It is a sad fact that most tech manufacturers are working on creating their own ‘walled gardens’ filled with devices which only function in tandem with others created by the same company. From the Apple Watch to Samsung’s Gear watches, truly cross-platform devices are few and far between. For this reason, Microsoft’s Universal Mobile Keyboard is a breath of fresh air.
The device is a detachable Bluetooth keyboard which has the unique ability (in this day in age) to be able to used on both Microsoft, Android and Apple devices. This includes phones and tablets on Android, iOS and Windows 8.1 however strangely excludes Windows Phone devices. This being said the keyboard is obviously aimed at tablet users, making this only a minor omission.
In terms of features, the keyboard has all of the standard buttons that you would expect from a standard laptop-profile keyboard, included letters, numbers and formating keys. In addition to this, the keyboard features a ‘home’ button which can be used as the iOS or Android home key and the Windows key. Along the top of the keyboard as well as smaller buttons which can control functions such as audio volume and track track controls.
The keyboard is purposely made with a thin profile, and through the secondary black plate/stand, can fold into your tablet, giving it the form factor of a netbook computer. Unlike competing devices, it does not use standard batteries, but rather a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack which can power the keyboard for up to 6 months of use.
The Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard is now available for pre-order for $79.95 from Microsoft’s online store.
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