Universal keyboard that works with three different operating system
Issues with placing an iPad into its mounting loops
Typing experience isn’t up to par with comparable keyboards
This keyboard case is designed to fit different kinds of tablets, which means it’s not an ideal fit for the iPad.
One of the pitfalls of buying accessories such as a keyboard for a tablet is that should you change devices down the road, the accessory is often rendered useless as part of that change. And for those who switch devices often, the appeal of having a universal keyboard is justified.
I’ve been using the $50 universal M-Edge Folio Plus Pro Keyboard that’s built to work with any tablet between 9 and 10 inches. Naturally, I’ve used an iPad Air 2 during testing.
One of the challenges faced by universal keyboard manufacturers is providing compatibility specific to the device the keyboard is being used with, without leaving any functionality out. So how does the Folio Plus Pro Keyboard stack up?
The Folio Plus Pro Keyboard name lends itself to a keyboard and a case combination. Similar to a Trapper Keeper from my elementary school days, Folio provides protection for both the tablet and the keyboard.
In order to ensure all devices within its size range fit into the Folio Plus Pro Keyboard, M-Edge placed four silicone loops that go over each corner of your device. When properly placed within the loops, you can move the iPad around in order to get a proper viewing angle for watching a movie to typing an email.
The loops on this particular setup have the unfortunate feature of pressing on the volume up or down buttons on my iPad. No matter what corner I tried to strategically place the buttons in, the loop has just enough pressure that it holds either one of the buttons down. The end result is my iPad constantly displaying the volume level popup, refusing to accept any input until I’ve removed the loop from the button.
After realizing the issue and moving the iPad and loop around in an effort to eliminate the issue, I ended up having to place the iPad in the Folio Plus Pro Keyboard with only three of the loops holding my device in place.
Other tablets with the volume buttons located in a different place won’t suffer from this issue.
Operating system support
A universal product is forced to take all possible use cases into account. One user might use the Folio Plus Pro Keyboard with a Nexus 9, while another pairs it with a Samsung Galaxy 10.1, and another with an iPad.
Due to the broad range of possible devices, and the fact keyboard shortcuts are imperative for the best typing experience, the Folio Plus Pro Keyboard carries a broad range of functions.
In order to accommodate such a broad range of users, M-Edge has included three different modes with the keyboard: iOS, Windows, and Android.
The default mode is supposed to be iOS. However, when I first powered up the keyboard it was set to one of the other two options. Changing assigned operating system is done by pressing the function key with a corresponding letter.
Once I figured out the proper key combo (even though it’s printed directly on the keys, it wasn’t all that obvious until I read through the manual) and changed the setting I was able to control my iPad as I had expected to. Copy, paste, media controls, Spotlight shortcut—all the usual suspects are available and work without issue.
I didn’t find typing all that enjoyable with the Folio Plus Pro Keyboard. I continuously struggled to correctly strike the proper keys; forcing me to slow down when typing beyond what I’m used to during an adjustment period with a new keyboard.
I’m afraid I can’t pinpoint the exact cause, as the keys are of a decent size and spaced properly. I can only say this particular keyboard is one I struggled with and continue to struggle with.
Furthermore, most folios feature a keyboard that’s built into one side of the case (take the Zagg Folio, for example), but this keyboard is removable from the folio.
After removing the keyboard you can place it as close or as far away from the tablet as you’d like. As was the case with the Logitech Keys-to-Go keyboard, you’re going to want to find something to place under the keyboard in order to stop it from moving while you type.
The M-Edge Folio Plus Pro Keyboard offers the added benefit of working with multiple devices, ranging in both size and OS. But due to the placement of the loops used to secure the iPad, and the typing experience being one I could never properly adjust to, I would recommend shopping around a bit more before deciding to go with this keyboard.
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