Review: Microsoft Wedge Bluetooth Keyboard

Microsoft Wedge Keyboard - It comes with a stand.

Microsoft Wedge Keyboard – It comes with a stand.

Bluetooth keyboards come in all shapes and sizes. Such keyboards used to be a niche product. However, ever since the rise of mobile computing – Bluetooth keyboards have been the most efficient way of improving the productivity of your tablet or smartphone. The Microsoft Wedge Keyboard is the first keyboard to be built for Windows 8. It is pricey at S$99 and here’s a review after two weeks of using it as my main keyboard for my desktop.

 

The Good

Size

The keyboard is perfectly sized for mobility. Some generic mobile keyboards were really tiny and difficult to type on but the Wedge balances this very well. It is smaller than the next best option out there and yet typing was easy due to full sized keys.

Key Placement

I was able to type as fast, if not faster, than on my mechanical full sized keyboard because of how the keys were placed. I didn’t have to move my fingers much to get to keys. This is subjective depending on the type of typist you are but the close placement of full sized keys worked very well for me. I was even able to game effectively on this keyboard.

Print Screen, Home. End, Pg Up, Pg Dn & Del - Most mobile keyboards skip these.

Print Screen, Home. End, Pg Up, Pg Dn & Del – Most mobile keyboards skip these.

 

Number of Keys

The crowning glory of the Wedge keyboard is the number of keys it has. Most keyboards do not have the ‘Home’, ‘End’ and ‘Delete’ keys. Yet, the Wedge brings all of that and also throws in ‘Print Screen’ and ‘Page Up’ and ‘Page Down’ buttons. The Wedge has every key you ever need on a really tiny footprint.

Windows 8 Specific Keys

If you are to pair this keyboard with a Windows 8 or Windows RT device, you will benefit from the specific keys that require no drivers to toggle Windows 8/RT settings. If you are not a Windows 8 user, these won’t matter much to you.

Stand

The Wedge is the only Bluetooth keyboard of its kind that offers a cover that doubles as the stand. Microsoft has been pretty smart about covers and keyboards with its Surface line up and it continues here. The cover when detached can be folded slightly into a very sturdy stand. That’s nice considering how much you have to fork out for this keyboard.

Connection

The keyboard had no problems connecting to any device I threw at it. The same cannot be said of other Bluetooth keyboards I tried. Waking, sleeping and reconnecting was very smooth even with a cheap 5 year old Bluetooth dongle.

 

The Bad

Stand Material

While the keyboard has an excellent build quality with a solid smooth finish, the stand makes use of a questionably soft material that you feel could turn sticky over time. I personally do not use the stand/cover much but Microsoft could have gone for a better material that could be non slip as well.

Secondary Function Keys

Your enjoyment of this keyboard can be very much affected by your usage of the Function keys. Microsoft has decided that Function keys are not important and you have to toggle the Fn button in order to swap to F1-12 keys. My most used keys are F4 and F5 and it becomes a hassle because closing a program now requires Fn+Alt+F4 and refreshing a page requires Fn+F5.

The Windows 8 keys are great but F1-12 now requires the additional Fn key to be used.

The Windows 8 keys are great but F1-12 now requires the additional Fn key to be used.

 

Conclusion

The Microsoft Wedge Keyboard is the most feature complete Bluetooth keyboard in the market. It has the most functions and a really small footprint. With a cover that acts as a stand for your tablet, you won’t find another keyboard that can do everything the Wedge does. The typing experience is great and close enough to a full sized desktop keyboard which is surprising for such a small device.

 

The Microsoft Wedge Keyboard is the most feature complete Bluetooth keyboard in the market.

 

If you are looking for a top end Bluetooth keyboard for your Windows devices, this is the keyboard to go for. The price is steep but you get what you paid for. This has already comfortably replaced my full sized keyboard.



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