The 6 Best Roll Up Keyboards
This wiki has been updated 34 times since it was first published in October of 2015. Ideal for traveling professionals, college students, or those with limited carrying space, these roll-up keyboards combine easy-typing capabilities with minimal weight and size. Thanks to their flexible, silicone construction, they can be tossed into a carry-on, purse, or even your pocket, and they're perfect for taking notes or keeping up with emails while you're away from home. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 28, 2020:
Because the category of roll-up keyboards still remains quite niche, it doesn’t yet offer a ton of high-quality choices. On that note, if convenience and portability are your main priorities, you may have better luck with foldable keyboards. This category includes higher-quality options that are just as portable and compact as the rolling kind. However, if you're interested in roll-up keyboards for another reason, such as their waterproof material or silicone flexibility, we've got you covered. In the interest of including only the most deserving, high-functioning options, our updated list features just six, standout keyboards.
If you will be using your keyboard primarily for travel or on-the-go work, there are some super lightweight options on our list you may want to consider. The Rocksoul Slim only weighs four ounces, while managing to incorporate a standard sized keyboard. With a generous length of 17 inches, you won’t have to adjust to a tiny, space-saving layout. Similarly, the Fly Way Soft Touch is slightly over four ounces and is the smallest choice on our list. At only 14 inches long, it contains just 85 keys, and though the size may be tricky to get used to, it definitely lends itself well to travel.
If convenience is a top priority and you don’t want to deal with cords that slow you down, check out the two wireless options on our list. The Onlywe Wireless works within a 32 foot range and doesn’t require any instillation before use. However, the keys are tough to push and may contribute to spelling errors. Our other wireless option is the HDE-X65. It has a professional design and is comfortable to use, but it does not have an off switch, which means you will have to take out the batteries when not in use to avoid wasting power.
If you like the idea of a roll-up keyboard less for their practicality and more for their quirky look and feel, you may like our less professional options. The Chin Fai Portable is a quality keyboard that features a clear base so the buttons really standout. It’s available with bright blue keys and is really quiet when typing. Additionally, the Fly Way Soft Touch is adorably small and you can get one in bluish-purple or candy pink.
In addition to replacing a few unavailable and outdated devices, like the Lindon-Tech Mini, the LG Rolly 2, and the Desk Sushi, we also removed the Cellet Wireless BKP200 and the Microsoft Universal GU5. While these are excellent keyboards, they lack a roll-up design and don't quite fit the category.
May 14, 2019:
This category seems at times to be as flexible as the keyboards themselves, and that's allowed us to include the likes of the Microsoft model at number one, which is incredibly portable, as it's a small, thin, lightweight option that folds conveniently in half. Does it roll up? No, not technically, but it will provide you with the very things that the spirit of the roll-up would mandate, namely portability and functionality. Also, its keys are a lot more responsive than the typical silicone of roll-up boards, giving you a better typing experience and improved accuracy. The Cellet model on our previous list has been upgraded to a similar device, but Microsoft outdoes them at just about every turn. One of the most exciting additions to this list that is technically a roll-up model is the delightful Desk Sushi. It nicely combines a lean, capable design with some lighthearted elements from the world of Japanese cuisine.
Portability And Convenience: The Roll Up Keyboard
In function, roll up keyboards operate much like their standard, rigid counterparts.
Anyone accustomed to using a full-sized alphanumeric computer keyboard, frequently known as the "QWERTY" arrangement, is likely comfortable with a 101- or 104-key complement. The keys usually measure three-quarters of an inch across their central angle, and the keyboard usually has an overall width of around 17 inches, with a depth of approximately six inches. Switching to the minute keyboard of a notebook-sized device, or attempting to word process using a touchscreen phone or tablet, can be frustrating and inefficient for many people long-accustomed to using full-sized keyboards. Fortunately, you can easily bring along a full-sized keyboard anywhere you go, just so long as you have a bit of room in your purse, backpack, or briefcase. A roll up keyboard occupies only about as much space as a 12-ounce beverage can when furled into a tight package.
In function, roll up keyboards operate much like their standard, rigid counterparts. And there are only a few factors that differentiate one rolling unit from the next. These include power supply first and foremost; some use electricity borrowed from your computer or tablet via USB connection, while others have their own batteries (more on that below). Some roll up keyboards are wireless (these of course have their own power source) and are ideal for use with Bluetooth enabled hardware. And almost all roll up keyboards are relatively low-cost, making their purchase reasonable even if you will only use one on occasion.
There are a few unique attributes many rolling keyboards offer that can't be matched by almost any standard keyboard, and for which some people choose to make this type of hardware their primary option. Many roll up keyboards are completely waterproof, quite able to resist not only drips and spills, but even immersion in water without failing. This makes their use more than safe for those accident-prone individuals who tend to send cups of coffee or bottles of water spilling with regularity, but also makes them great choices for those who need to do work, enter data, write, or game in unpredictable environments, such as while traveling or camping. A tablet computer housed in a water-resistant cover paired with a waterproof roll up keyboard allows for easy, convenient typing in all-weather conditions.
Roll up keyboards also offer one more benefit that few traditional keyboards can match, and that is their near silent operation. Most such keyboards produce such little noise at each keystroke that it can hardly be detected even in the silence of a bedroom or dormitory, making these keyboards ideal for people who often work, write, game, or browse the web after those nearby have gone to sleep or while someone else is trying to read, chat, or watch a show.
And note that one thing a potential roll up keyboard consumer must be ready for is the lack of tactile feedback this type of hardware produces when compared to a traditional option. It will take some time to adjust to the minute response perceptible at each keystroke, which has some typists initially second-guessing whether or not they have properly struck a given key. With time, most users will adapt to their new system fully and will type just as rapidly and accurately as when using any other keyboard.
Great Accessories For Computing On The Go
Most people who buy a roll up keyboard do so to ensure they can enjoy easy typing while away from home. Those that spend enough time using their tech hardware while on the go can also often benefit from a few other key gadgets and accessories designed for convenience and to extend and expand your computer/tablet usage capabilities away from your home base.
With a full-sized mouse and keyboard that can nonetheless be packed away into a small bag or large pocket, you can establish a mobile work or gaming space anywhere.
If you use a separate keyboard in conjunction with a tablet or smartphone, then a waterproof or shockproof case is a great idea for protecting your device, especially as it will not be in your hands as you use it, and thus will be more susceptible to damage from drops, spills, and so forth.
As noted, some roll top keyboards use the device to which they are connected as their power source; if said device is a tablet or smaller laptop computer that is running off its battery, then the time you have between charges will be shortened by the use of a connected keyboard. Consider the purchase of a portable charger that can quickly re-energize your portable device, or keep a car charging device on hand for use during commutes.
Finally, anyone who prizes the convenience and portability of a roll up keyboard will also love the ease-of-use that comes with a good wireless mouse. Most wireless mice are plug-and-play ready, requiring only the connection of a small USB chip slid into a computer's port for instant, accurate connectivity. Others are Bluetooth ready and are perfect for smaller devices that do not even have USB ports. With a full-sized mouse and keyboard that can nonetheless be packed away into a small bag or large pocket, you can establish a mobile work or gaming space anywhere.
Other Tech Devices That Roll Up
While the rolling keyboard might be the most logical and convenient device that be unfurled into a useful piece of hardware then curled up for storage, it's hardly the only such piece of technology that exists.
It has yet to enter the general marketplace, but Samsung's phone and those of some competitors likely will soon enough.
The roll up piano is another great example of the use of polymer technology and advanced, durable circuits. Many rolling piano keyboards are designed for kids and are ideal toys for use during travel (especially with headphones connected), while others are full-sized, featuring the same 88 keys as would be found on a normal piano.
The roll up television may also soon be a fixture in the modern home: LG has produced an amazingly flexible OLED television that offers the same image clarity as most top-of-the-line flatscreens of the day, albeit able to curl up into a tube.
And in fact, even a rolling cellular phone is in the offing as far as consumers are concerned. Samsung recently unveiled its highly flexible touchscreen smartphone, which can be rolled into a tube or unrolled into a 5.7-inch device. It has yet to enter the general marketplace, but Samsung's phone and those of some competitors likely will soon enough.