Bluetooth Keyboard and Case for the Nexus 7 Tablet
Box & Contents
Cut outs & access points
For those who have read my stuff before, you will know that I recently bought a Nexus 7 Android Tablet, http://carman58.hubpages.com/hub/The-Nexus-7-My-Conclusion for those who haven't, you do now !
I love tech generally, and always try my best to get use of and fully explore the capabilities of the tech I buy or try to apart from not being 100% convinced that the tablet form factor is even suitable for my lifestyle, I'm trying my best to make it work for me, because I really want it to. Now a couple of issues I have with the Nexus are text input and viewing media, I find the size a little awkward for typing on , I know I can place it on a flat surface and use the virtual keyboard and it may work for me, but I find it un natural and awkward, and even with my favourite vertual keyboard, Swype, installed I still find anything other than a short tweet or URL a little awkward. Secondly , when viewing media, which the Nexus is quite good for, I really don't want to sit holding a tablet for a prolonged period of time, I'd rather just leave a laptop on my knee or chest and watch a video or view photographs, maybe I'm strange, but that is what I prefer.
As a result of requirements and personal preferences I was quite interested when I saw a tweet by Mobile Fun that they had a case with a built in Bluetooth keyboard for the Nexus 7 in stock, I enthusiastically clicked on the link to check it out http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/hipstreet-google-nexus-7-bluetooth-keyboard-case-hs-anx7fkbcs-bk-p35958.htm Now it looked quite impressive and also a possible solution to my requirements, the price , however did not appeal, at almost £80 it represented almost half the initial cost of my tablet and quite frankly was far too much for me to spend on an accessory, particularly considering my doubts about the tablet genre in general (the Nexus 7 is basically an experiment to convince myself there is actually any point at all to tablets) it did however , get me thinking ! I did a search and found a similar type of case on Amazon which for the price of just over £22 , seemed worth a punt ? http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008QBYQ6O/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00 so I placed an order and the case arrived today, pretty good really, free standard delivery and it arrived at work two days after the order was placed.
connecting the BT Keyboard
Now the IVSO® Google Nexus 7 Bluetooth Keyboard Portfolio Case can hardly be described as a 'Luxury Item' and I really didn't expect it to be for the money, you get a 'fau leather' case (that's plastic to most people) which in all fairness doesn't look bad and fits quite well, a usb cable for charging the keyboard and the Bluetooth Keyboard (which is actually detachable, something I discovered after reading the specs on the box and something I missed when I placed the order and also something I see as a huge advantage) Once unpacked, photographed and charged the keyboard connected very easily to the Nexus and the tablet fitted very well into the case, the fitting isn't exactly slick, you basically slide it in and push a flap under the tablet which joins some velcro and secures it, functional, but not exactly a marvel of engineering or design, the flip stand is also pretty basic, but does the job and means that you can place the nexus in front of you and view the screen at a nice angle and actually discovering that the keyboard was detachable made the whole thing a lot better as folding the keyboard panel under the case gives you a flat surface to rest the whole thing on and makes it more stable.
On to the keyboard function which although only tested for a short period of time has raised a couple of issues, the KB itself is actually quite nice, the feel and feedback on the keys is quite good and it is fully functional including dedicated media controls for video playback and volume. Now the issues aren't actually the fault of the KB, but more due to the OS and UI on the Nexus and also it's interaction with some, but not all applications. The Nexus does not , natively , have landscape throughout, and as it fits in the case in landscape, it's a bit of a pain having the homescreens and menus sideways when you switch it on, a quick web search found Ultimate Rotation Control on the Play Store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nl.fameit.rotate which solved the issue as it allows the whole systen to work in landscape and in effect lets the tablet work like a mini computer. The second issue is that the keyboard has no effect whatsoever on certain apps, TweakDeck for example does absolutely nothing in reaction to the KB controls, TweetLanes on the other hand is full functional with the KB and can be navigated and used throughout just using the BT keys. Not a major issue, as I really only wanted to use the keyboard for text input, and that works in all text fields, also the dedicated email key gets you straight to your mail apps (it gives you the choice of which mail account to use) and typing is quite a pleasant experience.
Whether I will find my new gadget as useful as I had hoped I have yet to discover, as I write this I am of the opinion it may help me love and use the Nexus a little more, but only time and use will tell. So on to the pros and cons. For me the pros are that the case solves a couple of issues for me,has all the cut outs needed to allow access to the buttons, usb port and camera, the price is good, it adds a new dimention to my tablet use and if the battery claims are accurate it should be something that can be charged and left for ages and it will protect the nexus from harm if out and about or travelling. Also it is extremely easy to set up and connect. The cons are that it turns a slim well designed tablet into something that is rather bulky, the build quality is not the best and the kick stand and securing the tablet are a little fiddly and the keyboard has limited functionality in parts of the UI on the nexus. Value for money is kind of subjective and I guess you get what you pay for, no doubt the more expensive version is made of much better materials and slicker to use and probably most tablet users are more than happy to use there tablet as it was intended, which I also find fine for short periods of time, but for me I'm hoping the case works out. I don't know whether I'd recommend the IVSO to people, but it's certainly cheap enough to give it a try and it does what it says on the box.
Thanks for reading and viewing this post hope it was of some interest.