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tablet keyboards

Best mobile Bluetooth keyboard accessories for your Android tablet

Let’s be frank, we were all a little wary of tablet PCs when they first emerged as “laptop replacements.” Clearly, they had nothing on traditional computers in terms of power and productivity, merely standing out with compact form factors and, iPads notwithstanding, affordability.

Best Bluetooth Keyboard

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
LogitechLogitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811 Keyboard179.5
LogitechLogitech diNovo Edge Keyboard695.98
1byone1byone Wireless Bluetooth Keyboardcheck price
OMOTONOMOTON? Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard13.99
EC TECHNOLOGYEC Technology Foldable Bluetooth Keyboardcheck price

Android keyboard

Only even the latter forte didn’t seem enough to make a stand against equally as cheap netbooks. Somehow, tabs took off nonetheless, bringing the demise of mini-notebooks and, for a few years, enjoying a swift popularity rise.

Now, the market is in a bit of a slump as conventional PCs show signs of resurgence, so it’s innovate or throw in the towel for OEMs like Samsung, LG, Asus, Lenovo, Amazon, Microsoft and even Apple. The struggling industry segment’s saving grace could well be keyboard accessories, given there’s virtually no way to further cut prices.

SONY DSC

With phablets on the upswing, tablets can keep matching wits with jumbo-sized smartphones… and lose, or narrow the productivity gap separating them of laptops and desktops… and hope for the best. Here are some of your top universal keyboard accessory choices available on Amazon, as well as a few notebook-transforming contraptions designed specifically for the most popular Android tabs out and about:

EC Technology backlit Bluetooth keyboard – $18.99

Our least expensive recommendation wirelessly connects to any Android tablet or even smartphone known to man, plus iPads (boo!) and Windows slates (no one cares). It’s not fancy, it doesn’t send a very premium vibe, and the keys only offer decent travel and responsiveness, with almost no spaces between them.

EC Technology backlit keyboard

Still, it pulls off the basics of a portable keyboard accessory, it’s 7-color backlit, impressively light (0.37 pounds) yet respectably sturdy, as well as long-lasting, courtesy of an 800 mAh built-in battery.

Hype Ultra-Slim Bluetooth 3.0 Wireless universal keyboard – $19.99

At just 0.23 inches thin, this baby is the textbook definition of convenience, it’s available in seven different coats of paint and it’s also a lot wider than the EC Technology product, coming really close to your standard 15-inch laptop keyboard.

Hype Ultra-Slim keyboard

Once again, the key quality isn’t ideal and you’ll need 2 AAA batteries to power on the Hype, which is both a disadvantage and a strong point. A strong point because you’ll not have to remember to juice the cell up every month or so.

Anker Ultra Compact Slim Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard – $19.99

Back in the day up for grabs at a whopping 60 bucks, the Anker Ultra Compact is, well, tiny, taking up “two thirds the space of a traditional keyboard.” Again, both a forte and weakness, as cramped space limits functionality.

Anker keyboard

Meanwhile, the 18-month warranty is sure a nice touch, and the rechargeable 800 mAh lithium battery promises up to 6-month autonomy based on 2 hours of daily use. Not too shabby… for 20 clams.

AmazonBasics Bluetooth keyboard – $31.90

AmazonBasics keyboard

Big, clean, straightforward, quick and quiet, the all-black AmazonBasics peripheral works with all Android 3.0+ devices, not just Kindle Fires. The 30 foot range is impressive, and the glowing reviews praise the speedy connection, responsiveness, accuracy and convenience of the Bluetooth keyboard. Sounds like a must-buy, unless you can afford one of the following.

EC Technology Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard Ultra-slim Mini – $36.99

It’s portable, it’s foldable, ergonomic and versatile, squeezing right into your trouser pocket if you need it to. Of course, it’s congested too, so professional typists should look elsewhere for their business travel requirements.

EC Technology foldable keyboard

What’s truly remarkable about the second EC Technology item on our list is the aircraft-grade aluminum construction, ensuring “superior rigidity” and stellar endurance despite the foldable design.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device K480 – $45.99

In the market for a handsome, vigorous “full-sized” keyboard you can easily pair with your desktop, smartphone and tablet? You can’t go wrong with Logitech’s Windows, Mac, Android and iOS-compatible K480.

Logitech K480

This thing lets you seamlessly switch between three simultaneously connected Bluetooth wireless gadgets, offers a “familiar” layout with all the shortcut keys you’ve grown accustomed to use, and doesn’t require a third-party stand to hold your tab at the perfect angle for typing and reading.

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard – $62.99

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard

It might feel weird to mate a Redmond concoction with an Android, but one look at this keyboard, and you’ll realize it’s the best in its class. It’s large but not bulky, ergonomic yet not flimsy, lasts up to six months on a single charge and provides a detachable multi-purpose cover/stand. It’s more than a peripheral, it’s a device-changing accessory.

Fire keyboard – $59.99

Fashioned for “seamless integration” with Amazon’s newest Fire HDX 8.9, it also supports the Fire HD 6 and 7 and “other Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets.” But that’s it. No full-scale Android compatibility here.

Fire keyboard

The ample touchpad, 4.8 mm wasp waist, various shortcut keys and 2-month “active use” battery are only some of this keyboard’s strong suits. If you really want to get the most of your Fire HDX 8.9 experience though, you’ll have to purchase the $70 leather origami case too.

Elegant, protective and stunningly versatile, the case and keyboard go together beautifully and transform your standard 8.9-inch tab in something that transcends mobile and desktop boundaries.

Samsung keyboard case for Galaxy Tab Pro/Note Pro 12.2 – $74.36

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro keyboard case

Yes, it’s costly, even after a substantial discount, but it’s surely worth it if you want to convert one of Sammy’s “professional” 12 inchers into a bona fide hybrid laptop. Rated at 4.5 stars by 72 mostly satisfied customers, the keyboard doubles as a shielding case and works like a charm for flawless on-the-go typing.

Samsung keyboard case for Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – starting at $81

Galaxy Tab S 10.5 keyboard

Possibly the best ever Samsung tablet deserved a matching premium 2-in-1 accessory, and that’s exactly what it got. There’s no trackpad here, so you won’t fool anyone into believing you own an actual notebook. But the keys are exquisitely well-spaced, quick to react, decently robust and the battery lasts for ages.

Logitech Type-S for Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $76.40

Logitech Galaxy Tab S keyboard

Not content with Samsung’s proprietary Tab S 10.5 proposal for some reason? This 2-in-1 case/keyboard from Logitech used to cost $100, and for all the right reasons. It aims to guard your beautiful Super AMOLED gadget from accidental bumps, scratches and spills while offering “laptop-like typing” on a standard keyboard layout with Android shortcuts added in the equation. Tough call, huh?

Nexus 9 keyboard folio – $129.99

Hesitant to spend over a third of the top-notch Google tab’s price on a rudimentary “keyboard folio”? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. The multipurpose accessory is as versatile as these things come, not to mention stylish, light, slim and uber-productive in keyboard mode.

Nexus 9 keyboard

We know, we know, you’d have loved a touchpad, a little room between keys and, above all, a $30 or so price trim. But trust us when we tell you no universal keyboard will ever compliment the N9 as this does.

Best keyboards for Android tablets available today

They say laptops are for productivity, smartphones for voice and message interaction, while a tablet’s primary goal in life should traditionally be to keep you entertained on the move when a handheld feels small. But times are a-changing, and so, it’s no longer unusual to check out 1,080p, Quad HD or even 4K videos on a 5 to 5.5-inch screen, or see aspiring screenwriters type entire chapters of their hip dystopian scripts on portable slates in Starbucks stores.

keyboard Nexus 9

Some would be fast to point out Microsoft kicked off the trend of the convertible tab with its growingly popular Surface line, but ever since we can remember, Androids supported versatility-enhancing keyboard accessories too.

These days, the abundance of options on the market makes finding the best keyboard for Android tablets seem like the perfect topic for a future Tom Cruise movie, but that’s a good thing when you think about it. Choice is always nice, and today we bring you a slew of excellent OS-agnostic tablet keyboards, plus a few specialized models you can pair with the most popular iPad and Surface Pro rivals:

Best universal tablet keyboards

Hype Ultra-Slim – $14.99

Hype Ultra-Slim

The ultra-low price tips off a basic set of features here, and by no means is this the world’s best Android keyboard. But it’s not the worst either, and uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect to an endless supply of Google-endorsed, Apple-backed, and Microsoft-manufactured devices. Including smartphones, and the greatest thing about it (besides its extreme affordability) is the ultra-slim 0.75-inch profile.

Arteck Universal backlit wireless Bluetooth 3.0 keyboard – $17.93

It lights up in need in 7 (fairly cheesy) colors, the brightness is adjustable on two levels, and it offers a neat auto sleep feature for reduced power consumption. Speaking of, the battery should last up to six months, so in addition to convenience, Arteck takes care of complete cable freedom.

AmazonBasics Bluetooth keyboard – $32

AmazonBasics keyboard

No, it’s not just compatible with the e-commerce giant’s Fires, and yes, it is a measly 0.7 inches thin. Granted, it doesn’t look special in any way, and lacks the advanced functionality that will make the next few contenders very hard to turn down.

Nonetheless, it’s whisper quiet, sports scissor-switch keys for effortless typing, and its speed is only rivaled by its accuracy.

EC Technology foldable Bluetooth keyboard – $32.99

EC Technology keyboard

If buying a featherweight like the above few sounds tempting, but you’d rather save space in your backpack than bulk, this flexible ergonomic contraption is the way to go. Despite fitting in your pocket when folded, it’s also “superiorly” rigid and robust, with a body made of aircraft-grade aluminum. Oh, and the keys look great, comfortable, and well-spaced.

MoKo aluminum tri-fold wireless Bluetooth keyboard – $33.99

It’s essentially the same thing as EC’s product, it looks identical both open and closed, it’s strong and handsome but actually promises longer 80-hour endurance (compared to 60h), thanks to a built-in 210 mAh rechargeable Li-polymer battery.

iClever portable foldable Bluetooth keyboard – $35

Another elastic devil, this one is praised in the overall positive Amazon user reviews (4.4 out of 5 stars based on 103 opinions) for its instant activation when unfolded, premium metal construction, good keyboard feedback, spacing and low noise.

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard – $53.95

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard

Arguably the best overall universal Android tablet keyboard, as well as the top choice for smartphones, iPads and Surfaces, Microsoft’s bad boy integrates stand and cover functions into the base keyboard. That means you can easily protect your slate from scratches and prop it up hands-free for the best possible typing and video-watching experience.

In terms of what the actual keyboard can do, it’s all fairly straightforward, with the addition of function keys atop the standard QWERTY layout, plus a battery you only have to charge after six months of constant usage.

Best dedicated Android tablet keyboards

Samsung keyboard case for Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $75

Galaxy Tab S keyboard

The 10.5-inch Super AMOLED Tab S isn’t exactly a young buck anymore, and it’s still rather pricey, but especially when paired with a keyboard that fits like a glove, it’s a must-have for folks seeking an all-competent Android device.

Entertainment, gaming, document editing for work, anything you throw at the first-gen GTab S it can handle. The only fault we can find this beautiful accessory is the lack of a touchpad, despite there clearly being room for one. What the hell, Sammy?

Samsung keyboard case for Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2/Note Pro – $80

Samsung keyboard

Are the “professional” variants of last year’s Galaxy Tab and Note better than the Tab S? Hard to say, but they’re definitely larger, and so look even more like conventional laptops when docked. Of course, what we’re looking at here isn’t a very “smart”, very advanced keyboard dock, also lacking a trackpad (and space for it), but conveniently propping your 12-inch monster up and covering it in “standby” mode.

Nexus 9 keyboard folio – $150

Nexus 9 keyboard

This used to be cheaper, but then again, Google and HTC’s stock Android 9 incher used to be hotter. The good news is the actual N9 is less expensive than ever, so you may afford to cough up a Benjamin and a half on a magnetically attachable, wirelessly pairable accessory that radically improves the user interaction.

The keyboard can function for up to 5 months on a single charge, it folds into two angles for business and pleasure purposes, and when closed, the cover is nearly impenetrable. Sounds like the best of… all worlds.

Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1 – $205 bundle

Asus Transformer Pad

Wait, does 200 bucks really buy a tablet and a keyboard? With a touchpad and a laptop-style, full-size layout? If we’re dreaming, don’t wake us up before we get to try on the quad-core Intel Atom-powered machine for size, and see how it handles tasks both attached and detached.

Lenovo Tab A10 with keyboard – $269

Lenovo Tab A10

It was $30 cheaper a couple of weeks ago, when it secured an easy spot on our top seven list of the best inexpensive 10-inch Androids around. But it’s still not prohibitively priced, regardless of its advanced age and decrepit pre-loaded software, since it’s relatively sleek and slim, plus versatile, thanks to a flawed, cramped-looking yet convenient keyboard.