Tuesday, August 09, 2016


     No, not a Soviet submarine -- this:
     Logitech's K380 Bluetooth keyboard.  About 11" wide and maybe 3/8" thick.  It's sitting in front of the Kindle Fire 7 it is being used with. 

     The combination produces a purse-survivable writing workstation.  The keyboard is either full-sized or very close; it has proper round keycaps and there's zero wasted space.  Key feel is remarkably good.

     Of course, now I'm pondering a larger Android pad-type device.  Price ramps up steeply above the 7" diagonal screen, so that'll take awhile.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

In Soviet Russia, keyboard bigger than screen.

Roberta X said...

Also in the movie "Brazil." :)

D.W. Drang said...

Mrs. Drang got on of those, the keyboard on her laptop had some keys die and repair would cost more than a new laptop. Works pretty well, for most purposes. Certainly cheaper than replacing the laptop.

Ygolonac said...

When I came into some money last year (and promptly upgraded a lot of my crap), one item I impulse-bought was a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, mainly because I read a *lot* of comics and it's much nicer on a bigger screen than the 7" Tab 3 I'd previously bought. (I also bought a cheapo folding Bluetooth keyboard off Amazon, because I just can't do touchscreen typing.)

Anyway, the 12.2 is a bit spendy even as a refurb, is Wi-Fi only and isn't the Note version so no gimmicky stylus port nor handwriting recognition. Mine has 32 GB onboard, and a microSD slot which can handle up to 128 GB cards, possibly larger (and I'd be happy to test this if someone would send me a 200 GB card? :V ).

I also ordered an Otterbox for it sight-unseen, and am *soooo* glad I did - this bloody thing is thinner than my Tab 3 and feels like I'm about to bend it just picking it up. It's a bit heavy, and somewhat awkward, but that comes with the size. (Also the Otterbox doesn't help in either case.)

It comes with USB-OTG capability, but I'm not that thrilled with it - the (actual Samsung) OTG cable seems a bit flimsy and I have connection issues if the cable is moved, but that could just be a dodgy cable. (Also storage may need to be formatted in a certain format, or may need specific apps.) Along with OTG, however, is an option to output via HDMI to external monitors/projectors. (Using a different cable, natch.)

I've not played much with the OTG, because I usually have either my home Wi-Fi network, or a portable Wi-Fi hard drive/cheapo wireless media hub - works just fine for most streaming/off-tablet storage, and the hub has the ability to plug into an Ethernet jack to become a hotspot.

Battery life is decent-ish, 8-10 hours of streaming audio with some screen use, and less when watching video (onboard or streaming). (Currently about 75% after four hours of onboard music streaming via Bluetooth to my speakers here at work.) Does have a faster charge rate with higher-amp chargers, but can still use standard USB port levels.

In conclusion, I'm happy with it and think it was worth the (refurb) price I paid, but if you're not needing that level of screen real estate, a smaller tablet might be a better choice - 8.5 x .75 x 12" (in Otterbox) is a bit of a hassle to manipulate at times, and longer one-handed support can be uncomfortable. (Ten buck Amazon folding stand, yay - the Otterbox has a built-in stand if I used the full snap-on cover, but then it's even bigger/heavier.)

A decent Chromebook might be a solution, or a Surface of some sort, too. Of course, that incurs the wrath of Bud-Get, implacable foe of nice things. (The 12.2 was about $350 before tax and shipping, May 2015, but the prices should have dropped even for non-refurb/sale units. All the other crap I bought? (sigh) The case alone was like $70, I think, as was the 128 GB memory card. You might not be packing it full of music/movies/book/comics/rubbish, though, and a smaller card might be enough.)

The Jack said...


That could be nice.

How's the battery life? (I'm guessing it works well, given that it's a keyboard)

Roberta X said...

Don't know yet.

Roberta X said...

Ygolonac, I have a Chromebook and a couple of Surfaces (an RT and a Pro, both bought used/refurbished to get the price down to something manageable). I like the Surfaces very well, but they are a little fragile (the RT especially) and heavy (the Pro) for purse carry. There are a number of restaurants within walking distance of home and work, and I'd like to get back into the habit of writing during meals instead of reading. The Chromebook was software-poor from my purposes but I like the feel -- but it's a bit fragile, too.

My stable of small computers is just ridiculous, with two generations of Asus Eee machines and an Acer Windows box the same size as my (Acer) Chromebook. The oldest Eee and my Surface Pro essentially live in my briefcase; the Eee is good for interfacing with various devices at work and general "I need a Windows machine" stuff, since IS has the company computers all locked down, and the Surface is gangbusters for writing and general websurfing.

I broke the screen on the RT early this Spring, carrying it several blocks in my purse on a cold day, then getting it right out and powering it up when I arrived at the lunch place...and it cracked right before my eyes. It's been fixed since (not cheap but hey, all my stuff was on it).

Ygolonac said...

The 12.2 (bare) is 1.6 pounds, but is kinda large, so smaller purses need not apply. :V Otterbox had protected it from most of my casual fumbling/throwing/dropping - it's taken multiple solid-surface drops on edges and corners. The only damage I've managed has been, uh, well... I forgot where I left it one evening, and on return accidentally stepped on it. :eeek!: Felt (and *heard* :cry:) a crunching noise, so I backed off and didn't put my full weight down, but now I do have an area of minor backlighting showing through on darker images - not glaringly obvious, but I notice it easily enough. $75 screen replacement will fix it, when I get around to it.

Mainly it was an impulse buy, as it popped on sale at a good price, and I did have the 7" Tab from a previous sale and been happy with it, and gee it'd be nice to have a really big screen to read on... :ching!:

For some reason I couldn't remember if it was you or Tam with the Surface(s). Ygoloderp rides again!

Roberta X said...

We both have Surface RTs. She moved on to iPads, I got a Surface Pro. (Used, because new prices are too high for a portable computer IMO.)