Microsoft outs the Universal Foldable Keyboard, unleash your inner typist

Microsoft outs the Universal Foldable Keyboard, unleash your inner typist
The tablet's market share demise is due as much to slower replacement rates and cannibalization from phablets, as to the fact that slates are simply not good for anything but casual media consumption. If you want to do anything more serious, you got to have a keyboard attached, and preferably a standing case, too. When you tack those to your tablet, however, it becomes as heavy as the best ultrabooks, so you might as well get the real thing, and people obviously do, judging from the ever-shrinking tablet market.

Enter Microsoft, whose foray into keyboards has always graced us with innovative, albeit usually pricey typing machines, that bet on ergonomics above else. The latest addition to Microsoft's typist stable is called the Universal Foldable Keyboard, and does exactly what it says on the tin, aiming to squeeze more productivity out of your phone or tablet, while still keeping the whole set mobile.

Designed to work with iPad, iPhone, Android gear and Windows tablets, the Universal Foldable Keyboard can have two devices paired to it simultaneously, and you can shuttle between them with a single tap. Despite having full-size keys, Microsoft's machine is very light and compact, plus, as the name implies, you can simply fold it in two and carry it with you without worrying about the space it will occupy. The folding gesture itself shuts its Bluetooth radio and disconnects it from the devices it has been paired to, while reconnecting with them requires you to simply open it again. 

The Universal Foldable Keyboard is only 5mm thin, but Microsoft has fit enough juice in the battery to last three months on a charge, using the power-sipping Bluetooth 4.0 standard. In addition, the keyboard is also spillproof, with water-repellent keyset and fabric, making it ideal for those accidents that may happen on the road. The price? Well, the foldable gear will run you $99.95, and will be available from the usual retailer set as soon as this month.


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11 Comments

1. rsiders

Posts: 1954; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Cut that price in half and I'm in.

8. My1cent

Posts: 370; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

BOGO?

10. xnga123

Posts: 51; Member since: Dec 05, 2014

YOGO at that price

2. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

See....another hook that WM10 could have vs the competition. This helps in one way but will hurt for marketshare.

5. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Could go either way. Microsoft's bet is probably that releasing all this stuff for Android and iOS along with W10 will highlight the differences in productivity. Remember, W10 Mobile promises to scale up on external monitors so that you are effectively working in "desktop" mode. The question they are trying to get you to ask in all this: "would you rather use a keyboard with a mobile OS and mobile apps or a desktop OS and desktop apps? If you want to make use of the keyboard, get Windows 10..."

3. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Logitech K810/K811 are still the best in my opinion... well worth the high price tag... and they even honored the 3 Years Warranty after my 2.5 y/o keyboard presented an issue, so they gave me a new one...

6. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Certainly looks like a good keyboard, but from images it seems like it would almost be less portable than a tablet itself.

7. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

not really... I would say it is on par... but what I truly appreciate is the multi connection feature... also it is illuminated, has proximity sensor for your hands and more...

9. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

The main point of MS' design is the thin foldable design. The design is from the Surface keyboard cover. I'm inclined to get this over the $130 keyboard cover when I get a Surface Pro 3.

11. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I don't deny that this design is nice, in fact it looks like a great portable keyboard... my issue is the price for what you actually get out of it... and the same goes to the Keyboard Cover... My uncle has the Surface Pro 3 with the cover and I had it in my house for a week, while I designed a cover for the back part of the device to be printed in 3D... And in my opinion the keyboard is ok, but it is not the most comfortable of designs... My post was just referring to my personal preference when it comes down to price... for the same ammount, my K810 has island-type of keys, illuminated, with hand sensing for auto lighting, ambience sensor AND it can fast switch to 3 devices... On the other hand it is far less portable than the keyboard shown on this article and it doesn't come with a case... but for me, the pros outweight greatly the cons for the same price.

4. waddup121 unregistered

Nice stuff

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