The nice folks at iPazzPort sent me a unit of the iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT Bluetooth wireless keyboard for a full review. First of all, please take note that this keyboard is available in 2 versions, a Bluetooth and an RF version. This review is for the Bluetooth version.
The iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT comes in a clear clam shell plastic packaging. Fortunately, you do not have to struggle to open the packaging as the two halves of the clam shell opens easily by just prying them apart. Plus one for easy to open packaging. A simple manual is included with the keyboard.
In my preview article earlier, I mentioned that the KP-810-25BTT comes with a USB BT dongle but sadly it doesn’t come with one. There is a space on the keyboard to store the dongle but this is for the RF version of the keyboard.
The iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT is different from the usual wireless keyboards from iPazzPort. iPazzPort’s previous keyboards are smaller and are about the size of a smart phone or had the form factor of a classic Blackberry phone. At 262 x 84 x 34 mm, it is about a quarter of the size of a normal full-sized keyboard. The actual keyboard is actually quite thin but there is a bulge at the back that houses the 2 AAA batteries required to power the keyboard. The bulge is also used to prop up the keyboard at a slight angle for easier typing.
While the packaging looks a little cheap, the build quality of the iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT itself is good. The keyboard does flexes when twisted but the printing on the keys look good. There is a slight unevenness to the height of the keys on one end compared to the other but this can only be noticed by looking at the keyboard from the bottom edge. This is not noticeable when actually typing on the keys though.
The feel and the size of the individual keys are similar to a laptop keyboard. The keys have quite a bit of travel when you press on them and have a soft touch, just like a laptop keyboard.
The key layout is similar to a laptop keyboard as well. There are 6 rows of keys including a row of Function keys and a numerical keys row at the top. The Function keys also double up as multimedia buttons for controlling media playback. There are also dedicated directional keys on the lower right of the keyboard.
Instead of having a touch pad under the keys, the touch pad is placed to the right of the keyboard. The touch pad also doubles as a numeric keypad although the keyboard itself does have a row of dedicated number keys. To switch between the 2 modes, all you have to do is swipe to the right or left at the top edge of the touch pad.
iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT Performance
The iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT is designed as a portable keyboard. I think the size is ideal as an accessory for a home theatre system. It works with Windows, iOS as well as Android computers. In other words, the size is just right for some quick typing to enter search terms or URLs but not something that you want to do a lot of typing on.
Ease of typing on the iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT is definitely tons better when compared to a normal mini wireless keyboard but because of its more cramped keys, it would take quite a lot of practice to type as efficiently as on a normal laptop keyboard. The other hindrance to typing normally on the keyboard is that the keyboards moves around easily when placed on a table surface. There are 3 small rubber feet that provides a little traction but there are none on the battery housing bulge that also rests on the table. As a result, when typing, the keyboards shifts slightly each time I press on a key. In fact, I found that the keyboard works best when placed on my lap if I want to type with both hands. Otherwise, typing with one hand while holding it with the other also works.
Pairing with a tablet or smartphone is easy. Just press Esc+K on the keyboard to set it to discoverable mode and then when the pairing confirmation window pops up, just type the 4 digit code on the keyboard. One thing to note is that the included manual mentions about an LED light that indicates successful pairing but there is no light of any sort on the keyboard. In fact, there is no way to tell if the keyboard is on or off without looking at the power switch at the bottom. An indicator light of some sort would be useful. It is also not known if the keyboard switches itself off to conserve battery when left unused over a period of time.
Most of the testing was done with an Android Mini PC as this is most likely one of the most common uses for this type of keyboard. While not as portable as iPazzPort’s other mini keyboard offerings, I kinda like the size of the keyboard. The touch pad is quite sensitive and I found the dual function as a number pad really useful for entering long strings of numbers.
When switched to Android mode (Fn+F2), there are many useful Android shortcut buttons such as Back, Home, Keyboard toggle and Search. All these functions can be accessed by a single key without the need of key combos.
The keyboard does not have backlit keys though so if you have a darkened home theatre, the keyboard may not be suitable.
I did try out the iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT with a Windows PC just to check how well it works. Things are not so smooth on the PC. I am not sure if it is a problem with my PC but I had a hard time getting it to detect the keyboard although it could detect other nearby Bluetooth devices. When I finally managed to do so after several tries, I couldn’t get the keyboard to work although it was paired successfully. I may update this if I manage to resolve this problem.
If you find the usual mini wireless keyboards to be too small to your liking, you may want to give the iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT a try as a companion to your Android Mini PC. It is the closest thing to a laptop keyboard but in a rather compact form factor. The touch pad is quite sensitive and makes navigation rather easy.