CIO.com blogger Paul Mah spotlights some of the top portable tablet keyboards available today, including keyboards for your iPad, Android tablet and Windows 8 slate.
By Paul Mah, CIO
With the rumored iPad “mini” tablet and Windows 8 Surface devices expected to be released during the coming months, it is a good time to find a portable, wireless keyboard for your current or future tablet. Here’s a list of my favorite wireless tablet keyboards.
The ZAGGkeys Flex Bluetooth Keyboard is a portable tablet keyboard with chiclet-style keys. It’s also the lightest and smallest keyboard in this list, and it is designed for use with Android and iOS tablets. The keyboard’s multimedia and shortcut keys are compatible with both platforms.
You recharge the internal lithium-polymer battery using a standard USB charger or port. A protective cover cleverly folds into a stand that can be used to prop up tablets and smartphones. One negative: I don’t like how the faux-felt material of the cover readily attracts oil and dust.
Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard
The Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard is designed for use with mobile devices running Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 OS and Windows RT, but it also works with Windows 7 PCs, Mac OS X machines, iPads and Android tablets.
The best thing about the Wedge Mobile Keyboard is how its oversized keys, which are as large as standard desktop keyboard keys, let you type fast with few errors. However, its wedge-shaped compartment under the keyboard that holds the batteries makes it too large to use with some very slim cases. The Wedge Mobile Keyboard is expected to ship soon.
Logitech Tablet Keyboard
The Logitech Tablet Keyboard is a compact keyboard designed to be used with Android tablets. A protective carrying case doubles as an adjustable stand to prop your tablet up at an angle that’s ideal for typing.
The full-sized portable keyboard features chiclet keys for an excellent typing experience. In fact, the Logitech Tablet Keyboard would work well as a desktop keyboard too. The Logitech Tablet Keyboard is powered by four AAA batteries.
Logitech Solar Keyboard
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 isn’t branded as a portable, tablet keyboard, but its ability to rapidly switch between three different Bluetooth devices makes it ideal for use with tablets and smartphones. I love the chiclet keys and the unique concave-key design on this full-sized keyboard.
An integrated solar panel and internal rechargeable battery means you won’t have to scramble to recharge or buy fresh batteries.
Apple Wireless Keyboard
The Apple Wireless Keyboard is a sleek aluminum keyboard with full-sized chiclet keys. Like the Logitech Solar Keyboard, it is really designed for the desktop, but its slimness and strength make it ideal for the rigors of the road. And a number of companies, including San Francisco-based SF Bags, make high-quality keyboard cases designed specifically for Apple’s keyboard..
The minimalist style and footprint of the Apple Wireless Keyboard make it small and sleek. Unfortunatley, it doesn’t have a stand or other component to prop up your tablet–you’ll need a tablet case with a built-in stand for that.