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Tablet Keyboard Review: Zippy BT-500 Full Function Bluetooth Mini Keyboard
      #41843 - 12/16/11 01:13 PM

Tablet Keyboard Review: Zippy BT-500 Full Function Bluetooth Mini Keyboard for Tablets and Phones
Reviewed by Tong Zhang

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4

What's Hot: Normal layout, dedicated Bluetooth keys, Bluetooth works very well.

What's Not: Keys are small and spacing is narrow.

Azend makes various portable electronics, audio products and Bluetooth keyboards. The newly released Zippy BT-500 Full Function Bluetooth Mini Keyboard has built-in Bluetooth 2.0 and works with smartphones, tablets and PC/Mac computers with Bluetooth input support. The keyboard is compact and has a standard layout. We tested it with smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS.



Design

The Azend Zippy BT-500 Bluetooth Mini Keyboard is compact and light. Measuring 8.86 x 3.9 x 0.93 inches and weighing 9.8 ounces, the Zippy BT-500 keyboard is small and light enough to take with you when travel or trips to the coffee house. The keyboard comes in black and keys have brushed surface that ensure you won't slip when typing on them. One very nice design is that the Zippy keyboard has two small built-in feet that you can flip open to create a comfortable typing angle, and fold up when you are done typing. The keyboard only has one LED on the front to indicate Bluetooth and battery status, leaving most space to the keyboard. The power button and Bluetooth pairing button live on the bottom of the keyboard, and they are easy to use. The Zippy BT-500 Mini Keyboard also has four rubber feet on the bottom and will definitely not slide when you are typing on it.



The Zippy BT-500 Bluetooth keyboard comes with 2 AAA alkaline batteries, and they should last you for months. You can turn off the keyboard when you don't need to use it overnight or after a trip to conserve battery.



Bluetooth Wireless

The Zippy BT-500 Full Function Bluetooth Mini Keyboard has built-in Bluetooth 2.0 and works with most devices that support HID profile over Bluetooth. We tested it with numerous smartphones and tablets, it paired and worked with all easily. To pair the keyboard, press and hold the "Reset" button until the front LED flashes blue, use your Bluetooth smartphone or tablet to search for the keyboard and type in the passcode that appears on the screen, you are good to go. The Zippy keyboard can also store multiple pairing partners and has 6 dedicated Bluetooth Fn keys for you to switch between devices quickly. You must press Fn plus one of the Bluetooth keys before pressing Reset to pair with a device in order to assign that device to the Fn key. The process is easy, and the keyboard works when switching between devices.



Typing Experience

The Zippy BT-500 Bluetooth Mini Keyboard has normal layout by portable keyboard standards with the space bar being large and sitting right in the middle. Nice! The keyboard has a large Shift key on the left side and a small one on the right. We like that the Back key is over sized and there are four directional keys on the right bottom corner. The keyboard comes with a dedicated Windows key as well as Fn keys masked in blue for working with tablets and smartphones. The function keys include Search, Home screen, lock screen, on-screen keyboard launcher, multimedia controls and volume controls. We tested these keys with tablets and phones running both Android and iOS, and found they worked with these devices mostly.





The mini keyboard has mini keys that are smaller than those on a full keyboard and even some mobile wireless keyboards we've seen. The spacing between keys is also quite narrow. If you have medium to large hands, the keyboard will feel a little cramped to you. The keyboard has good travel, and requires relatively form presses. If the size of the keyboard and the keys feel just right to you, the keyboard travel will make you feel at home. But if the keys and key spacing feel too small for you, the requirement for form presses might make typing experience even worse.



Conclusion

It's pretty cool when you can use the same wireless keyboard with all your devices, independent of which OS these devices are running on. The Zippy BT-500 works well with smartphones and tablets, and it's compact and light. We like the standard layout on the keyboard and dedicated Bluetooth keys to switch between devices. The key size is a bit too small for medium to large sized hands, and spacing is also cramped. But if the keyboard size fits your hand size, the Zippy BT-500 Mini Bluetooth keyboard should feel easy to type on thanks to the standard layout and good travel. The keyboard has scissor structure keys and should last you for a long time. It comes with a 3-year replacement warranty.

Price: $$49.99
Web site: Azend







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