Brando Mini Bluetooth Keyboard

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I agree I am a keyboard-maniac, just loves keyboard with good designs, I first saw this tiny little keyboard in a computer mall in Wan Chai, which they asked me for HK$600 and told me that it need 3rd party drivers to work with Windows/Mac OSes, okey, too much for a toy I think…

Currently I found this keyboard at a fair price, so why not?

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Casing of the keyboard is aluminum, with brushed pattern, looks good, feels good, but a catch, very very very easy to get dirty and scratched!

I think Brando knows it, so the package cames with a little leather case.

Yet another “Great looking, bad using” example on gadgets designs.

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Nope, this is a bluetooth keyboard, not USB, and don’t think you can use this mini USB port to hook up your device, it is for charging only. (That would be nice tho, if the port can also be used for connection)

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Ok, to be honest, I am not very satisfy with this gadget, but I will have to agree the designer of the device did spend some time on “trying” to get his/her job done.

The switch on the keyboard, of coz, switch on and off the keyboard, but the design is kind of clever, if you switch it to left side, keyboard acts as standard HID devices, and to the right, it will act as a Serial Port device (BT Serial Profile), I think this design is clever as for XP/MacOS, WindowsMobile5+ and some Symbian devices, HID device works with standard drivers and no extra installation is needed, working right out of the box, and for some others like PalmOS, Blackberry and so, drivers is installed and work on top of the OS BT Stack (No, you don’t want to develop custom code to mess with their “protected, outdated, messy” BT Stack) as Serial device, so keys are send by serial, way easier to code, get the work done.

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Ok, start nagging, the outside of the keyboard looks good, design on HID/Serial is clever, why nag?

I think this is one of the problem why some gadgets manufacturer fails..
forget the price tag, a good product shall not comes with great idea, good design, but Good Quality, and Good Support (before sales, after sales)

On this keyboard, internal is good, casing is alright (I think they did spend time on it) but the plastic used to make the keyboard is bad, very bad, I would suggest plastics with these kind of quality should only be used in a $2 toy for kid, I agree and accepts hand feeling when typing with such a small keys won’t be very good, which in the case, it feels like those solar power calculators, but those “fine” printing fonts used on the keyboard is really killing me (Can they at least use a Bold on Arial?)….these really downgraded the keyboard to a $2 calculator level..

On the support side, as most chinese electronics manufacturers and resellers, as soon as they sold the item, or the item is not on list anymore, they won’t care on it anymore, so where are the drivers download? where is the menu, read me, how to? nope, sorry we don’t sell this anymore! (The word is, we don’t make money on this anymore) who cares?

Look at all other western manufacturer, my example is my old Palm Pilot Pro, and my old Xircom Rex5001, altho no new updates are made, but support information are still kept until NOW! (see Xircom was sold to Intel for ages! and Intel still kepts the Rex support page running!) When I was searching for info/support/drivers on this keyboard, I came across a few reviews, and link to Brando’s website, which gives me 404, and not surprise, the keyboard is not listed in his online shop anymore…

My 2 cents, if you get this keyboard at a very very fair price, which you don’t really care, good on you!
If you are planning to pay the marked price US$58 for it? I suggest you don’t!

Go get the Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard instead!

Brando Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Review – Brighthand
Brando Mini Bluetooth Keyboard: Slightly Larger than Tiny – Gizmodo