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Matias’s keyboard puts us one tiny step closer to the Jetsons’ fold-up car.
We’re keyboard snobs, and writely so. (Ouch!) If you are too, and don’t like your laptop’s keys or wish you had a fully extended key layout you could take with you anywhere, consider the Folding Keyboard. The device lives up to its name, folding over itself into a thin package that’s not much longer than a typical paperback. While this is easily one of the best solutions we’ve found for road warriors who need an external keyboard, a handful of minor problems detract from an otherwise nimble product.
The keyboard’s solid plastic body and springy keys hold up to a heavy touch. In fact, the tight rubber pads might even take too much pressure; we liked the action on all of the responsive, full-size letter keys, but we sometimes didn’t push hard enough to register a return. We eventually got used to the Return key’s threshold, but light fingered-typists should take note.
The number pad, arrows, and other major keys retain their standard shapes, but the F row and other special buttons—such as Forward, Delete, and End—only rate half-size keys. In practice, this didn’t bother us much, since we don’t use those keys often anyway. Heavier users of those keys might feel differently. Small volume buttons adorn the keyboard’s top-right corner, and while their shape baffled us, we liked their convenient location. A more confusing twist moves the Caps Lock key under the question mark, and replaces that original button with a Function modifier. Again, we rarely use Caps Lock—which could have been Matias’s justification for the shuffle—but some users might be puzzled.
Key placement aside, the folding shape is truly impressive, neatly latching shut when closed. Too bad an ugly USB cable juts awkwardly out of the side when the keyboard’s in use, making us long for a retractable cable or Bluetooth option.Despite a few compromises and the occasional odd key placement, the Matias Folding Keyboard offers a practical way to take an extended keyboard anywhere.