iClever Ultra Slim 3-Colour Backlight Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard Review

What we think

The iClever Ultra Slim 3-Colour Backlight Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard is an excellent keyboard that defies its lousy name. This lightweight and highly portable keyboard is perfect for those who want to be able to get work done on their smartphone or tablet, especially while on the go.

It doesn’t cost much either, making it a great choice for many, although its battery life is a negative.

    Pros

  • Looks excellent
  • Great portability
  • Works well on range of devices
  • Good price

    Cons

  • Battery life isn’t great
  • Slightly heavier than others

    Rating

  • Performance:4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Features:4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Design: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Value:4.5 out of 5 stars
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Design

I love the design of the iClever Backlit Folding keyboard. Both when folded up and opened out, it’s incredibly sleek and stylish, with the aluminium helping to make it look more expensive than it is.

What sets this portable keyboard apart from the others I’ve tested is that it’s pretty much a full-size keyboard when unfolded, making it much faster and easier to use. The keys are basically the same size as those on a laptop, allowing me to type just as quickly as when I’m using a normal computer at my desk.

The keyboard measures 11.46 x 4.61 x 0.32 inches when unfolded, and 6.54 x 4.72 x 0.58 inches when folded up, weighing 0.41kg. While it’s not quite as light or small as other portable keyboards out there, I find that it functions better due to its larger keys, so this extra size actually helps it improve the user’s experience.

This keyboard has backlit keys, allowing you to select green, blue or red lights, as well as varying the brightness. While this feature is certainly helpful in darker environments, I think I’d be perfectly happy going for the other iClever keyboard that doesn’t have lights. They drain the battery faster, and I could save some money if I went for the other version.

The hinges are well designed, able to function properly without compromising the aesthetics of the keyboard. There are also little stands at each end of the keyboard which fold out to provide greater stability, which is very handy. Overall the entire build is sturdy, making me believe it will last a long time without breaking.

However, it’s not as convenient to have two separate devices (phone/tablet and keyboard) as it is when using alternatives such as the Brydge Mini Keyboard, which allows me to clip my iPad to the keyboard, essentially creating a mini-MacBook. You pretty much always need a table, or tray, to use the iClever keyboard properly, which might be problematic at times.

The fact that this keyboard doesn’t have an English layout – the pound sign doesn’t feature, for example – was a bit inconvenient too, but not a major problem.

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Function

I used the iClever Backlit Folding Keyboard with my iPad Mini 2 to begin with, and connected the Bluetooth without any problems. The keyboard uses Bluetooth 3.0, and requires you to select whether you are pairing with an Android, Windows or iOS device, to ensure it provides the best user experience.

The keyboard definitely scores well for its compatibility, beating other keyboards that only work with iOS or Android devices only.

This feature meant that when I wanted to begin typing my review on my phone, I had to disconnect the Bluetooth from the iPad and then select the Android option. Again, it connected quickly and without a problem.

I found it really easy to type on either device, and managed to write my review surprisingly quickly, along with other pieces of work. While I don’t tend to find myself needing to access a proper keyboard while on the go, I can definitely see it appealing to those who are often in this situation.

Additionally, while predominantly used wirelessly, it is possible to use it as a wired connection keyboard if you so wish, simply by plugging the MicroUSB wire (which is used to charge the keyboard) into a computer. While this is a simple feature, it is definitely useful, so I’m glad to see iClever included it.

I’ve now used the keyboard to type at least 3,000 words or so, and I still haven’t had any issues with buttons sticking or anything, which is pleasing. A very solid performance.

Battery

The wireless iClever keyboard is powered by a built-in 750mAh lithium battery, which takes almost four hours to charge, and lasts for around 5 hours of continued usage when the lights are turned on.

While this isn’t horrendous, it’s not as good as I would like, and is definitely the main failing of the keyboard. I would hope for at least eight hours of use before the battery runs out, so I could make it through the working day if I needed to use it.

However, it can last much longer if the lights are turned off (up to a whole week), which is perfectly good. Meanwhile, the iClever website also states a standby time of 90 days, which is pretty impressive.

Price

At the time of writing, the iClever Backlit Folding Bluetooth Keyboard costs £34.99 from Amazon, although you may be able to find it for slightly less.

I think this is a good price for what you are getting, and there is even a cheaper variation that comes without lights, if you don’t want to spend quite so much money.

Conclusion

Probably the best wireless, portable keyboard that I’ve used. The iClever Backlit Foldable Keyboard performs excellently, with my only criticism being that the battery life isn’t very long when you have the lights turned on.

What I like most about the keyboard is that it is basically the same size as normal laptop keyboards, with full size keys, meaning that I can type quickly on it. I used the keyboard to type out this entire review onto my Samsung Galaxy S7, and didn’t experience any issues.

Five hours of use isn’t brilliant, and you wouldn’t be able to get through a working day without recharging, but it’s not like its competitors are loads better. If iClever were able to increase the battery life up to around eight hours or so, it would be perfect.

If you’re someone who frequently types on their smartphone, tablet or other similar device, you will definitely benefit from this keyboard, which will allow you to get some serious work done away from your desk.

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