I recently found that my Nexus 7 tablet was an adequate notebook replacement for light work while travelling, provided I had a real physical keyboard to use. I had used the Apple Wireless Keyboard previously. Since then, I’ve been wondering if smaller-sized wireless keyboards would also serve well for my needs. One candidate is this Rapoo E6500 Bluetooth Keyboard.
The Rapoo E6500 Bluetooth Keyboard has been around for some time, but it has been quite pricey. I recently noticed the price has now been discounted to S$39.90, so I decided to get it. Note that there are two versions of the keyboard, one that is “for Android” and the other “for iPad”. They look identical, except for the special hotkeys for their respective platforms, so be careful about which one you pick up.
The highlight of the Rapoo E6500 is its diminutive size. It’s only about 5.6mm thin for the most part of it. There is a protrusion at the back which also serves to prop up the keyboard at a decent angle.
That protrusion under the keyboard contains the built-in battery. There is an on-off slider switch, and a connect button. There are also two indicator lights, one for Bluetooth connection status and the other battery status. There’s also a micro USB connection on the back for charging the battery, which is rated to last for one month with just two hours of charging.
Setting up the Rapoo E6500 Bluetooth Keyboard is easy. Turn on Bluetooth on the Android device, find the keyboard, pair to it, type in the pairing code on the keyboard, and you’re all set.
The keyboard has several standard Android keys, including for Home, Back, Search, Menu and Lock Screen. There is no Task Switcher key, unfortunately. There are media control keys to adjust volume and media playback. The Mute key didn’t work with my Nexus 7 though.
Typing on the Rapoo E6500 Bluetooth Keyboard feels good, but crammed. The actual physical keys are definitely a whole lot better to work with than having to use an on-screen keyboard. It actually has reasonably deep key-travel considering it thinness. Unfortunately, the 206mm x 82mm keyboard area necessarily means the keys are rather small and close together. There is no match with the experience typing on even a notebook.
Despite the crammed keys, it’s still possible to achieve some level of productivity typing out an email or editing a document with this keyboard. You do have to be careful with all the keys placed so closed together. Don’t expect to use this keyboard for serious extended typing activities.
The Rapoo E6500 Bluetooth Keyboard makes a good mobile keyboard for Android tablets.
- Ultra-thin and very compact
- Long battery life
- Missing the Android Task Switcher key
- Keys are crammed