After a less than successful first try at a portable BT keyboard for my 8” Asus tablet, I decided to step up a bit and try the Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard. Although it costs a full $16 more than my first try, it does include a keyboard cover, eliminating the need for me to pay $8.99 for a silly sleeve pouch.
The Wedge Mobile measures about 10” long and 4” tall. A bit wider than my tablet, but that means bigger keys. While the keyboard measures just over 1/4” in thickness, the large wedge in the back, which hold the two “AAA” batteries and comfortably tilts the keyboard, makes it almost 1” thick. No mention of how long the batteries will last, but if it’s anything close to my Microsoft 2000 Wireless keyboard, which uses the same two AAAs, you can expect many months of typing. The keyboard itself weighs about 8.5oz (with batteries installed). But the cover adds another 7oz, making the combo just about a pound.
The cover is a hard, rubbery material, that can be folded at the middle to serve as a stand for your phone or tablet. The cover is magnetized so when you place it over the keyboard, it will power down. The keyboard has no switches or buttons. To power it on or off manually, pressing the combination; FN + ESC, will toggle power. When the keyboard turns on, a small green LED above the “7” key will illuminate for a couple seconds indicating it’s powered up. If the battery is running low, the light will glow red. You will also see this LED turn on briefly when you lift off the cover. Not sure if or when the Wedge Mobile goes to sleep with the cover off. I let my tablet go to sleep for 30 minutes with the keyboard connected and when I woke the tablet, the Wedge was ready to go instantly, picking up where it left off in the same document. I also manually powered the Wedge off, installed the cover and allowed my tablet to go to sleep with a document open. When I woke the tablet and lifted off the cover, the Wedge Mobile was again ready to go.
Typing on the Wedge Mobile is as comfortable as you can expect from a 10” wide keyboard. The tilt helps a bunch and all keys are properly proportioned. Although the Wedge will work with Android or iOS devices, it is specifically designed for Windows 8. It of course has a Start button. But also includes a right click button, along with Search, Share, Devices & Settings charm buttons. The standard audio controls are also along that top row. One small niggle is a slight wobble from top left to bottom right of the keyboard. I checked with a straight edge and a piece of paper, verifying there is a slight warp in the lower right corner. Microsoft chose to add a long rubber strip along the bottom front edge of the Wedge which does not help the problem. Small feet in the two front corners (think three points of contact) would have countered any kind of minor warping problems in manufacturing.
Overall, the Wedge Mobile looks good and works well. Although a bit more expense than the competition. You can find it on Amazon for $43.95.