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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Something of a Disappointment -- BlackWeb Bluetooth Keyboard review.

Got myself a new keyboard to work with my Amazon Fire tablet.  I've had a Bluetooth keyboard to use with the thing, which requires AAA batteries periodically and which is small but not as small as I'd like.

This one is from Blackweb, and is advertised as a "magnetic" keyboard.  Don't think it is, I think the tablet case that came with it is magnetic and the keyboard has metal inside to be grabbed by the magnets.  Not sure, doesn't matter.  I wanted this one because it's USB rechargeable, and about the same dimensions as the Fire so it'll (more or less) fit in the same case conveniently.  Sounds good, right?

Yeah, well...

When they were managing to squeeze the keyboard into that small of a space, while they did a "full" QWERTY keyboard for all the letters, they put the punctuation in non-standard locations, just to fit it all in.  I've been a touch typist since, say, the late 1980s.  It's cramped-but-fine for letters, but my fingers expect the punctuation to be in The Usual Places.  So I type my letters, stop and figure out where the heck they put the single-quote or the dash, figure out which function key to use to get that characters to type...

Which, sad to say, makes the keyboard pointless and worthless.  If I want to take forever to type something while mobile, I can use the on-screen keyboard.  Or I can use my existing Bluetooth keyboard, which is inconvenient to carry around, and inconvenient what with the battery thing -- but is a usable keyboard.

This was a somewhat clever idea, but the execution sucks.  E.g., I tried to type this on my new keyboard.  Had to stop, didn't feel like typing till 3 am.  If one was -not- a touch-typist, it might be something you could get used to.  But if you're not a touch typist, why buy a keyboard to carry around?

Not quite as bad a purchase, a full-sized keyboard from WalMart's generic brand Onn.  I have three half or non-functional keyboards in a pile to throw out, and I needed something more usable and reliable -- which for me implies a wired keyboard.

So what do I think?  Well, it's a keyboard.  I can touch-type on it just fine.  The characters and punctuation are in the places my fingers expect.  Mostly.

Instead of the home-end-insert-delete and such keys being three across / two down, they're two across three down.  So I have to stop and look where the heck those keys are when I want to use them.  Designers.  Hate 'em.  Tis enough, twill serve.  But for a touch-typist it's a pain in the butt.

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