Top positive review
37 people found this helpful
This is the one you want for your Android device
on 9 January 2013
I bought this to use with my Nexus 7 tablet running Jelly Bean 4.2.1. I'd previously tried the Cerulian Mini Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad and iPhone but there were several symbols I couldn't get from that keyboard, so I carried on looking. I'm glad I found the Periboard-804 as it fits the bill nicely.
The keyboard measures a little over 10" by a little over 5" and came in a thin plastic wrapper inside the cardboard box. There was no soft case as reported by other reviewers. The layout is almost the same as my PC keyboard, complete with Windows Start Menu and Context Menu keys. There is a small set of arrow keys at the bottom-right that are a little fiddly but that become easier to use in time. These keys sit beneath the right-hand shift key which is about 3 times the size of the left-hand shift key. All of the keys are large enough for me to touch-type at a speed that I would guess to be in excess of 60 wpm. The more I use it, the more I expect to get closer to my average typing speed.
In the box with the keyboard is a small 20-page booklet, the first 7 pages of which are aimed at English speakers. These pages show pictures and diagrams of the keyboard, a list of what the function keys do under iOS, a list of what the function keys do in Windows, and a few pages on how to charge the keyboard (via the included USB cable in a suitable socket such as your PC) and get the keyboard connected to your Bluetooth device.
To sum up the Bluetooth pairing process, you get your device (iOS device, Android phone or tablet, Windows or Mac PC, or whatever) to actively search for new Bluetooth devices. You then switch the keyboard on using the on/off switch on the bottom, and use a sharp implement (a paper clip is ideal) to push the tiny button recessed button on the bottom of the keyboard. When the keyboard shows up in the available devices list on your tablet, phone, PC or whatever, you select it and you'll be given a PIN code. You type this code on the keyboard and press Enter and the keyboard will then be paired to the device and ready to use. At this point, it's advisable to switch your device's Bluetooth detection back to 'Paired devices only'.
To get it working with my Nexus 7, I downloaded and installed the External Keyboard Helper Demo app from the Google Play Store. Once the keyboard was paired with the tablet, I went into the Language and Input section of the tablet's Settings, and selected External Keyboard Helper. The keyboard then gave me the correct symbols that appeared on the keys. Prior to this the tablet appeared to be expecting a US keyboard.
From then on, every time I want to use the keyboard, I switch on the tablet's Bluetooth then switch on the keyboard and tap the 'Bluetooth keyboard' entry in the paired devices list and select 'External Keyboard Helper' from the 'Choose input method' dialog that pops up. I can also get the dialog to pop up by pressing Enter on the keyboard. When I've finished using the keyboard, I just switch off the keyboard and a dialog pops up on the Nexus 7 from where I select a virtual keyboard input (e.g. Android keyboard, Swype, Hacker's Keyboard). After this, I remember to switch off the tablet's Bluetooth.
So, it's that simple. If you've got an Android device, install Keyboard Helper Pro (you might as well get the Pro version but if you're not sure, try the Demo version first), turn on the device's BT, pair up the keyboard, and from then on it's plain sailing.
You can experiment with the keyboard to see which keys work with various apps but for now remember that the arrow keys and Enter work as you'd expect, the Esc key works as a Back key, and the Ctrl and Shift keys work as you'd expect for text selection.
THE KEYBOARD WITH WINDOWS 7
I have one of those tiny Bluetooth modules that plugs into a USB port. I plugged it in, waited until Windows had installed the driver, then turned on the keyboard. I clicked the Bluetooth icon in the task bar and selected 'Show Bluetooth devices' then clicked 'Add a device'. I then pressed the pairing button on the bottom of the keyboard and it showed up in the list of available devices as 'Bluetooth Keyboard'. I clicked that icon and got a 'connecting to device' message followed by an 8-digit PIN which I entered onto the BT keyboard. After about 10 seconds while Windows thought about it, I could use Alt+C on the BT keyboard to close the dialog. I also went to the Devices and Printers section of Control Panel to confirm that the keyboard was listed and shown as available. From then on I could use either keyboard to type on. Switching off the Bluetooth keyboard disconnected it but left it paired. From then on all I have to do is plug the Bluetooth module into a USB port and switch on the Bluetooth keyboard and wait a few seconds until the keyboard is useable. For now, I'll carry on using my regular PC keyboard, but it's nice to know that I have the choice.