All posts in “Keyboard”

This rollable, waterproof keyboard fits in your beach bag

Make the beach your office.
Make the beach your office.

Image: Sungwoo

Summer can be the best time of year to take your work on the road—or at least to the nearest pool.

But, getting a little work done out of office can be tricky, since most laptops we know of aren’t sand-and-margarita proof. And doing any serious typing on a portable touchscreen device is a total pain. 

That’s the beauty of the Sungwoo Foldable Silicone Keyboard. It’s perfect for your tablet, phone, or sub-notebook — and when you’re done with it, it rolls up like a towel and fits neatly in your beach bag (or wherever else you want to stow it.)

It connects with a USB cord (so you might need an adapter for some newer-model Apple products) and it’s pretty rugged: if it gets sandy, all you need to do is wipe it down.

It’s usually $20, but you can get it here for only $12.78—or 30 percent off.  Buy it here.

This bamboo keyboard combo adds a touch of tranquility to your workspace

Image: smart tech

Looking to add a touch of tranquility to your workspace? Your boss might not support the purchase of a full-sized bamboo water fountain for the office, but she ought to be OK with this natural bamboo keyboard-and-mouse combo. 

The duo, from Smart Tech, are handcrafted from natural bamboo — a soothing earth-tone alternative to the glaring white or matte black of most computer gear.

Panda not included

Panda not included

Image: smart tech

This one works with just about any Windows operating system, and works wirelessly from up to ten meters. All you need to do is plug the USB nano-receiver into your device and get some AAA batteries (which are not included).

A desk-sized Zen rock garden is not required… but it couldn’t hurt!

The mouse and keyboard set are usually $59.99 but are currently on sale for just $45.99—a discount of 30 percent. Buy now, and they’ll throw in a free Smart Tech touch pen.

Buy them here.

Microsoft’s slick new keyboard comes with a fingerprint sensor built in

Your next keyboard could have a fingerprint scanner built right into it.

Microsoft has put up product pages for two new Surface accessories – the Modern Keyboard and the Modern Mouse

For the new Modern Keyboard, the company has built a fingerprint reader right into the keyboard, similar to Apple’s offering on the Macbook Pro. The fingerprint scanner looks like any other key, is located between Alt and Ctrl keys on the keyboard, and gives users a new way to log into their Surface devices.

The built-in fingerprint scanner is just one of many ways users can log into their devices. Microsoft also currently offers a tool called Windows Hello, which allows users to log in with facial, iris, or fingerprint recognition.

Microsoft called the aluminum keyboard “virtually indestructible.” The keyboard works with Bluetooth and can also be connected directly. It’s compatible with Windows 10, 8.1 and 8, the Windows 10 phone, Android 4.4.2-5.0, Mac OS 10.10.5,Mac OS 10.10.5/10.11.1, and 10.11.4 and iOS8.1-9.2.1. The devices must support Bluetooth 4.0 or higher.

Two AAA rechargeable batteries are included, which give the keyboard a battery life of up to 2 months on full charge. The keyboard weighs 14.8 ounces.

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The Modern Keyboard isn’t the company’s only upgraded accessory. The Modern Mouse uses Bluetooth 4.0 as well and is an aesthetic upgrade from the company’s previous offerings.

Modern Mouse

Modern Mouse

Image: microsoft

The Modern Mouse will retail for $49.99 and the Modern Keyboard will be $129.99. Both devices are “coming soon“ with no other information from Microsoft.

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Sound-bending mini piano is all you need to become a DJ god

In La La Land, too-cool-for-cover-bands and struggling jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) plays on the Roli Seaboard Grand, a $3,000 futuristic keyboard that warps sound based on presses, bends and slides, after joining Keith’s (John Legend) band, The Messengers.

It’s a sick keyboard for professionals, but at $3,000 it’s far too pricey. That’s why Roli’s introducing the Seaboard Block, a half-sized version of the electronic instrument that’s way more affordable at $300.

The Seaboard Block’s the latest addition to Roli’s modular Blocks family. 

Last year, the company launched the $180 Lightpad Block, a palm-sized pressure-sensitive touchpad with adaptive LEDs for making tunes that wirelessly connects to iPhones and iPads, and two companion modules (Live Block and Loop Block, $80 each) to aid with performance and production. 

The goal of Blocks and Roli’s Noise app for iOS (a beta version for Android is coming soon) was to make music production easy for people who are instrument-challenged, but still want to learn how to make some sick beats.

Of course, if you already know a thing or two about making electronic music, Blocks is even easier to play with. Steve Aoki, RZA, and Grimes are just a few notable musicians who use and endorse Blocks. If you attended Google I/O, you got treated to some bangin’ tunes by Parisi.

With a modular design, it’s easy to expand your music production setup simply by attaching Blocks together via their magnetic “DNA connectors.”

The new Seaboard Block builds on Blocks’ expandable system. It’s got the versatility (all of the pressing, bending and sliding gestures) of a Seaboard Grand at a fraction of the cost. 

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The Seaboard Block is as long as three Lightpad Blocks and super compact, with 24 keys.

Instead of lugging around a large Seaboard Grand (not to mention eating Cup Noodles for who knows how long to pay for it), you could just toss the Seaboard Block into your backpack. Need a full keyboard layout? Connect two, three, or four together. Even with four, it’ll still fit in your bag because they break apart easily.

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You’re also not limited to any specific setup configuration. You could connect two Seaboard Blocks vertically or horizontally, and add as many other Blocks as you want.

Image: roli

I’ll admit: I suck at making music and couldn’t make a beat if my life depended on it. I’ve been tooling around with GarageBand for years and still can’t figure it out. 

However, the Noise app lets you make music from scratch, comes with helpful interactive tutorials on how to get started, and also lets you remix creations made by other users. I easily made a listenable track. Sure, a Roli rep held my hand during my brief demo with the Blocks, but when they left I felt confident enough to mix a decent beat. 

I obviously won’t become Deadmau5 overnight, but for a few hundred bucks and the ability to expand later, Roli Blocks is an excellent way to for amateurs to get started with music creation.

The Seaboard Block available for purchase from Roli’s online store, Amazon, GuitarCenter, Sweetwater, and ships in June.

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Keyboard fans, rejoice: BlackBerry KEYone is available to buy

BlackBerry KEYone
BlackBerry KEYone

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

Prepare your fingers: BlackBerry’s new Android-meets-physical-keyboard phone, the KEYone, is now available for purchase in the U.S.

You can get it on BlackBerry’s website, Amazon, and Best Buy online, or at select Best Buy stores, for the price of $549.99.

The phone is available in two unlocked variants in the U.S. — one optimized for GSM networks, which includes AT&T and T-Mobile, and one optimized for CDMA networks such as Verizon. Carrier-bound versions of the phone will become available this summer. 

The KEYone is probably the last chance to revive BlackBerry’s nearly non-existent market share. The phone will likely polarize customers — like it did us — as it’s a mix of cool features and annoying quirks. 

Here’s a quick rundown: It’s a 4.5-inch phone with an unusual, 1,680 x 1,080 pixel display, a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera (coupled with an 8-megapixel selfie cam), 32GB of storage, and a 3,505mAh battery.

And yes, it has a physical keyboard, which has a few nifty tricks of its own, like the keyboard gestures or the fingerprint sensor that’s built into the space key. 

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