirably considering its tiny footprint although it took a while to teach my fingers where to sit. I was concerned at how much travel pressing a key required but likewise found it took only a short time to adjust. There is a lip on the front of the keyboard that might annoy some people when resting their thumb on the space bar, I did not have this issue.

For those opposed to short-cutting text when typing emails or web content this keyboard really excels. It was the ability to edit and not fight with auto-correct that really sold this product to me and I’d not like to be battling a flame war online without it. This ability is essential in all professional correspondence, more importantly it opens up the utility for spread sheeting and other maths based input apps that would be clumsy without disabling predictive text and auto correct.

Conclusion – A great device for those hoping to create on a tablet platform.

The Nexus 7 is a stunningly powerful and small device, this keyboard adds an extra level of functionality. Although the Tiny footprint is both its biggest benefit and its greatest issue the keyboard is a solid and protective case and a more than functional stand for several applications. As a package I can’t see any reason not to own the Bluetooth keyboard and case for Nexus 7.

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