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Some of us can pick up an iPhone and master its virtual on-screen keyboard in an issue of mins, but for others, it takes a little time– particularly if you’ve actually just originated from a BlackBerry or an additional smartphone that’s a physical keyboard built-in. For those of you in that latter group, the NUU MiniKey for iPhone 5 is here to assist.

MiniKey by NUU
Category: Keyboard Case
Works With: iPhone 5
Price: $59

The MiniKey is a clip on case with an unique function: a slide-out physical keyboard that aims to give those who do not like keying in on glass a more conventional option. Its secrets are “created to match the ergonomics of entering with both thumbs” in an effort to assist you type much faster and more precisely.

The MiniKey has a built-in Li-Pro rechargeable battery (380mAh) that costs via USB, and like most wireless keyboards, it links to your iPhone through Bluetooth. It boasts 42 backlit keys, with functions for media playback, numbers, usual symbols, and more.

I evaluated the MiniKey’s predecessor for iPhone 4 a number of years back, and I was pretty impressed with it, so I couldn’t wait to try the most up to date model and learn whether it’s worth its $60 price tag.

The Good

Setting up the MiniKey is very simple– simply change it on with the little switch together with the keyboard, then match it like you’d any Bluetooth device. From there, you’ll be able to make use of the MiniKey inside any iOS app– even third-party ones– in place of the virtual keyboard.

The MiniKey has all the secrets you ‘d expect– and more.

Not just does the MiniKey have all the tricks you ‘d anticipate, but there are some added ones, too, like the navigation arrows and a faster way to your home screen. What’s even more, virtually every trick also has a 2nd function which you can access by holding down the “fn” trick.

Those features consist of fundamentals like numbers and common symbols, as well as media playback controls and the capacity to modify the brightness of the MiniKey’s backlit secrets. You’ll discover basically everything you require here, though you’ll should switch over back to the iPhone’s virtual keyboard to add unique symbols that are not on the MiniKey, or things like Emoji icons.

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 20.44.16

The MiniKey makes your iPhone fat. Really fat.

I’ve actually discovered battery life on the MiniKey to be quite wonderful. It’s not that simple to evaluate with a device you do not make use of all that typically, but mine’s gone over a week without a fee on many events. That’s with some appealing heavy use, regularly replying to text, emails, and composing up the odd note in Evernote.

Having the MiniKey brighten when you need it to is excellent, and it suggests you can continue to use the MiniKey in the dark. Without the backlighting, the keyboard would be basically worthless in reduced light conditions. Thankfully, you can turn the backlight off during the day to preserve battery.

The Bad

When it pertains to design, I think the brand-new MiniKey is a step in reverse. It’s nowhere near as sophisticated as its predecessor, and in places it feels a little low-cost. For example, the old MiniKey has a fantastic soft-touch surface all over, while the most up to date model only has it on its back– and it does not feel as good.

Old vs. NUU. Get it?

Old vs. NUU. Get it?

The most current model likewise has a terrible gap in between the case and the slide-out keyboard. The edges are not directly, and they don’t sit flush like they do on the old model (see the comparison shot above). I’ve no idea what the reason behind this change was, however it was not an excellent one.

The brand-new MiniKey is harder to kind on.

And because of that gap, I found the MiniKey gathered all sorts of dirt and dust inside the keyboard with day-to-day use, and I kept needing to blow it all out prior to using it.

I also discover the new MiniKey is a little harder to kind on. The tricks are simply as great, but because the keyboard itself is wider to accommodate the iPhone’s taller form aspect, you’ve to stretch your thumbs a little further to reach the type in the center.

For such a little battery, the MiniKey takes for life to charge.

That may not be a problem if you’ve big hands, however I do not, and I discovered it awkward.

The various other problem I’d with the MiniKey is its charge times. For such a small battery, it takes for life to charge– between three and 4 hours. That’s almost double the time it requires to charge the iPhone 5 itself.

The Verdict

Apple’s never ever going to make an iPhone with a physical keyboard, so you’ve a few selections: either purchase a BlackBerry rather, get used to utilizing a virtual keyboard, or add your own physical one.

For those who select that last choice, the MiniKey is probably the very best on the marketplace today, the only other physical keyboards I can find for the iPhone are economical knock-offs on eBay.

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 20.49.25

Having stated that, it’s far from perfect, and if you owned the previous MiniKey for iPhone 4, you’ll be dissatisfied with the current model.

Unless you actually, really require a physical keyboard, the MiniKey is not really worth your $60. Spend some more time getting used to the iPhone’s virtual keyboard and you’ll be much better off.