Kanex bills its latest portable keyboard, the MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard, as a “perfect fold-and-go solution” for phone and tablet users. In essence, it’s a thin keyboard that pairs via Bluetooth and which folds in half when toting around. If you’ve already got a tablet but envy the functionality of a Surface Pro or a 2-in-1 convertible device, this is your stop-gap accessory.
Generally speaking, the problem with creating a convenient portable keyboard is finding the balance between footprint and functionality. Go too small and you’ll find it hard to acclimate yourself; hunting and pecking will slow you down, rendering the keyboard useless. Go too big, though, and you run the risk of not being very portable.
The Kanex MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard falls nicely in the middle. There’s just enough space between the keys to keep things natural. You won’t spend too much time getting used to the layout, especially if you spend a lot of time on a laptop.
When opened up, the Kanex provide a V-like shape that calls to mind the ergonomic keyboards of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. For those of you who can fly through your typing without looking at the keyboard, you’ll probably get used to this one pretty quickly. But, those who need to cross hands from left to right, avoiding the home row layout, you’ll struggle a bit.
The key buttons you’ll use (shift, enter, space, backspace, etc) are in the right locations. Every so often you’ll run into a keyboard that moves things around in the upper right corner, however that’s not the case with the Kanex.
Another common problem with universal or Bluetooth keyboards is trying to accommodate all of the various platforms. Again, Kanex does well in dancing on the line between Android, iOS, and Windows. We were pleasantly surprised that the keyboard didn’t have Windows-specific buttons; these would be wasted on those of us who pair it to an Android tablet or phone.
The keyboard, when not in use, is folded up and held together by a magnetic enclosure. Super-thin, even when doubled over on itself, the unit goes into a bag as easy as a small notepad or slender book. What’s more, there’s almost no weight to the keyboard, making for a very portable accessory.
One issue we run into with almost every portable keyboard is that you can’t put it on your lap. That’s the case here as well. The two halves are strong and sturdy but the middle spine gives it a natural book closing effect when not place on a table. Don’t bother trying this on your lap.
Once you’ve paired the keyboard to your phone or tablet, connecting is as simple as opening it up. Speaking of which, the Kanex allows for up to four devices to be connected to it; swapping from one to the other is done via a shortcut combination on the keyboard. These are clearly identified on the Z, X, C, and V keys and require a quick press of the function key first.
We were incredibly impressed with the battery of the MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard. Having set it aside for a few weeks after our initial tests we found it still had a fair amount of juice left in the standby. Our experience was that the Kanex keyboard would give us more than a typical week of usage (1-2 hours per day over five days). To check how much life is left in the battery, simply press function + R and look for the green lights to blink.
For $50 we consider the Kanex MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard a must-have accessory, especially if you’re looking to boost productivity. It’s small and thin enough to be considered very portable yet opens to provide a near full-size experience. The battery is downright amazing so feel free to toss it in your bag and tote it back and forth to school all week.
You can purchase the MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard from the Kanex website for $49.95. Additionally, we found it listed on Amazon for $39.95 as of the time of this review’s writing. If you can get this for that price, you’ll be getting a steal.