Best Bluetooth keyboards
For anything other than tweets and status updates on Facebook, a Bluetooth keyboard can take the on-the-go typing experience that little bit further.
Able to work with almost any brand or model of smartphone or tablet, and appearing in myriad styles, it's a simple way of shrinking the mobile office yet further. Or is it? We got typing to put the bite back into Bluetooth.
One word of warning: while great for travel, Bluetooth is a poor choice as an in-flight work solution, where all wireless technology is banned in the cabin. And don't let anyone in an airport gadget shop tell you otherwise.
Best for versatility
Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810, £89.99
If you want a professional-feeling keyboard for using whenever, wherever and with whatever Bluetooth-toting toy you've got going, Logitech's pricey K810 is the one to go for.
It illuminates as your fingers approach the keyboard, then immediately fades if you stop typing, to save battery. Its solid, slightly curved and slightly concave keys are nicely spaced and make errors virtually impossible. Oh blimey, it's a good 'un.
Up to three gadgets can be paired with the K810 simultaneously (there are three Bluetooth "on" lights), so although the K810 can be used with only one gadget at a time, swapping between them is easy after they've been paired the first time.
Best for smartphones
Cygnett KeyPad Bluetooth keyboard, £19.95
This is the kind of gadget we love - cheap, cheerful, and just about good enough for the task at hand, the Cygnett KeyPad is primed for using with any Bluetooth gadget – though the ultra-portable smartphone office seems the most suitable.
Weighing just 220g and measuring just 218 x 91mm, the Cygnett is easily stowable in a jacket pocket, though we'd generally recommend it only for typing in short bursts. It's just big enough not to make too many mistakes (our sausage fingers did produce gobbledygook at first, but we got used to it after a few minutes).
It lacks the finesse of more-serious Bluetooth keyboards; in our test the all-important delete key acted as a backspace, though more irritating is the need to insert something sharp – like the end of a pen – into a recess on the rear to start the Bluetooth pairing process .Like most of its quirks, it's easy to get used to. To recharge, the Cygnett uses a mini USB-USB cable that's retractable, so it's ideal for travel.
Best for workaholics
Maroo Otago Apple Wireless keyboard case, £49.95
It's perhaps the most effective wireless keyboard around, and though pricey, Apple's Wireless Keyboard is perfectly suited to long – even permanent – stints on a desktop. Measuring a relatively large 280 x 132mm and weighing 322g, it uses two AA batteries and last for three or four weeks of heavy use.
The keyboard can pair with a number of devices, making it a durable choice for travel, especially if you add something like the Maroo Otago case, custom made for Apple’s wireless keyboard and the only product of its kind, to our mind.
The front flap of this leather case – which adds 277g – flips over to support the keyboard comfortably in two different positions, one slgithly more raised than the other. While in transit it grips the edges of the keyboard and wraps it in a padded wraparound SafeGuard case.
Best for iPad portability
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, £78.99
Designed for the iPad 2, 3 and 4, this Bluetooth keyboard clips to the front of its host as with any regular instant on/off magnetic cover, de-attaching to reveal a fully fledged keyboard.
The Logitech Ultrathin – which is about 8mm slim and stretches to 241 x 181mm up and down – adds 320g to the weight of an iPad (used with an iPad 4 it creates a reasonably hefty 977g gadget), but it's easy enough to travel with. The aluminium cover looks a tad Apple-y, too, though the Logitech logo is bound to raise a few eyebrows among fellow tableted travellers.
Simple to pair with an iPad, the keyboard was comfortable enough to use, though we weren't able to fully test-out Logitech's claim that its battery lasts for six months.
There's also a wraparound, softer-touch and solar-powered version, the Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio, which gets around the battery issue altogether. It too has a canal to provide an angled stand – it's an almost identical design and the keyboard behaves similarly.
Best for iPad mini
Mobile Fun KeyCase iPad Mini Keyboard Case, £39.95
Although small tablet smartphone combos have been used as portable offices for a while, it's likely that the appearance of the iPad Mini has got business travellers wondering whether they can dump the rest of their travelling tech for Apple's latest slice of minutiae.
Mobile Fun's KeyCase helps make the transition to tiny somewhat easier, and though this isn't the highest quality, it does a decent enough job. Measuring 164 x 222 x 28mm and weighing 395g, the KeyCase has a nicely throughout pop-put (and popper-attached) stand, wraparound magnetic fastener, and carved-out camera hole.
Best for speed
Scoshe freeKEY Pro BTKB2, £62.69
The Scoshe freeKEY Pro BTKB2 is built around a keyboard that we've seen sold separately for a few years. Scoshe has mounted the keyboard on a faux leather pad that softens the keystrokes somewhat, though simultaneously increases the weight of the product from 238g to 324g.
Although this is the keyboard upon which we made the most mistakes in our typing test, it's also the quickest around – once we got used to the slightly odd, spongy keys we got into a rhythm. The rubber keys are easy on the digits, too, though the keys' collapsible softness does take some getting used to.
Scosche also sells the Scosche FREEkey roll-up water resistant keyboard, which might appeal to those who like to travel light.
For those interested, the lead pic keyboard is a ZX spectrum converted to Bluetooth. Can be done here.