Best Foldable Keyboards

Updated April 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

15 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
102 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best foldable keyboards

Last Updated April 2019

It wasn't too long ago that you had to sit down at a large desktop computer to do any work, but today’s technology allows for more flexibility. With the help of a foldable keyboard, you can write reports, send emails, code, or work on your novel pretty much anywhere.

Now you just need to find the best foldable keyboard for the job. It isn't as simple as it sounds. With such a huge range available to you, the choice can be overwhelming.

We at BestReviews have written this guide to help you learn what to look for in a foldable keyboard so shopping is a breeze. We've also provided our top recommendations, so there's nothing standing between you and your ideal foldable keyboard.

Foldable keyboards are ideal for getting work done while you're traveling.

Key considerations

Foldable keyboard benefits

If you're still on the fence about whether you need a foldable keyboard, you might be wondering what's so great about them. Here are some of the major benefits:

  • A foldable keyboard is much easier to type on than the onscreen keyboard on a smartphone or tablet.

  • A foldable keyboard is a huge time-saver when you want to write large amounts of text.

  • A foldable keyboard lets you turn your tablet into a basic laptop, which makes working wherever you are much simpler.

  • A foldable keyboard is great for creative professionals who might want to write ideas down when inspiration strikes, even when out and about.

  • A foldable keyboard is easy to slip into a bag or large pocket because of its compact size when folded.
     

Connection

Most foldable keyboards on the market today use Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to devices. This usually works just fine because users generally want to pair the keyboard with a tablet or smartphone, which comes with built-in Bluetooth. The only problem with a Bluetooth keyboard is that you either need to charge it or it contains single-use batteries that need replacing every so often. You can also find a few foldable keyboards that attach to devices via a micro USB cable or through the headphone jack. These generally don't need charging since they're physically connected to your tablet or smartphone.

Battery life

The battery life of a foldable keyboard can range from around 30 hours of use to over 150 hours. It's also worth looking at how long the battery lasts on standby, especially if you'll only be using your keyboard occasionally. Some models can last for about six months on standby, so they're ready to use even if you've neglected them for some time. It's also worth considering whether your chosen keyboard has a built-in battery or takes single-use batteries. If you use your keyboard regularly, the cost of replacing single-use batteries can add up, not to mention it's not exactly environmentally friendly.

Folded size

Naturally, the main reason for purchasing a folding keyboard is that it folds down to a smaller size for carrying, otherwise you could buy a non-folding wireless keyboard. Check the product description to find out the exact folded dimensions because this can vary quite significantly between models. Some are compact enough to slip into a pocket, while others will fit in a bag or briefcase but not a pocket. Those models that fold in two places are generally more compact when folded than those with a single hinge down the middle.

Unfolded size

While you want your keyboard to be as compact as possible when folded, most users prefer a large size when unfolded. The closer in size it is to a standard keyboard, the easier it will be to adjust to typing on it. A few millimeters shouldn't make much of a difference once you've gotten used to it, but a tiny keyboard will be extremely tricky to type on, which negates the whole point of buying a foldable keyboard in the first place.

Layout

Possibly more important than the size of your foldable keyboard is the layout. It only takes a few minutes to become accustomed to a slightly smaller keyboard when everything is in the same place as you're used to, but a keyboard with a somewhat different layout can be a nightmare to type on, especially if you touch-type. It might seem like it wouldn't cause too much difficulty, but if frequently used keys, such as the return key or space bar, are placed even slightly off from what you're used to, it can throw your whole typing experience out of whack. Look for a foldable keyboard with a standard layout.

EXPERT TIP

Check the charge time of your chosen foldable keyboard. Some models can be fully charged in as little as two hours.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

A low-battery indicator light is a useful feature on a foldable keyboard. It prevents you from running out of juice in the middle of an important task.


Staff  | BestReviews

Foldable keyboard prices

Inexpensive

Basic foldable keyboards start at around $20 to $30. Most of these are fine for occasional use, but they might not be durable enough to stand up to long-term daily use. Some also have nonstandard layouts or aren't compact enough when folded.

Mid-range

These foldable keyboards tend to cost between $30 and $50. You can find plenty of excellent options at this price that are both durable and highly functional.

Expensive

High-end foldable keyboards cost between $50 and $80. These may be manufactured by well-known brands, made from exceptionally durable materials, or have features that cause them to stand out from the crowd.

If you can't resist sipping coffee while you work, buy a spill-resistant foldable keyboard.

Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Check that your chosen keyboard is compatible with your device. Almost all will work with Android, iOS, and Windows phones and tablets, but some have more limited compatibility, so always double-check.

  • Fully charge your foldable keyboard before the first use. Most arrive only partially charged so you can't be sure how long the battery will last.

  • Consider buying a stand for your tablet or smartphone, too. Otherwise, it will be awkward to view the screen while you type.

  • Think about durability. Some foldable keyboards are made from a combination of plastic and aluminum. These are more durable than those made from plastic alone.

Other products we considered

All of our top foldable keyboards are excellent, but there are a number of other stellar options on the market. We also considered the following products that are worth a look. Although the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard costs significantly more than most of its competitors, the fact that it comes from one of the biggest names in computing can't be ignored. This is a sturdy and well-designed option that's reliable, lightweight, and pleasant to type on. While it isn't as compact when folded as some options, the Joyzy Bluetooth Folding Keyboard is the same size unfolded as a standard keyboard, which makes it easy to type on, especially for people with larger hands. Last but not least, we have the Jelly Comb Ultra Slim Foldable Keyboard. Unlike some offerings from Jelly Comb, it doesn't feature a trackpad, but this makes it easier to use with touchscreen devices.

The vast majority of foldable keyboards connect to devices via Bluetooth. As such, they should be compatible with any Bluetooth-capable device.

FAQ

Q. Can I use my foldable keyboard with a desktop computer?

A. Unless your desktop computer is Bluetooth-compatible, you won't be able to use the majority of foldable keyboards with it. However, those that connect to devices via a USB cable will work with a desktop computer.

Q. Is it possible to buy a backlit foldable keyboard?

A. Although they aren't as common, you can find a handful of foldable keyboards with backlighting, which is useful for typing in low-light situations.

Q. What sort of range do you get with a Bluetooth foldable keyboard?

A. You don't need to be right up close to the device your Bluetooth foldable keyboard is paired with. While the range can vary slightly between models, it's generally around 33 feet. This is ideal if you want a foldable keyboard to use with a gaming console or smart TV.

Q. Are there foldable keyboards in different colors?

A. Most foldable keyboards are only available in one color (black), though some models give you two or three choices, such as white and silver. You can find keyboards in more vibrant colors, but you'll need to shop around.

The team that worked on this review
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    Alvina
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