You never can tell what your most popular articles are going to be. One quick little article I dashed off one day about how you can use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with your Android tablet has been one of TeleRead’s perennial highest-traffic pieces, popping up in our top ten high-traffic links every day (and often the top 3 or 4). A lot of people, it seems, are curious about using keyboards and mice with their tablets (or, for that matter, phones).

In case you’re one of those people, here’s some good news for you: The Wirecutter has just done an exhaustive side-by-side comparison of a couple of dozen Bluetooth keyboards, looking for the best in various different categories, and they’ve made their picks.

Their best overall keyboard option is a Logitech Easy-Switch K810 or K811, for Windows or Mac. Their best “budget” pick is a $26 keyboard by Anker (better known for their USB battery packs). Their best “portable” pick is a Logitech Keys-to-Go keyboard for Windows or Mac. For more details on what makes each particular keyboard better, see the Wirecutter article. (Though please do come back here if you plan to order one of those I link here.)

Of course, the only real difference between Windows/Android and Mac/iOS options is the different function keys. I actually use an AmazonBasics keyboard for Mac/iOS with my Nexus 7, because it has an Esc key on it and the Windows/Android keyboard doesn’t. Because I do so much using a terminal emulator and a Linux terminal, that Esc key is something I particularly need. The Wirecutter thinks the build quality on that AmazonBasics keyboard is better than the Anker, but it’s not as pleasant to type on and doesn’t have a rechargeable battery built in.

Whichever keyboard you get, I hope you enjoy it!


  1. If you’re buying this keyboard for an iPad, you might want to wait until after the Apple event next Wednesday (Sept 9). One rumor claims the company will announce a new keyboard for iPads, their first in a long time. It may be for any iPad. It may be especially designed for a rumored 12″ iPad Pro.

    Also, Android and iOS devices have special features, such as screen brightness, that make a keyboard designed for them helpful. Keep that in mind.

    On the other hand, the Bluetooth keyboard specs seem to have been well-designed. I’ve been able to get every BT keyboard I’ve had to synch with my Apple stuff, even a folding Palm one. If your budget is tight, you might pick one up cheap at a thrift store. That Palm one cost me about $5 used. It’s quite handy, folding up into a package only a little larger than a smartphone. This is it on ebay:

    The only negative is that it flexes a bit where it folds, so it may not work well in your lap. It does synch with my iPhone and has a slide-out stand for a smartphone.

    For the budget conscious, ebay must have a jillion-and-a-half people selling keyboards, often really cheap. Search for “bluetooth keyboard” for the regular-sized ones. Look for “handheld keyboards” for those that fit in a pocket. Just take care. Some are cheap because they are junk.

    Finally, the kind of battery a keyboard uses matters in the long run. For all my gadgets, I prefer those that use AA or AAA batteries despite the added weight. Unlike built-in battery packs, I can replace those batteries, even years in the future. And if those batteries run down, I can replace them in a few seconds. I don’t have to wait for a recharge. I buy AA and AAA batteries in bulk, so they cost about 20 cents.

    Also, some Bluetooh keyboards (I’m looking at you Apple) have trouble synching with rechargeable NiMH batteries. Synch with the higher voltage alkaline batteries, and they should work fine afterward with NiMH batteries.

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