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Fire Kids Edition, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case
Fire Kids Edition, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the extra over the non-kids edition, but buy a micro SD card too!, 3 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Father Christmas very kindly brought my youngest two one of these tablets each for Christmas.

I wasn’t really too sure what to expect, they have had tablets specifically designed for children before, but none of them have stood the test of time. They have had the Leap-pad, Leap-pad Ultra and most recently some kids Android tablet from Argos that was so regrettable that they both went back in less than a week as they both broke. I will find out the name of it and edit it in but the name escapes me just now.

The leap-pads were both trash, too dumbed down for 5 year olds (thinking about it, the girls were probably 4 at the time) and the touch screens were both terrible, one non-capacitive and the latest just not nearly responsive enough. Also the stylus that comes attached to the side of the device for use on the screen actually scratched the screen. Fantastic.

The Amazon Fire Kids edition is a different kettle of fish from these others. It’s a full blown Fire OS (based on Android) Tablet with a ‘Kids Mode’ profile on it. I looked at the Amazon fire Kids HD initially, but I’ve never heard a 5 year old moan about screen resolution so I decided to save Santa some money and go for the non-HD edition.

The tablet has a 7' screen which has a resolution of 1024×600 at 171ppi compared to the HD variant which is a 6' screen with a sharper 1280×800 at 252ppi, I readily preferred the idea of a slightly larger screen for the little ones so as not to strain their eyes.

I used a single Amazon account for the tablet and created both my daughters profiles under the same account. The good thing about this is that either one of them can sign in as themselves on either tablet. The downside is that both profiles take up space on both devices.

Given that the tablets only have 8gb of storage (about 5GB usable after the OS takes it’s necessary overhead) this was a huge issue. There are literally thousands of apps and videos at the child’s disposal on this tablet and the thing filled up almost immediately. This results in the WIFI being disabled and the tablet effectively being completely crippled until a parent intervenes and removes apps from the device to free up space. I did anticipate that this would be the case and the fact that the tablets will take a Micro SD card to expand their storage is absolutely necessary, so it’s worth factoring in the cost of a Micro SD card when considering the initial outlay on this tablet. Micro SD cards are relatively cheap these days, I ordered them both a 64gb one for about £12 a piece, which I didn’t think was bad at all. /edit just to add to this... It's worth buying the memory card at the same time as the tablet as although it's fairly straightforward to move apps from the internal storage to the SD card it takes ages and once they have been installed on the tablet rather than the SD card you have to move each and every app individually. A pretty tedious task that I could have avoided had I known this previously.

The kids profiles are pretty locked down, there are tabs along the top for “Books”, “Videos”, “Apps” and “Characters”. All fairly self explanatory, by “Apps” they basically mean games and under the “Characters” section there are sub folders for different well known children’s cartoon characters such as, Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat, Shaun the Sheep, Spongebob etc.

Also in this “Characters” section there are a couple of categories which they presumably didn’t think quite fit in anywhere else and wouldn’t have filled a page if they had their own section… Namely Sports, Science, Drawing, History, Maths, Foreign Languages and Planets, etc. To my mind these would have been better placed in their own “Educational” tab along the top instead of hidden away at the bottom of the “Characters” menu.

There is some seriously good material in here, at a quick glance I found books about Dinosaurs, Snakes, Planets, the Muscular System and much, much more.

There is also a “Read to me” section in here, which contains books which the tablet will read to the child. Some people may be thinking, but…but..but… that’s the job of the parent!!!! Whilst nothing compares to and nothing should substitute a parent reading to their child, again there is good stuff in here. There are several Dr. Zeus books (a firm favourite in my house) in which the words are all highlighted whilst they are read, giving the child a link between what they are hearing and what the words actually look like on the page. The child can click on any word on the page to hear it again. All the pages have pictures on and the child can click on the pictures too. If, for example, there is a picture of an alligator on the page and the child clicks on the alligator, the word alligator is read and put up on the screen in a large font to show the child. I can see this being a positive learning aid for children learning to read, rather than just a lazy parents substitution for reading their kids a story. Some of the read to me books are just a guy reading the pages whilst the child site there and watches, but the Dr.Zeus ones are much more interactive and way better in my opinion.

The number of books there are in the “Books” section is absolutely unreal, I thought the same list was just scrolling round in a circle until I finally reached the bottom of the list. It would take a child literally years to read all of it, I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many there are as it would probably take me all day just to count them! I may be exaggerating slightly, but let’s just say there are a tonne of books, which is great. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Amazon given their history with the Kindle etc. What strikes me as impressive, is the fact that every one has been hand picked as suitable for kids and every single one is FREE (for the first year at least)

Same with the videos section, there are a lot of videos on here, hundreds I would say, again, all suitable, and ALL FREE.

I have also discovered that you can take any app from the Amazon App Store and “Share” it through from the Adults profile (something I haven’t even touched on in this review!) to the Kids profile. As an example, I have added games like Crossy Road and apps like Netflix to my Children’s profiles to give them even more content!

To say I’m pleased with this purchase is a bit of an understatement at this point.

The case it comes in makes the thing feel indestructible and the fact that it has a 2 year smash it up and we’ll replace it anyway warranty means it doesn’t matter if it breaks anyways. This is a clever move by Amazon, even if it breaks they are almost guaranteeing that every customer will likely keep their kids subscription for a full year after it's free year runs out, so a nice little earner for them.

"Tip: Kindle for Kids Unlimited subscriptions start at £3.99 per month. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you'll be eligible for a discounted monthly plan (starting at £1.99 per month). "

To be honest, there is SO much content on here that I would actually already say that when the years unlimited subscription runs out I will probably pay monthly to keep all the content anyways assuming the kids haven’t lost interest by that point.

Battery life seems good, I’ve been charging them every other night and they haven’t run out yet, with some decent usage over the Christmas period.

The speaker seems decent, only mono, but loud enough for me to often have to tell my daughters to turn it down, and clear enough that they can always hear what’s going on. It is actually considerably improved by the acoustics that having the thick child proof case on the tablet provides. It sounds much less tinny and better with the case on. Which I was glad to find out.

These tablets are brilliant, my five year olds absolutely love them, my eight year old is pretty disappointed that he didn’t get one himself, even though he got a Linx 8 last year. It’s just a completely different experience from the Linx. Every thing is just there and ready to go, it’s all laid out nicely, and there is So, SO much if it that it’s just crazy. It would take me years and years to get this kind of level of content on my sons Linx and I can see why there is a hint of jealousy there.

You may be thinking, as I did initially when shopping around, that you could just get a standard (none kids edition) Fire much cheaper and just bung any old protective case on that to meet the same need. This is very true, but to me, the peace of mind of the no quibble warranty and the saving of £47.88 on the years subscription to the content helped me more than justify the firstly somewhat seemingly inflated price of these.

I got these in the Black Friday sales so the £30 I saved there made the decision even easier, but I'm genuinely really happy with this purchase. More importantly my kids are too... so that really has made these a great buy.

Cheers,

Alex


8Bitdo SFC30 GamePad Wireless Controller for Android/iOS/PC/Mac
8Bitdo SFC30 GamePad Wireless Controller for Android/iOS/PC/Mac
Offered by JALEX LIMITED
Price: £25.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So awesome, so retro, love it!, 3 Jan. 2016
The 8Bitdo SFC30 is a Bluetooth game pad which is designed to look and feel like the classic Super Nintendo game pad.

The SFC stands for “Super Famicom”, which is what the SNES was called in Japan and the 30 is to signify that this year (2015) is the 30th anniversary of the launch of the original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in America back in 1985.

I always loved the SNES and play a lot of Emulator games so this game pad was an obvious choice for me, having been looking for a bluetooth version for quite some time.

I found a good deal on Black Friday so I ordered two and eagerly awaited the postman. They came from China so I wasn’t expecting them to be here in time for Christmas, they took a couple of weeks to arrive but were well worth the wait and arrived just in time.

The packaging for the controllers is very nice, solid and good quality.

The controller is well protected, surrounded by thick foam inserts which grip the controller tightly inside the box.

The controller looks EXACTLY like the original SNES controller that I used so much back in the day, it is remarkable how well they have done with the look of this product, I wasn’t sure how close the look or feel would be to the original, but I am very happy to say that it looks near enough identical, aside from the lights on top where the cable used to be and the 8Bitdo branding.

In fact, it’s SO close to the size of the original that it is literally almost millimetre perfect. I can’t find my original controllers anywhere, but from reading up about the dimensions online they have got this pretty much bang on. It may be a couple of mm thicker to accommodate the battery and the bluetooth innards, but I can’t feel any difference in the hand and it genuinely feels like I’m holding the same controller I used to play with all those years ago.

The impression when getting the controller out of the box, aside from the obvious nostalgia, is one of absolute quality. The controllers feel just as sturdy and well built as the original, from the hard feel of the casing the the press of each and every button, everything feels like the original.

This thing is seriously impressive.

I’m so pleased with this purchase, it’s exactly what I was hoping for when I found it online and ordered it. So far I have paired it up with my iPad and iPhone both with retroarch installed. I use the official apple HDMI adaptor to plug them straight into the TV for some big screen gaming.

The pairing process was a little confusing, but pretty straightforward when you’ve finally worked it out. The supplied manual is clear and the only confusion is the number of different pairing modes. I ended up holding the ‘B’ button and pressing the start button at the same time to get mine paired with iOS. You do need to press this combination every time you turn the controller on to ensure its in the right mode as every mode seems to have a different bluetooth signature entirely.

For the second controller you do the same thing, but also hold the ‘R’ shoulder button down.

The pairing seems to emulate keyboard presses and holding the ‘R’ button down seems to tell the second controller that it’s using the opposite side of the imaginary keyboard for button mappings than the first controller. It’s worth unbinding the “Meta Keys” in RetroArch when using this pad as some of them seem to be bound by default to buttons the pad uses so you may find yourself accidentally putting the game into slow-motion etc if you don’t unbinding them.

In retroarch I had a right pain getting the second controller to do anything; other than let me map the buttons in the settings. Once I launched a game only the first controller would do anything and the second controller, although still showing as being paired, was completely unresponsive. This did my head in for ages and it was only once I tried changing the core I was emulating SNES with from “Snes9x” to “SNES9x Next” within Retroarch that everything sprung into life and 2 player awesomeness was good to go! This was a suggestion from a mate and saved me a lot of time messing about with settings so thanks for this dude!

I’ve played several hours of SNES games so far, from Super Mario World, to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, to Super Bomberman and SEGA Mega Drive (Genesis) games like Streets of rage and Road Rash etc. Man there are SO MANY good games and this controller is exactly what I needed to enjoy them all again!

I can’t get over how close to the original feel this controller is, every button press is perfect, just like on the original pad.

One thing that is worthy of note, and the only thing I would change about this controller personally, is that it is not MFi compliant (Made For iOS) so whilst I was able to use it perfectly well on my iPhone and iPad (both incidentally jail broken) I was not able to pair it with my Apple TV 4. This was quite disappointing as I wanted to use it on there too and I will have to buy a proper MFi controller separately for this purpose.

Other than that one minor gripe, I absolutely LOVE this thing. It is fantastic! I am sure my son and I will be using them for years to come so he can experience the old games I used to play when I was his age and I can re-visit them in all their glory; the way they were supposed to be played.

Cheers,

Alex
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2016 9:07 PM BST


Bose ® SoundLink ® Mini Bluetooth Speaker II - Carbon
Bose ® SoundLink ® Mini Bluetooth Speaker II - Carbon
Price: £149.99

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pricey but you get what you pay for and Bose do not disappoint., 3 Jan. 2016
The Bose Soundlink Mini II is a portable Bluetooth speaker available in two different finishes... Carbon and Pearl.

I have been looking forward to this one for a while now! I was first introduced to the Bose Sound link Mini when my friend at work brought one in for us to listen to some tunes on a Friday afternoon.

Having come from my UE Mini Boom I was absolutely blown away!

I instantly wanted one as soon as I heard it. I very nearly bought one, but the thing that put me off was that the speaker had a proprietary charger which I knew would be a pain to cart around with me, not to mention a nightmare if I ever broke it. I ideally wanted a speaker that could be charged via a standard USB cable. Not least so that I could charge it with my portable battery pack for times when I wouldn't be near a mains outlet. Sadly Bose didn't make a speaker that would charge via USB...

Then came the Bose Sound Link Mini II, which you CAN charge with USB. This bad boy went straight on the Christmas list.

To my delight I opened it up Christmas morning :D

The sound clarity on this speaker is absolutely crystal clear. The highs twinkle like the stars in a Christmas night sky and the the lows are deep and crisp and even!

Seriously though.. It is VERY good. It effortlessly fills a room, the sound is punchy and incredibly fulfilling for a device of this size. I say size, but not weight, this thing weighs a tonne! It's not too big to carry around in your handbag or hopefully some kind of more manly carrying receptacle in my case, but it certainly is too heavy for that purpose.

For this reason and this reason alone it won't be completely replacing my UE Mini Boom, I will still be using that to chuck in a bag and take on picnics with the kids etc, but I doubt I will ever use that in the house any more. From a listening experience point of view, this thing blows the Mini Boom out of the water in every possible way. I know people will be reading this thinking "how can you compare a £169 speaker with a £50 one" I agree, they are incomparable, but they are the only two portable speakers I own so, that's why I'm comparing them. If I had unlimited funds or people sending me products for review like some lucky people seem to have then I would be doing a much better comparison with something in the right price range.

Bose are renowned for quality sound, albeit at a premium price, and they do not disappoint. I've heard the Bose Sound Link, the bigger brother of this speaker and although it is louder, this speaker is just as clear. The bass on this one doesn't seem to go as loud as as the highs, when you turn it right up, arguably too loud, the bass seems to top out before the treble does, meaning that at it's extreme the sound is not as rounded as it is at say half volume. If I want music at that volume, I have a decent amp and speakers which I can use in the living room to meet that need.

The Bose Soundlink Mini II really is a beautiful thing. The build quality is exceptional, it's absolutely solid, like a brick. If you were looking for an extremely expensive murder weapon, or something to protect you from bears or other huge wild animals, I think you could easily use this to bludgeon a large mammal to death, possibly even accidentally, with it being SO heavy! I exaggerate obviously, but this thing is an absolute weapon.

Due to the weight and cost of this device and the fact that it's made from painted aluminium which could be quite easy to scratch, it may be worth buying a rubberised cover for it, they are available in various colours and don't detract from the sound as they don't cover the front and back grilles of the speaker. I haven't got one of these yet, but I think it's on the cards...

So yeah, if you have £169 to spare, or an extremely generous spouse with a penchant for making you smile at Xmas, put this speaker on your list :)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2016 7:10 PM BST


Mionix Avior 7000 Mouse (PC DVD)
Mionix Avior 7000 Mouse (PC DVD)
Offered by Dealtime IT
Price: £49.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless optical Sensor, love it., 8 Dec. 2015
Recently I've felt my gaming mouse was getting a bit long in the tooth, so I did some research to find an alternative and this was the one I settled on....

The Mionix Avior SK (the version I bought) is an ambidextrous (very important for me; with being a lefty!) professional gaming mouse.

I did a fair bit of research and reading other people's thoughts on the mouse before I bought it and I'm extremely happy with my choice! As you'll read below...

The mouse arrived in a sturdy, fairly minimalistic box with the familiar SK logo on the front of it and a picture of the mouse on the back.

I say familiar, familiar to me at least, but in case you have absolutely no clue who or what SK are, they are a professional gaming clan founded in Germany in in 1997, the SK is short for Schroet Kommando. I don't really have a clue what it officially means in English, but rumour has it that it's something like "Shrapnel Commando". Who knows, more importantly.. who cares? You're not here to read about that. :)

So... The mouse.. In short I ****ing LOVE this mouse. But we'll get to that..

First some technical details...

Sensor Specification:
ADNS – 3310 gaming grade IR-LED optical sensor
Up to 7000DPI
MAX tracking speed of at least 5.45m/sec (215 IPS)
No positive or negative hardware acceleration
Adjustable Lift Off Distance

Dimensions & Weight:
125.3×65×36.6 mm / 4.93×2.56×1.44 in
Netto (w/o cable): 100 gr
Netto (cable incl.): 146 gr

Package Contents:
Mionix AVIOR SK
Mionix logo Sticker
Quick installation guide

To highlight some of the specifications I actually cared about when I went looking for a new mouse I'll list a few of the key ones...

Ambidextrous design, palm or claw grip
The design of the mouse was very important to me, being left handed I had to buy either a left handed mouse or an ambidextrous one. These days that pretty much means ambidextrous or left handed Deathadder

Soft touch rubber coating
I didn't care too much about the rubber coating, but now that I've got it I have to say it feels uber smooth and just generally nice to the touch. It has the same feel as the wrist-rest from the Corsair RBG range of keyboards which I'll be reviewing later.

9 fully programmable buttons
The shape is completely ambidextrous and suits my rather strange left handed grip, where I'm neither palming it or using a claw grip, but a kind of hap-hazard effort of both.

There are buttons on both sides as in the pictures, two on each side in fact, then the left and right click, the mouse wheel which clicks in as normal. and two "dpi" buttons behind the scroll wheel for the "3 steps in-game DPI adjustment".

This is a nice idea in theory... for people who have an additional finger growing out of the middle knuckle on their index finger! I mean seriously... who can ever reach these buttons "in-game" In the heat of the battle, if I want to adjust the DPI on the game, reaching for those two awkwardly placed buttons (on this mouse and many, many others of this genre) is defintely a swift way to ensure I die before I snipe the person who's far enough away to warrant a switch to a lower DPI.

Mice like the Corsair M65 have the right idea here, with a dedicated sniper button which sits under the thumb, in a place where you can reach it instantly, like you need to. In FPS games, which I primarily play, a sniper button is a great idea, and can give you the edge IF, and only if, you can get to it, and then shoot someone in the time it takes the other person to just shoot you back. Something I personally would never be able to do in time if I've got to reach for a very awkward button almost in the middle of the mouse.

On a positive note... ALL of the buttons on the Mionix are programmable. So you can change the location of the buttons and disable any which you're likely to accidently press depending on your grip. One limitation here that I did discover is that you can't program a single button to have an action defined on pressing it and a different one on releasing it. So I wasn't able to make my own "sniper button" by setting say, mouse 4, to lower the DPI when I held it down and raise it again when I let go of it. This would have been a very nice feature and is something that other competing products in this category and price point do offer.

The actual switches inside the mouse are extremely sensitive, provide just the right level of feedback and are some of the best I've ever used. One thing that stuck me initially was that the mouse wheel is noticably more difficult to press than other buttons and indeed that the middle button on any mice that I've used in the past. I use the middle mouse for jump in games, so I may well use it a lot more than most people, I was worried that I wouldn't get on with it because of this. Turns out it's absolutely fine and whilst it's much harder to press than all of the other buttons, I do get on with it perfectly and very quickly got used to it.

Sensor Specification:
ADNS – 3310 gaming grade IR-LED optical sensor
Up to 7000DPI
MAX tracking speed of at least 5.45m/sec (215 IPS)
No positive or negative hardware acceleration
Adjustable Lift Off Distance

For me personally, THIS is what this mouse is all about! The ADNS – 3310 sensor is absolutely fantastic!!!!

I came from several years on a Razor Lachesis which was a 4000DPI Laser mouse and I could never say I found it as RAW feeling as my beloved Intellimouse Optical 1.1. The Lachesis is the main mouse I've used for years and I've gradually thought my gaming prowess had been slipping due to old age or something. I remembered how good I was when I used the old optical mouse and part of me always wondered... "are optical mice just better?" Surely my old Intellimouse must have been no match for the Razor? I couldn't be sure... for pretty much this reason alone, I decided to go back to an optical mouse this time around and the hunt began for a new mouse which would harp back to the days when I was top of the server all the time and loving every minute of FPS gaming.

Well.. I have to say, and I know this is purely subjective, I honestly think the optical sensor in this mouse is a close as I could get to that RAW feeling of pure accuracy I used to get all those years back. I'm a ****ing monster with this mouse! I genuinely can't believe the difference it's made to my game. I've shot back up the score boards on servers to the point where I'm once again dissapointed if I'm not top of my team if not the server. The way it used to be! ...the way it should be! :D

The DPI says it goes up to 7000, but I happen to know that the native DPI of this mouse/sensor is 1600, so that's what I use. I don't buy into this hole higher DPI is best mentality peronsally. I couldn't care less about the Max tracking speed either, because I'm not one of those people who whips their arm about like a fapping maniac when they're playing. In fact I'm the guy who doesn't move his arm at all the entire time he's playing. I move my mouse so little that it doesn't even look like I'm playing a game, it looks like I'm filling out a spreadsheet or something. I have the sensitivity high, 6 in windows, no acceleration, 5 in the Avior software, (which I haven't even touched on yet, but is very good) and about 5-6 in game depending on the game. (can post specifics for different games if people really care...which I doubt.) The mouse having no discernable hardware acceleration at all is a big bonus, and I think for me it's what gives it that "RAW" feeling that I missed so much. It goes exactly where you point it, every time, despite the fact I'm on a 10 year old mouse matt! (Func 1030 - exceptionally good. Will buy the newer model at some point for review) The adjustable lift-off distance, I initially never thought I would use, but it's actually awesome for me. I move my hand very little, which means I pick the mouse up fairly regularly to re-position it and the lift of distance being at it's lowest setting means the mouse cursor is essentially still in about the same place as it was when I took mouse off the mouse matt when I go to put it back on. On higher settings it wobbles about like an old drunk at a wedding when you lift it off the matt so it's nice to be able to eliminate that.

Honestly, I've written enough in this review that I'm boring myself now, so I'll do a seperate post about the software provided with it on my website, but it is very good... It does what you want. I'm the kind of person who gets things setup perfectly over the first couple of days and then never uses the software again, but it's nice enough to use and all the settings you need are there in easy to find places.

I've not even mentioned that the mouse is RGB, but it is, in case you are into that. My hand covers the lights almost all the time so it doesn't matter to me what colour it is, although I suppose, the OCD in me is secretly happy to know that under my hand is the same colour lights as I've programmed on my RGB keyboard.

The weight of this mouse is excellent. I think it's possibly a little heavier than my old Lachesis, which has been demoted to be my mouse in the office now. The weight isn't adjustable, which some mice of this price point do have as a feature, but that doesn't really matter to me. I'm happy with the weight of it and I'd probably have just send it back if I wasn't, instead of faffing about with little weights until I thought I was happy with it, but still couldn't really decide... ever.

The weight isn't that well balanced if I'm honest and when I pick the mouse up with my semi-claw-ish grip I do find that the back of the mouse tends to stay on the mouse matt, but I've actually got used to that and almost prefer it now. Especially as I barely have to lift it off the matt at all before the sensor stops registering movement. I don't know if the back of the mouse feet will wear out quicker than the front for me because of this, but the mouse feet are absolutely brilliant. They are smooth as anything on the trusty old Func 1030 matt which is fairly surprising because the feet are a lot larger than on other mice I've used, so there is some actual wizard business going on right there! The feet are so smooth that there is basically no resistance when going from not moving the mouse at all, a-la camping noob watching the double doors in counterstrike, to moving it a fraction of a millimetre to head shot the person who runs past the little gap in them.

Wow I feel like I've written a LOT about this mouse and if you've got this far I salute you because I'm genuinely switching off myself now.

TL:DR I absolutely LOVE this mouse! BUY ONE.

Cheers,

Alex


Anker® Bluetooth Ultra-Slim (4mm) Aluminum Keyboard for iOS, Windows and Android 3.0 and above OS with Built-in lithium battery
Anker® Bluetooth Ultra-Slim (4mm) Aluminum Keyboard for iOS, Windows and Android 3.0 and above OS with Built-in lithium battery
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £19.99

152 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and very lightweight yet sturdy - Excellent, 28 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Anker® Ultra-Slim(4mm) Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard Review

This is my first review of anything on here to date, I've decided I am going to actively review more of my purchases to make other people aware of any pros or cons with products that I have tested. As such I will be going back though my hardware purchases and adding in unbiased reviews.

There were specific reasons that I chose this particular product over the many alternatives that I looked into before making my final decision:

It has an inbuilt (rechargeable) battery
The keyboard is only 4mm thick
The price point (£19.99) is excellent

Having a built in battery, aside from meaning that I don't have to purchase batteries for the keyboard, also means that it can be manufactured much thinner than competing products as it doesn't have to house any relatively bulky standard AAA or even AA batteries.

Being chargeable via USB cable (supplied) means that I can recharge this with my Anker Astro E5 (other portable battery packs are available :P) so I never need to worry about running out of power.

Overall I am extremely pleased with this keyboard, it is sleek and very easy to type on. In fact I am writing this review on it right now.

The keyboard is supplied with a user manual, USB cable and 8 tiny rubber feet which you put on yourself. The manual must have been updated following previous reviews as other people stated that it didn't point out what the shortcut keys do, it does now so that's nice to see a company actually taking on board customer feedback.

Without the feet the keyboard will slide around slightly on a flat surface and these feet do a great job of preventing that.

They do add a tiny bit of depth to the keyboard taking it above 4mm at its thickest point, but not so much that it bothers me in any way.

You do need to be careful where you put them as the keyboard is so thin that it will flex under pressure if they are not thoughtfully placed. I put four in the corners around 2mm from the edges and then 4 more in a square towards the centre of the keyboard spaced out around 2 inches apart from each other.

To give you a better representation, the feet I placed in the middle are roughly beneath the following keys... "5", "8", "V" and "M" I did this because I had read previous reviews saying that the keyboard was flexing in the middle. This eliminated that problem completely and the keyboard feels sturdy under every key press regardless of which key I am applying pressure to.

Setting up the keyboard is a doddle even if you are non-technical, it's literally just a case of turning on Bluetooth on the device and clicking the connect button. When you tap on the "Keyboard" from your list of detected Bluetooth devices it prompts you to press a combination of four keys on the board and then it pairs.

One very minor gripe with the keyboard is that the aluminium on the underside of the keyboard is very easily scratched. I am gutted that I have already scratched mine. I accidentally let the metal hinge of my Smart Cover run across the back of the keyboard and it has put a minor surface scratch in the back. With this in mind it may have been nice if Anker included a soft fabric bag/cover for the keyboard when not in use to prevent it getting scratched putting it in and out of your bag.

The layout of the keys on the keyboard is very natural and there is only one point that will mean it takes a tiny bit of getting used to... The right hand shift key is very small and very close to the "up" key, which your little finger may find accidentally at times. So I've taken to using the left shift key as an alternative when I'm typing very quickly.

The only other thing I would have changed from a design point of view, personally, is I would have had the rubber feet in black, but permanently built into the underside of the keyboard. This way they could have been lower profile and much less likely to fall off once the keyboard has aged a little.

Both permanent feet and a supplied bag for protection would have increased the price point of this product so for 20 quid I think they have got it spot on. I would have paid £25-30 for it if it had a bag and some permanent feet, but I think for 20 pounds you really can't go wrong.

I can't really recommend this keyboard enough. It is brilliant. It is so thin that it actually fits inside my Belkin Pleated sleeve along with the iPad which has a Belkin Snap Shield Secure and a Smart Cover in place.

One thing I will say, of you are planning to work on this and using the "£" sign a lot then you have to use the iPad keyboard to do this as the Anker has a $ sign instead. This is not a real issue and it made considerably less of a ball-ache by the fact that pressing F4 on the Anker brings up the on screen keyboard; a nice touch.

I am so pleased with this purchase, although it is very early days I can see it lasting a long time if you take good care of it.

Although I am reviewing it from an IOS users perspective, it is worthy of note that it will also work with a Windows or an Android device.

In short, if you have 20 quid and want a highly portable Bluetooth keyboard, buy this.

I have given this product 4 stars, which for me is VERY good, I am not going to give a product 5 stars unless it really blows me away and I can't find any flaw at all.

If this was out of 10 I would have given 9, the only thing that lets it down, in my opinion, is having no £ sign for UK customers. The fact that I scratched mine within minutes of opening it is bugging me, but only because I'm an absolute perfectionist and I'm angry with myself that I wasn't more careful.

/edit since writing this review I have since learned that you can hold down the shift key and press 3 to get the £ sign! Have 5 stars Anker... Very, very well done.

Cheers,

Alex
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 9, 2014 1:24 PM BST


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