I’m a fairly fast typer on my iphone, so debated for a while as to whether I wanted to get a bluetooth keyboard to carry around. However, there are certain times when I don’t want to have to lug my laptop around, but don’t want to try typing a huge long email on the onscreen keyboard… but might still have my rucksack into which I can just leave a small folding bluetooth keyboard sitting handily. Such as now, writing a keyboard review on the train.
For this purpose, I bought the Geyes Folding Bluetooth Keyboard for £50 on eBay. It sits as a small, light block in my rucksack front pocket, and will fit into my jacket pocket if I want to keep it with me.
The keyboard folds up neatly, with sliding clips to keep it closed, and sits happily without its carrying pouch or any attachments in my bag. To open, you slide the clips, unfold, and then push a large slider on either side that locks the four parts into two parts. With sliders locked, the keyboard still folds at the central hinge, so isn’t completely ridge.
The keyboard is actually full-size once unfolded; which is a bit of overkill for me, as I prefer something more compact; I was ideally looking for one like the Psion Series 5mx, which was fantastic, but sadly those don’t exist in this form.
The build quality is… average for Chinese no-name electronics. The keys are light and springy, and the ‘r’ key is already playing up slightly, after my second use. The behaviour is dodgy as well – every third or fourth word has either a missing, or repeated, character, I tried typing 01234567890 several times, as I suspected a problem in the bluetooth connection, but that works OK. I suspect that pressing keys too close together can confuse it – maybe it’s not properly buffered.
Pairing with the iphone was OK: you turn on Bluetooth and the keyboard, press a recessed ‘search’ button on the keyboard, and tap the ‘Geyes’ entry on the iPhone Bluetooth list. It asks you to type a pincode on the keyboard, hit return, and it’s paired. Once connected, aside from the repeating character issue, it seems stable. HOWEVER – I seem to have to re-pair each time. If I turn the keyboard back on, and tap it on the iPhone, then the iPhone is unable to connect to it without re-pairing.
Battery life is untested as yet – I’ve been using it for about an hour. The USB charger is a mini type-B, I think(?) – similar to a miniUSB, but untapered – so your blackberry charger cable won’t work. It also does NOT act as a USB keyboard – power only – which I suspected, but was hopeful it might.
So, would I recommend it? Well – No. Absolutely not. The build quality is poor, the bluetooth connection dodgy, and at £50 is way overpriced. I do sometimes buy dubious-quality no-name electronics such as this, but wouldn’t expect to pay more than £20 to put up with its foibles.
From my recent research, it seems these are a good choice for all-rounders that I can use for listening to music from my Laptop, PC, Media Center, and iPhone. Possible downers are poor reception when running, and high volume with the iPhone.
One annoyance I’ve had ever since SE discontinued the HBH-65, is pairing to multiple devices – ie. not having an ACTIVE connection, but being available to connect to whichever device devices to start firing music at it. I hope this is how these work, but as always, it’s pretty unclear whether this is the case.