I have reviewed a few Android mini PC devices from iPazzPort including the rather unique iPazzPort Pearl awhile ago. However, iPazzPort is better known for their wireless mini keyboards. Recently, iPazzPort released a brand new mini Bluetooth keyboard, the KP-810-16BAR. The KP-810-16BAR looks very much like the older KP-810-16 keyboard except for a few differences.
Firstly, the KP-810-16BAR is a Bluetooth keyboard while the KP-810-16 uses RF wireless technology. Bluetooth provides a more stable connection compared to RF as the 2.4 GHz RF frequency that it uses is prone to interference by other 2.4 GHz devices including WiFi routers, RF remotes and even the microwave oven.
Secondly, the KP-810-16BAR does not have IR controls on the reverse side of the keyboard. Instead, the KP-810-16BAR comes with a silicon jacket that lets you mount the Apple TV controller at the bottom of the keyboard. Obviously, the KP-810-16BAR is targeted at Apple TV users who are tired of pecking at the on screen keyboard with the basic Apple TV remote whenever they want to enter text.
However, the KP-810-16BAR works not just with the Apple TV but with most devices that support a Bluetooth keyboard including Windows, Limux and Mac OS computers. It even works with Android devices like the Android Mini PC, Android smartphone or Android tablet as long as it has Bluetooth.
The KP-810-16BAR keyboard comes with a silicon jacket that holds an Apple TV remote (not included), a USB charging cable, a USB BT receiver and a user manual. I had problems finding the BT receiver. It turned out that it is stored under the back cover of the keyboard. Just pry the cover open using the small notch at the bottom.
At first glance, the KP-810-16BAR looks exactly like the KP-810-16 on the keyboard side. The only difference is the BT key instead of RF that is used for pairing the keyboard. The layout of the keyboard is the same which means there is no slight offset between the rows of keys like on a proper keyboard. Some people may find this an issue but since it is not a full sized keyboard and I’m typing using my thumbs, this is not a problem for me.
The construction and quality of the keyboard is good. The metallic band around the edges gives it an iPhone-like look. The keyboard itself is very light as it is made of plastic.The keys have a rubbery texture on them which make them comfortable to type on. There are 6 rows of keys in total. The top row consist of the function keys plus a few other keys including the BT key for pairing. The function keys also double up as multimedia control keys when used in conjunction with the Fn key.
The second row is the numbers keys which also double up as sign keys just like on a normal keyboard. The next 3 rows are the mainly alphabet keys in QWERTY layout. Last but not least is the spacebar and arrow keys row. It also contains the Fn, Shift, Ctrl, Win and Alt keys among others.
On the right side of the keyboard are the air mouse keys which consist of the left and right mouse buttons plus the air mouse toggle button in between them. There is also an LED light near the right mouse button that indicates that the keyboard is paired and working. It is also doubles up as a battery level indicator when charging.
At the bottom edge are the Page Up and Down buttons plus a LED flash light button. The flash button switches on an LED light that is mounted on the right edge of the keyboard. It is a rather strange function to have on a keyboard. The only use that I can think of for this flash light is to use it as an emergency flash light in the dark environment of a home theater room.
Lastly, on the left edge of the keyboard is a mini USB port for charging the built-in rechargeable battery plus an on-off slider power switch that switches the keyboard on and off.
KP-810-16BAR iPazzPort Bluetooth Fly Mouse Keyboard Performance
The KP-810-16BAR keyboard has a fly mouse feature. If you do not know what this is, think of a Nintendo Wii remote. A fly mouse has a built-in gyroscope that allows you to control a cursor on the display using hand gestures like a Wii remote.
The response and sensitiveness of the air mouse function is pretty good. Using Bluetooth instead of RF resolved interference problems that are associated with RF transmitters. The range is also quite good. I can get a good connection up to a range of at least 20 feet away from the receiver. This means that I can switch music tracks or adjust the volume when I am in the next room using the keyboard controls. The Bluetooth connectivity allows the KP-810-16BAR to be used with a wide range of Bluetooth enabled devices including the Apple TV. For computers that do not come with Bluetooth, a USB BT dongle is included with the keyboard.
The keyboard is designed to be held in either horizontal position (for typing) or vertically, like a remote which is a more suited for using the air-mouse functions. There is a orientation key that switches between the two orientations. Take note that the position of the mouse buttons have been reversed. The left mouse button is located on the right and vice-versa. Though it may seem strange but it actually makes sense as the left mouse button is used more often and if you are holding the remote in your right hand, the right button (that triggers the left mouse button) is more easily accessed with your right thumb.
If you are using the KP-810-16BAR with an Apple TV, you can slip the Apple TV remote snugly into the jacket that comes with the keyboard. If you are not using an Apple TV or do not wish to attach the remote with the keyboard, you can remove the jacket. Having the Apple remote mounted to the keyboard gives Apple TV users the best of both worlds, the simple Apple remote control buttons for media playback and navigation plus a full QWERTY keyboard for text entry.
Since the Apple remote is mounted at the bottom of the keyboard, the fingers on you right hand can accidentally press on the buttons when using the keyboard. However, this is usually not a problem as the Apple remote is an IR remote and the right hand is normally covering the Apple remote’s IR transmitter when using the keyboard. This is more of an issue when using the keyboard’s air mouse function which has the IR transmitter facing the TV.
The keys on the keyboard give a satisfying click when pressed on so that you know for sure that the key is properly pressed. However, the keys are a little stiff. This means that it might be a little difficult to speed type on this keyboard. Using the KP-810-16BAR for typing does make a huge difference between using an IR remote for text entry and using a proper although mini-sized keyboard. If you are frustrated with the confusing and time consuming hunt and peck method of text entry on an Apple TV or other home theater system, a proper QWERTY keyboard is heaven sent.
I wish that the top row of keys had defaulted to the multimedia keys instead. The multimedia keys are more likely to be used compared to the function keys. After all, this keyboard is aimed at the home theater crowd. With the current layout, accessing the multimedia keys requires 2 hands. Not really practical if you need to quickly press the “pause” key for example.
Another function that I found lacking is backlighting for the keyboard. A keyboard that is most likely used in a darkened home theater environment should have backlit keys.
I also wish that the Page Up and Page Down buttons were replaced with a scroll wheel instead for easy scrolling of web pages. The Page Up and Down buttons while workable, are not as user friendly as a scroll wheel. Using the air mouse for scrolling is also a little awkward.
The KP-810-16BAR iPazzPort Bluetooth Fly Mouse keyboard is targeted at Apple TV users who are looking for a better and much easier way to enter text. As an added convenience, the keyboard comes with a jacket that lets you slip the Apple remote to the bottom of the keyboard creating an all-in-one controller.
However, the KP-810-16BAR is not limited to just Apple TV users. The Bluetooth connectivity allows it to connect to devices that has built-in Bluetooth including Android and other iOS devices. The keyboard also comes with a USB BT dongle that can be attached to a computer that does not have built-in Bluetooth.
There are a few things that I wished that iPazzPort had done differently but overall, the KP-810-16BAR is a good device to pair with a home theater device that allows easy text entry using a QWERTY keyboard.