Smallest fully productive system you’ll find

When I head out with no plan to work, I usually take the iPad mini 3 with me. It’s my favorite device to read Kindle ebooks given the screen that’s the perfect size. It fits in the pocket on my cargo pants so it takes no effort to bring it.

WorkingSince I often get inspiration for an article (like this one) when I’m out and about, it helps to have a portable keyboard with me. That’s why I like the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard. It weighs mere ounces and is smaller and thinner than any mobile keyboard I’ve ever used.

Thin with iPad miniAs you can see in the photo at right, this keyboard is as thin as the iPad mini and smaller when folded for transport. It’s the thinnest keyboard you’ll find, yet has a keyboard roughly as big as all the mobile keyboards out there.

When I reviewed the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard for ZDNet I had a big problem with the gap running down the middle of it, coupled with the keys on either side of the gap that vary in size. It’s obvious that the designers meant to deal with the gap as they do on ergonomic keyboards on the desktop.

The problem is that this keyboard is not ergonomic so the design doesn’t quite work. This makes it hard moving between this device and a normal keyboard, something I do regularly.

I still use the Foldable Keyboard a lot due to the extreme portability it provides. The longer I’ve used it the better I’ve gotten with it. I still make the occasional typo due to those large keys, but not as many as I did when I first got it.

The ability to pair the keyboard with two different devices simultaneously is a great feature. I have it paired with the iPad mini 3 and also the iPhone 6 Plus which works as a writing display better than you might think.

The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard used with the iPad mini 3 is the smallest work system I use without much compromise. I can pull the two units out of my pants pocket and be writing in seconds. Just like I’m doing at this moment.

Keyboard closeup


4 thoughts on “Smallest fully productive system you’ll find

  • July 27, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    You posted a similar photo about 10 years ago of your mobile setup back in the Palm OS/Windows Mobile days. I think it was one of the first posts that I found that brought me to your site way back then.

    You should dig that up and do a side by side comparison to see where tech has taken us in the time between the two photos.

  • July 27, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I wish someone would just clone the old Think Outside Stowaway keyboard.

    I have yet to find a portable keyboard that feels as good to type on that folds up as small as that. Good key travel, full size. I loved that thing!


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