These days most of us have a smartphone or a touchscreen tablet that can be used to write documents and send emails. The problem is that the virtual keyboards on the touchscreen displays make typing slow and error-prone. With this hands-on Scosche FreeKEY Roll-up Wireless Keyboard Review, we’ll see if there is a solution to this problem.
Scosche sent us a sample of their FreeKEY Bluetooth flexible keyboard to review, and we took it into the Geekoplex labs to test it out. According to Scosche, it works with the iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, laptop computers, and other devices. We tried it with a Windows PC, iPhone 4, and Apple iPad, and it worked flawlessly with all of them.
Syncing with each of these devices was super easy. Just go into the Control Panel/Settings where you add a Bluetooth device on your computer/phone/tablet and then click the “connect” button on the FreeKEY. On your screen you should see the keyboard appear as a new Bluetooth device that you need to pair. You will be given a numeric code, which you enter onto the FreeKey, and then you are all set—you are securely paired and can start using the FreeKey as your keyboard.
When typing, the keys on the Scosche Free KEY feel a bit squishy. However, it always registered my keystrokes correctly, even when it felt like I didn’t hit a key hard enough. Overall it works much better than the virtual keyboard on touchscreen devices (especially with small ones like on the iPhone), allowing you to type much faster and more accurately. Although, given the option, I would still prefer a regular keyboard.
However, regular keyboards are just too large to be practical to take with you, while the Scosche FreeKey is very portable. In fact, you can easily roll it up small enough to put it into your shirt pocket. Obviously it would easily fit into a purse or backpack (or fanny-pack for you “stylish” geeks.)
The high quality silicone construction, which makes this keyboard flexible, roll-able and uber-portable, is also naturally water resistant. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could spill anything from coffee to a milkshake on it, and then just clean it off under water and have it as good as new. (Although I didn’t actually test this!)
Besides the portability, this Bluetooth keyboard is also very usable because of the excellent battery life. It can be used for up to 60 hours on a charge or last for up to 30 days of standby time. When it comes time for a recharge, just plug it into a USB port. It even comes with a compact retractable USB cable that you can easily keep on hand.
Scosche claims a wireless range of up to 30 feet. On many Bluetooth devices I have tested, the range is much smaller than 30 feet. However, I was surprised that when I took the FreeKey over 20 feet from my laptop, the keypresses were still registering. It works, but I’m not sure it’s a big benefit as I just don’t know when I would ever need to type from 20 feet away.
The freeKEY combines wireless freedom and complete functionality into the essential tool for getting the most out of any iPad, iPhone, Android or other Bluetooth supported device. It makes typing with your device easy and efficient. You no longer have to struggle while completing emails or getting work done away from your desktop computer. The extremely long lasting battery will provide up to 60 hours of life before having to be recharged. Flexible and water resistant, the freeKEY tucks away into your purse or messenger bag pocket while taking up hardly any room.
Scosche FreeKEY BTBK Flexible Keyboard
- Wirelessly type on your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, tablet, smartphone and more
- Rugged high quality silicone material repels dust and liquids
- Up to 60 hour battery life
- Up to 30 days standby time
- Up to 30 ft of wireless range
- Supported OS: Mac OS, iOS, Android*, Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista & 7
If you ever leave your laptop behind when traveling and depend on your iPhone, iPad, smartphone, or tablet, you really need a portable keyboard to type up long emails or do other real work. The Scosche FreeKEY BTBK roll-up wireless keyboard makes an excellent choice.
You can purchase the FreeKEY BTBK Wireless Keyboard for $59.99 direct at Scosche.com. It is also available for just $39 with free shipping at Buy.com, for $35.95 with free shipping at Amazon.com, and for $29.99 plus shipping at J&R.
How would the Geeks compare the quality of the Brookstone Bluetooth Roll Up Keyboard to the Scosche Free KEY…
At staples the Brookstone is approximately $50.00 + tax, etc.
I really don’t know for sure, having never used the Brookstone Bluetooth Keyboard. My guess from looking at the pictures is that they are EXACTLY the same. Stores like Brookstone often find products they like and then have the company that manufactures it make it for them with a different label.
It looks to me the like the Brookstone keyboard is the same as the Scosche FreeKEY, but with the word “waterproof” replacing the “scosche” logo on the left side of the keyboard.