The 7 Best Foldable Keyboards

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in September of 2015. For when a touchscreen keypad is just not fast enough, or when you want to travel light yet still have the ability to work efficiently, you'll want to keep one of these compact, foldable keyboards in your equipment bag. They allow you to use all your portable devices more effectively, including smartphones and tablets. Most connect using Bluetooth and can be used in wired mode as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best foldable keyboard on Amazon.

7. Geyes 608

6. iClever BK08

5. MoKo Wireless

4. iClever BK03

3. Geyes 228S

2. iClever BK05

1. Desk Sushi R1

Special Honors

WayTools TextBlade The WayTools TextBlade is one of the coolest and most compact typing surfaces we've ever come across. It breaks down into a package considerably smaller than any other portable keyboard, and reassembles using high-powered magnets. The only catch? They're in extremely limited supply, and when the next release occurs, you'll have to really be on your game to get your hands on one.

Editor's Notes

November 19, 2019:

As powerful as smartphones and tablets are these days, it's completely reasonable to want to do a lot of work on them. To do so efficiently, you'll need a good keyboard. One major player in low-cost peripherals, iClever, has a few models worth checking out. The iClever BK05 checks quite a few boxes and is one of the few we found with a built-in backlight, making it perfect for getting work done when everybody else is asleep. The iClever BK03 is just a bit simpler and less expensive, while the iClever BK08 incorporates a touch pad, as long as you aren't using an Apple device.

The Geyes 608 is particularly useful if you're using it with a smartphone, though its kickstand isn't sufficient for larger tablets. For those cases, check out the Geyes 228S, which comes with a tablet stand that accommodate most, but not all devices. For sheer typing pleasure, the MoKo Wireless is hard to beat; it's also one of the quietest and most well-made overall, but some find that its key placement takes some getting used to. And then there's the Desk Sushi R1, which is especially durable when not in use and has two built-in speakers and a microphone, all of which sound much better than you might expect from such a lightweight and reasonably priced device.

Always On The Move

A computer keyboard is derived from the style of the original typewriters and connects to your computer so you can perform desired functions.

A computer keyboard is derived from the style of the original typewriters and connects to your computer so you can perform desired functions. Many keyboards can now be purchased as separate devices that connect independently to your laptop, tablet, or other mobile device for increased convenience. Some of these keyboards connect wirelessly using a USB port or Bluetooth connection. Foldable keyboards are designed for additional portability and convenience so you can easily take one along when traveling.

You can also get a foldable keyboard as a backup in case there is a glitch with your laptop while you are away from home, but most people purchase one to use with their tablets or smartphones. It makes working away from home much more convenient than usual and can be slipped into any carry on case for your next flight. They are especially useful when you know you are going to find yourself somewhere that taking your laptop along would be inconvenient.

Keep in mind that foldable keyboards are designed for convenience, not for ergonomics. While they can be used from nearly anywhere, they are not intended for extended, continuous use. There are very few fancy features that will help reduce your risk of carpal tunnel, so it is probably best to use one of these when you have a quick project to complete on your mobile device that requires more involvement than tapping on your phone screen.

Make sure you determine whether you prefer a USB or Bluetooth-enabled keyboard. If you plan to use it with your laptop, USB is likely fine, but if you plan to use it frequently with your tablet or other mobile device, you will need to go with the Bluetooth connection.

Check out the available function keys on any model you are considering. Think about what you plan to use it for and how many functions you will need to perform. Some come complete with full keyboard functionality while others only come equipped with the basics.

You can even consider some additional features such as LED back lights for increased convenience and visibility, durable aluminum casing, and automatic shutoff for battery preservation. Tactile feedback, latency, and charge speed can all be deciding factors as well. If you are going to be using it a lot, you will want as much comfort, speed, and responsiveness as possible.

To Fold Or Not To Fold?

There are several advantages and disadvantages to opting for a foldable keyboard. If you are a frequent traveler, the advantages of a foldable keyboard are likely to far outweigh any disadvantages you might encounter. And because they are affordable, they can be replaced when necessary with very little effort.

Unfortunately, foldable keyboards tend to wear out or break quicker than standard desktop keyboards.

The first and most obvious advantage is portability. These keyboards are extremely compact and lightweight to take along anywhere you plan to go. You don’t have to worry about accidentally punching buttons, since the keys are protected when folded, and some of them are even resistant to liquids, so if you drop a drink in your bag by mistake, you might still be protected.

On most foldable keyboards, you are going to encounter half-dome keys. These keys look like your average laptop keys but function like desktop keys. They are responsive and don’t require a hard press to register.

Unfortunately, foldable keyboards tend to wear out or break quicker than standard desktop keyboards. This isn't a result of insufficient build quality and components, but rather a result of constantly being jostled about when on the move and regulalry folded and unfolded. Their navigation can sometimes be difficult, as well. Often the keys are not in the exact same spot as you have become accustomed.

A Brief History of the Foldable Keyboard

The predecessor to the computer keyboard was the original typewriter. The QWERTY typewriter keyboard was invented by Christopher Latham Sholes in the nineteenth century. He filed the patent for his typewriter in 1868, but the first models weren't available to the public until 1877 and were made by the Remington Company.

The keyboards created to be used with early computers required a lot of intermittent steps in order to transmit the data between the keyboard and the computer itself.

Charles Krum, an American mechanical engineer, developed the teleprinter at the beginning of the twentieth century. Herman Hollerith created a keypunch device that was very similar to the typewriter in the 1930s. The keyboards created to be used with early computers required a lot of intermittent steps in order to transmit the data between the keyboard and the computer itself. This meant that things ran quite slowly.

Fortunately, technology advanced over time, and computer keyboards were developed that were capable of sending direct electronic impulses for a faster response time and more accurate typing. Modern computer keyboards are still based on Sholes’ QWERTY layout, but they do have a few additional keys, such as function keys and sometimes a numeric keypad.

In 2005, Ghia-Hung Liu filed a patent for a foldable keyboard intended specifically for use with portable devices. The foldable keyboard was designed with convenience in mind and has since evolved into a Bluetooth-enabled device for use with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

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Christopher Thomas
Last updated on November 24, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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