Exactly as its name suggest, the BK1003E is a portable Bluetooth keyboard that sets itself apart thanks to a slim profile, smart design and metal construction. Available for under £25, it’s a low-cost option, too, making for a good budget accompaniment to a tablet.
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This is a very simple device. It has keys, some batteries, a charging port, a power switch and that’s about it. It’ll connect to any device that supports Bluetooth keyboards and gives you a proper typing experience, rather than having to rely on touchscreen keyboards. So, iPads, iPhones, Android and Windows phones and tablets and more will all work with it.
Although slim, at just 6.5mm for most of its length and 14mm for the thick section along the back edge, this isn’t actually that small a keyboard. In fact, the key size and layout is identical to that you’d find on a 13in laptop. As such the whole thing measures 280 x 135mm, making it a fair bit longer than an iPad is tall, for instance. As such it may not be the best choice to accompany that size of device – it all depends what you’re looking for from your portable keyboard. If you want something ultra compact then this maybe isn’t the best choice. If it’s a great typing experience then a larger keyboard like this may be your best bet.
Style-wise, Inateck has nailed it. Okay, so the less than subtle key labels and bright white Inateck logo aren’t exactly the height of cool but it’s still a smart enough looking thing and the strip of metal that curves round the front is a hint of the quality that lies below.
Flip it over and a gloriously shiny brushed steel bottom is revealed. Yes, it’s only the underside but its sheer elegance does bring a smile to the face. What’s more, in profile it is satisfyingly thin with a nice gentle curve to it.
Four little rubber feet are quite sufficient to stop the keyboard sliding around and a tiny sliding switch does the job for powering the device on and off – an LED on the front shows when it’s on. Charging is done via a standard microUSB port on the right edge. It’s great to see a standard connection like this used as, even though a charging cable is provide, you can rest assured that it’ll be easy to find a spare if it gets lost. Plus it’ll often mean you can get away with using the same cable for your phone/tablet and keyboard – that’s one less thing to carry.
The battery itself is rated to last 8 hours of continuous use and will remain in standby for up to 4 months, which is more than sufficient.
The keys meanwhile are of course low profile and there are 78 of them, with a layout that almost exactly mirrors that you’d find on any standard laptop, the only downside being it’s physically a US rather than UK layout – i.e. the labelling does include a £ sign but the keys themselves are of a slightly different layout.
There’s one slim row of function keys along the top for volume, media playback, and the like. In fact it also includes buttons for Home and Search, which is useful for general navigation on mobile devices. You can also switch modes between Android, iOS and Windows Phone operation, to ensure all the shortcuts work correctly. Bluetooth connectivity can also be triggered by a function key – setup and connection is as simple and quick as can be.
The BK1003E is quite simply excellent. Its typing action is very good for such a low-cost product. The keys have a nice defined break to them and they spring back promptly, allowing for fast, accurate and comfortable typing – the US layout notwithstanding. There’s a minimum of flex to the whole keyboard too. All told, we’ve used countless laptops with far worse typing actions.
The extra functions all work well too and really do add to the experience of writing on any sort of mobile device. Whether it’s being able to highlight, copy and paste text or just playing and pausing your music, it’s so nice not to have to have to flit back and forth between the keyboard and touchscreen.
There's very little to dislike about the BK1003E. It’s simply an excellent Bluetooth keyboard that’s stylish, lightweight, long lasting and provides a great typing experience. Plus it costs less than £25.
We'd prefer a proper UK layout, rather than US, but it’s a small point. The only other stumbling block is simply that it’s quite large, being taller than an iPad, so is perhaps not really an ideal accompaniment to smaller tablets. But if you want a great typing experience you do need a keyboard of a certain size.
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Slim, stylish and offering a great typing experience, the Inateck BK1003E is simply a brilliant Bluetooth keyboard.