Mobile technology is an incredible thing. When I went to E3, the only things I put in my messenger bag for appointments and the floor was a composition book and my iPhone (and other basic necessities, like energy bars, water, a charging cable, etc.). Almost all of my photos and videos were taken using my iPhone, but I still had to take most of my notes in the composition book. While the iPhone’s software keyboard is by far the best of the mobile software keyboards, there is a limit to how fast I can take comprehensible notes on it. That’s where a device like the Freedom i-Connex Keyboard comes in.
The Freedom i-Connex Keyboard’s biggest selling point is its compact fold-up design. At 6.4 x 4 x 0.75 inches when folded and put away in its leather storage sleeve, it’s no larger than a small paperback book, which makes taking it on the go much easier. Open, it extends to 12.6 x 4 x .038 inches, giving you a nice amount of space to spread your fingers and start typing. There is a lock on the keyboard when you fold it open to prevent it from folding closed if placed on an uneven surface. It is a standard QWERTY layout with F-keys and six dedicated media/device control keys. Now comes the main drawback: the six dedicated media/device control keys don’t work perfectly with the iPhone, and they can not be customized or configured in any other ways. Being able to set custom hotkeys would have made this the perfect mobile keyboard.
They keyboard itself functions very well. They keys are responsive, and after you get past the slight learning curve of some modified key sizes and locations, you’ll be typing along faster than you could hope to do on the software keyboard. Now, you probably won’t get up to your normal keyboard typing speed because of the smaller form factor, but it’s leaps and bounds faster than the alternative. The aforementioned dedicated media/device control keys do work in certain cases. The media keys generally work well to control my iPhone’s music app, and the home button does, in fact, return me to the home screen. There is, however, no functionality beyond that from my experience.
Our original plan was to use these keyboards during E3 in order to make our lives easier and gather intensive experience for building the review. Unfortunately, due to a bit of a problem with overseas shipping, the keyboards arrived at our house while we were at E3, so our planned intensive use never came to fruition. Since E3, however, I have found that the i-Connex has still been nigh-invaluable. From taking review notes while playing Backbreaker Vengeance and Bastion to simply jotting down the various stray thoughts that pop into my head, the i-Connex has saved time and increased my accuracy. Now, at $69.99 it is a bit pricey, considering you can get an Apple bluetooth keyboard for the same cost. The benefit of the i-Connex comes from its compact design and its built-in phone stand. If you’re planning on buying a keyboard for your mobile device, and you want something compact, the i-Connex is a great choice.
|Excellent fold-up design|
Built in phone stand
Unable to customize certain key functions