External Accessories / Peripherals Discuss any accessories used to enhance your Dell Inspiron Mini experience.

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steveg_va steveg_va is offline
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Thumbs up Matias [external] Folding Keyboard - 08-12-2009, 04:15 PM

I just received a Matias (FK204 for Macintosh) Folding Keyboard to use on the road with my Hackintosh Dell Mini 9. My issue was that the cramped keyboard on the Mini restricted me to typing short notes only, and this was exacerbated by what appeared to be capacitive coupling between my hands the the trackpad which caused the cursor to jump all over the page, making recovery of the text a tortuous proposition. So, I ordered the Matias Folding Keyboard USB/Mac from Amazon for US$48 with free shipping. When folded in half, it is just over 10-inches long, and it neatly fits in the small shoulder bag in which I carry my Dell Mini 9 and my Kindle 2 plus assorted cables and a slim blade travel mouse. Now, I will be able to type longer messages in my hotel room while traveling.

It works perfectly, has a nice feel to the key action, and also sports function keys F1-F15, an added plus. There is no dedicated CAPS LOCK key, only a Function + "?/" key combo to get CAPS LOCK. Also, there is no locking mechanism to keep the keyboard flat, so typing with it in your lap is out unless you have some kind of hard surface under the keyboard. A few Amazon reviewers complained that it does not fold completely flat, but I did not find that to be a distraction. Even with those minor issues, it delivers a much better experience for road warriors.

I should add that there are four basic models to choose from: USB or BlueTooth (about US$20 more expensive) for either Mac or PC. I chose the USB just to have one less thing that could go wrong--also no batteries needed. But, Matias is a very reliable manufacturer of specialty keyboards, and I would expect their BT model to be solid, and actually my concern was more with the Dell Mini than with the Matias BT keyboard. Right now, I am using their US$150 "tactilepro 2.0" keyboard on my iMac at home--expensive, but, oh, so worth it!

Bottom line: highly recommended, and Amazon had the best prices that I could find.

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