November 17, 2018
I've had this case/keyboard for just a couple days and overall it seems "fine." Setup is fairly simple, about the most difficult part is getting the remote to fit into this case; Another reviewer said he COULDN'T do it, but I can't say why given it's "doable," and really not that difficult.
So the benefits:
- The packaging is quite nice. I find that only matters if you guage the product by how it's packed. I know I do, but to me it's hardly critical. It comes in a nice white box, without a lot printed on it. The two covers (One for the standard remote and one for the speacdh remote that I use.) fit well inside, and the directions are actually quite helpful and easy to read. And it comes with a USB cord which is nice, I can just store that with the OTHER twelve or so THOUSAND USB cables I have. Ok, I might've exaggerated a tad, it's a welcome addition.
- It's a case. Not the best case, but the silicone makes the remote easier to hold, and it protects the remote well. And I like the translucent "color" of it. I wish they could somehow put a light in it since I'm an admitted "expert" in the area of "Where the HECK" did I put that?"skills. But that'd kill the battery life; I consider how far we've come in so many areas of "tech" -- we can now buy a couple terabytes of data-storage on a gumstick-sized board, but we just can't seem to figure out how to improve batteries that keep up with tech.
- It's quite easy to pair, as it should be.
- I've READ the battery life is quite good so kudos for that. I haven't had it long enough, however, to vouch for that. HOWEVER, on that matter, I've got to "applaud" them for their use of indicator LEDs. I know how long it took to recharge it because when charging it turns red, and (obsensibly) goes off when it's done charging. It may seem like a small thing but I've had other products, admittedly "cheapo" ones where the charging LED just stays on until you pull the charging plug off. And next to it is a blue LED that lights up when you first turn it on, then shuts off a few seconds later. And it flashes to let you know it's trying to pair. Both of those are welcome additions as well.
- Given what it's trying to accomplish, the case is quite small (Or better said: Relatively thin.) I'd prefer THINNER, and I'm sure that could've been done, but this "good enough" for now.
- You won't do much "touch typing" on this keyboard, but it's not meant for that. I won't exactly be finishing that "Best selling novel" I've let linger, but that's why we have "real" keyboards.
-And as far as the keys go, I'm ... impressed. There's nothing "outstanding" about the keys given how small they are and the task they're made for, but they do great at that, what they're MADE for. As I said, you won't be doing a lot of touch typing on them, but entering passwords and such they're fine. The layout of the keys is lacking any true "creativity" (It would be nice to have the standard L/R, U/D and "Select" button cluster," but there's really no room for that to do, easily. The keys are also protected by a square mesh of white plastic (hard) which helps, a bit, to prevent accidentally pressing a key. The keytops seem to have all the necessary "additional" keys such as "@" and "/" which is great.
- Backlight. Um ... YEAH! I just really struggle to understand why so few companies provide good backlighting in their keyboards (I'm actually speaking about those kybds targeted at Home Theaters that are generally in the dark.) But it's getting better. And this new model has a quite adequate backlight. No, it's not perfect, the light isn't very bright nor spread out "great." But it DOES do the job quite well, and I'm sort of impressed. I looked at it's precessender which didn't have a backlight so I just skipped buying one. When I saw this, at THAT price-point, I scooped one up. I'm glad that I did, mostly, but it's only been a few days so I'll see. Obviously having a keyboard is a "nice-to-have," but the backlights only make that better. If I could change just one thing (Outside of perpetual lighting and such) I'd make the case turn on the lights when you picked it up. Wouldn't be difficult to do, but for now pressing a key is "good enough."
- The size is good. It's not perfect (going back to that "thickness issue" I mentioned, but all-in-all, given the size of the controller you wouldn't really expect to have them make it larger. That would help since I have quite large hands and those buttons are a bit small for me (Plus, as I mentioned, the layout of the keys could be better were they to have made the overall project larger. But I think for most users this is just fine. Hey, I struggle to type a simple message on my "smartphone," so this is actually a nice improvement for me.
And now, the bad:
- While I said the case was well-made, and that's true, it could be improved a bit. It doesn't seem they spent a lot of time "fitting it out," and the case is a bit too small, I was actually nervous when I had to stretch it more than I'd expect, because the silicone is quite thing and I didn't want to tear it. I didn't, but I wonder how it would last if you had to do this a lot of times. And since you'll need to take the remote out of the case to replace batteries, that could become a problem. That said, though, on one top side (left) at the long part of the opening there ARE some small (quite small) tears that are easy to see, but don't appear as if they're about to tear any time soon.
Looking closely it "seems" to me a problem with how it was molded; the sides don't get stretched much while installing it. Further, the fit problem is noticeable on the top cutouts; it's a bit too "short" and needlessly rounded on the tail end so it just looks "odd." And further, I can only guess how this happened, but since the remote can work by speaking, this case COVERS the microphone! Who looked at THAT and said "Looks good to go for me?" That's just sloppy. I did test it, a bit, and it DOES seem to work fine, but I've had three other cases (Why three, you ask? I have a dog, still with most of his teeth, ok?) and none of them just kinda "skipped over" ensuring the various holes weren't covered over.
- And this may, or may not be an issue, but mine was sent with completely "flat" (dead) batteries. It charged just fine, and rather quickly. But in general that suggests the cells they used aren't "top quality." Only time will tell.
- And, it's just a bit "awkward" to hold. The base is wider than the remote (Which is good for me, there's more room for KEYS after all) and it's longer and completely square, outside of the rounded corners. Frankly, that's fine for me, but other people might be bothered for that. All together I think the size and shape was quite well done. If anything, should they come out with a "Version 3" or whatever, I'd hope they squeeze the keyboard down to half or better than it currently is.
Whew! All done. So, if you haven't fallen asleep by now or just skilled to the bottom I'd define it as "MUST BUY!" Obviously no one is going to DIE if they don't get this, or any case, but if you want something that simplifies the use of the remote, it's well-worth its cost.