16
May
wm_IMG_1228
Last Updated: July 23rd, 2012

It's no secret that I love tablets - I find them to be incredibly useful and fun tools. In fact, I've spent a lot of time as of late reviewing and comparing the most recent additions to the tablet world to one another. As much as I love tablets, though, they're not the best for productivity without some good accessories. Of those accessories, the most useful addition is, without a doubt, a Bluetooth keyboard; truth be told, I actually prefer a good Bluetooth keyboard and stand over the Transformer Series' keyboard dock in most cases - it's just a more portable and convenient option for me.

Thus, when I got a chance to review the new ZAGGkeys Flex keyboard, I jumped on it. This keyboard is a really neat accessory to have, as it caters especially to those who have both an Android and iDevice, and it can sync to both for easy switching (granted, you will have to pair it each time if using with multiple devices).

So, without further ado, let's take a look at the good and bad aspects of this keyboard.

wm_IMG_1242


What is it?

  • How much does it cost? $80 ($55 on Amazon)
  • Okay, where can I buy it? ZAGG or Amazon
  • The Bottom Line: If you're looking for a lightweight, portable keyboard to pair with your Android device, then the ZAGGkeys Flex is not only a fantastic option, but one that I whole-heartedly recommend.

The Good

  • Several Android-specific keys: Home, search, cut/copy/paste, music playback controls, volume controls, "menu," browser, and lock. Excellent! ALT + arrow keys work as home/end, while CTRL+ arrow jumps to the beginning/end of each word, much like on a desktop computer. Shift + arrows highlights words. Shift+ Delete actually deletes characters (delete normally works as backspace).
  • Form factor is excellent. It's extremely light; you won't even realize it's in your bag!
  • Pairing/Reconnecting literally takes a few seconds. Easy Peasy.
  • Speaking of, it can pair with both Android and iOS devices. And that's awesome.
  • Recharchable battery that charges over USB, and has extremely long battery life. Should only need to be charged three or four times per year, maybe less if you don't use it all that often.
  • The short USB cable that comes with it is pretty awesome. I love easy-to-carry USB cables, and this one would pair nicely with a good portable charger for your juicing your phone on the go (like the ZAGGsparq). Suh-weet.
  • Touch typing is nothing short of pure enjoyment on this keyboard. I actually typed most of this review using it.
  • The tablet stand is much more sturdy than one would think at first glance. It has magnets that keep it together - brilliant idea!
  • Caps-lock light! Never again yell at someone on accident.
  • Very well thought-out design. When wrapped up in the protective case/stand, the keyboard's design elements are highlighted. Classy.
  • Should look good paired up with any tablet (read: not overly iDevice-looking).

wm_IMG_1231 wm_IMG_1232

wm_IMG_1234 wm_IMG_1236

The Bad

  • If the speakers are on the bottom of the tablet (Acer A510, Toshiba Excite 10, for example), they are muffled by the stand.
  • The keys are slightly loud; especially the space bar.
  • Feel slightly cheap. Could be because it's so light, or perhaps because some of the keys feel "loose."
  • The keys are undersized, so it takes a bit of getting used to. However, if you can type on a netbook, then you'll be able to type on the ZAGGkeys Flexx without issue.
  • I would like to see some other Android-specific keys incorporated, like notification toggle, recent apps, and the app tray. If it had that, you could almost use your tablet without touching the screen.

Conclusion

wm_IMG_1227

As you can see, there's a lot to like about this keyboard - it's functional, light, has incredible battery life, and, most importantly, is a pleasure to type on. I readily recommend the ZAGGkeys Flex to anyone looking for a good keyboard to pair with their Android tablet or smartphone, as well as their iDevices - I'll probably never leave the house without it again.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Dresadd09691

    would like to see video though, pictures are meh. Seeing it in action is better to convince me 

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      A video of what? How the case transforms into the stand?

  • http://profiles.google.com/borcegeorgiev Borce Georgiev

    It's nice

  • Brie

    Something about reaching out and touching my tablet when I am using a keyboard with it does not appeal to me.  I feel like Im doing double duty. I need a bluetooth keyboard with a trackball or a touchpad. Either I use the touch screen or relax back and use only a keyboard.

    • ChumbleSpuzz

      As a transformer user with a keyboard dock, I have the option for both. I never touch the trackpad. It is simply so much faster to use the touchscreen than to place a cursor on a object an select a button. It becomes so intuitive that I find myself trying to do it on my laptop.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

        I absolutely agree with this. Android was designed with touch in mind, so that's definitely the most intuitive way to interact with the device. I used the touchpad on my Prime for all of a week before disabling it, never to be used again. 

      • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

        I did that with a friend's netbook a few weeks ago - he was showing me a rulebook PDF on his netbook (I forgot to charge my Transformer) during a gaming session, and I was desperately trying to advance to the next page with a swipe. This lasted for far longer than it should have before I realized that it was a Windows netbook, not my Android tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/NewPharo Khaled Mourad

    it is not a keyboard brand,  so expect produced by 3rd party 

    • Daniel Smith

      A 3rd party like Foxconn perhaps? Didn't these guys co-brand a keyboard with Logitech?

  • Daniel Smith

    Thanks for the great review. I'm looking for a mobile keyboard to use with my Galaxy Note, having given up on my Rapoo E6500 (beautiful but too small to type), I'm left looking at the Zagg Flex or the Logitech. Logitech is a bigger (90% vs 100%) and better 'keyboard' while Zagg looks beautiful and is more refined (eg internal battery): Any other reasons to choose one over the other?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenyattah.robinson Kenyattah Robinson

    I'm trying to pair my Droid Razr Max with the keyboard but unlike my Samsung Galaxy Tablet, for which I've had no issue pairing, there is no code that appears on the phone to enter into my keyboard. Further, my keyboard is non-responsive. Is there something that I am not doing correctly?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeniferru Jenifer Ruiz

    Kenyattah I have the same problem. No code to pair with my phone. Did you ever find out what's the code?

  • jld

    Is it possible to use international keyboards with this the ZaggKeys Flex on an Android device? I can't seem to make it happen (though I can of course get the standard keyboard on my device to toggle to international keyboards....) Any feedback greatly appreciated!

    • Jaypee

      Hi, you can change the keyboard with Shift+ Space Bar in Android. It works perfect in Galaxy Note.

  • Rusty

    Thanks for the Home End tip. I love my Zagg.

  • http://www.integralcolor.com/ Barbara Jacobs

    I went to a local att store hoping to test with my nexus7 but even though it appeared to have "connected" it was not functional. Was that the nexus? (seems not, from your other comments). They guy there was unable to figure it out...I thought maybe not charged but he said that it was...

    Also: can I use a bluetooth mouse with this also or will something not work with the keyboard in that case?

    thanks
    B.Jacobs

  • John Médaille

    How do you get rid of the on-screen keyboard?