Review : Xenta Mini Bluetooth Keyboard with iPad stand
I was all prepared the other day to venture out into the world and do some blogging with the "Pad" and the bargain Xenta Mini Bluetooth Keyboard with iPad stand. That was until the very second I tried to use the bloody thing and instantly had buyers remorse for purchasing such a big pile of crap.
It's nice to see that chimpanzies can get promoted to quality assurance as this is the only way this keyboard would ever get approved.
It's a special type of build "quality that set's this keyboard apart from others. I can only imagine the designers don't have fingers like you and I but E.T (the extra terrestial) style long, pointy fingers as that's the only way you'll full depress the narrow keys.
Opening the box there is very little in the way of protection, in fact the only protection is the plastic which wraps around the keyboard itself. The USB holder/extension has its own little plastic container which I suppose is something so you'd bet your bottom dollar these things are returned due to drop damage.
As I mentioned above, it’s not often I will purchase something and have instant buyer’s remorse as I’m one of those types you are quite picky about what they purchase but this seemed ideal too good to be true and within 3 seconds of trying to use it I realise I have probably been a victim of marketing.
On paper this looks to be a very capable products. An iPad no sorry a Bluetooth keyboard with a detachable iPad stand which also features function keys that you would find on mac desktops and laptops so you can change the screen brightness, start stop songs and other Apple'y type functions.
Housed inside the keyboard is the rechargeable battery great for road warriors and with the retractable usb cable is easy to charge on the go. So far so good then with this keyboard especially for road warriors. However the battery recharge port recharges on the back via mini USB and this is where one of many design flaws start.
Design Flaws. Plenty of them!
As you can see from the picture above the usb charger hits the iPad so you have to slide your iPad to the left a little. Just a minor irritation but why did they have not put the USB port to the side?
By far the biggest design flaw is when you have your iPod mounted in portrait view. The home button is pretty much rendered useless by the actual stand itself. You can get to it that pretty much angry with the top of your finger tip. Checking and double checking the keyboard there's no function key on the keyboard itself to act as the home key. This is such a glaring issue and one that's easily fixable with a notch in the stand itself perhaps.
Keys themselves have no tactile feel so it all just builds of cheap slightly plastic making its incredibly infuriating to type even the most basic amount of words. There is plenty of key wobble as well which feels like that's down to how high the key is and leading to the subsequent key travel
Key Travel Is Almost Never Ending.
is bordering on the ridiculous. This is most evident when using the space bar. Should you have audacity to want a space you’ll be rewarded with another letter from when you clip one of the other keys. It's actually smaller than the other normal keys so it becomes a hunt and peck style of typing, which is what you get with the iPad screen already and which is exactly what I’m trying to get away from.
I’ve even try to use the iPad split keyboard fashion, just using my thumbs but even with this method it still borders on the haphazard. Its not so much the spacing of the keys down how far down you have to press a damned key.
This could have been an extremely good product but the design, implementation and execution fail to a standard which is quite commendable. It takes some effort to take an idea and render it unusable.
Halfway through this review I wanted to stop, not actually bothering to review such a frustrating bit of kit. That being said the £15 for those of you who have incredibly small fingers and even more incredible patience that could be seen as a worthwhile purchase but you really have to be mad!.
(Sorry for the shocking quality of the pictures on this review but even professionally taken photograph's couldn't have saved this product)