Hardware

Ripping Off Apple (Short Read)

Apple as we know announced this year that its business had passed the 1 trillion value mark thats impressive regardless of whether you like apple or not. So this means people are going to copy its products which 99% of the time ends up with apple throwing a colossal tantrum and suing the living daylights of them resulting in some people giving apple the title of a corporate bully because it can just throw around money for lawsuits whenever it wants to and not suffer for it.

Now I have to think why it will spend millions on a lawsuit which is idiotic like the repair one which it lost and yet let its keyboard designs be copied so blatantly ok they dont have the rounded base but otherwise they are copies and there even selling in the likes of currys pc world and yet apple have not turned around to them and issued a Cease and Desist order which it could so easily.

Anyway I have 2 Apple clone keyboards to take a look at my own Combrite (One at the front in the below image) version and the Caseflex Version (Back of below image) one came from Amazon and the other from Ebay both cost around £9 and I am going to review them below

Power 

Both keyboards are powered by 2x AAA batteries which is pretty common for slimline wireless keyboards and they are incredible in terms of life with claims of around 130 days of lifespan that does not seem to far fetched actually and is a nice touch to these keyboards and they have a small blue light at the top the keyboard to indicate a low battery and when its in pair mode

Connection

The keyboards only connection is via Bluetooth which is not a problem with most devices carrying a Bluetooth chip set of some kind on the board and this keyboard carries a 3.0 chipset a little outdated in comparison to some devices like my Razer Phone which carries A 4G LTE/Bluetooth 4.0 combo chipset but since its use is for one thing only and thats to be a keyboard its fine really as its not going to be doing needing fast transfer speeds and it connects by a pin code now I am not a fan of that on keyboards because its well… pointless as you cant exactly snipe data from it so there is just no need for a pincode.

Compatibility


I am pretty sure The keyboard was not designed to be operated by a cat or a mythical cat operating system lol but it is designed to work pretty much with any Bluetooth enabled device and it has specific keys for Android Windows and of course iOS specific keys on the keyboard but there is no Raspberry Pi or linux keys but it does work with both of those too and if you press one of those keys along with the FN (function Key) it switches the functions the key operates a really nice feature.

Design

Looking at both of the keyboards together I prefer the Combrite version to the caseflex version as it looks like more effort was put into it with most of the keys showing the symbols and logos on the keys where the Caseflex is mostly just text on the keys its not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination but having the logos on the keys feels more professional but the layout is very slightly different between them but both work fine with uk key mapping.

both keyboards do a really nice job emulating the chrome satin paint style of the apple keyboard and I really like that but I also noticed in a few small places it had chipped away on the caseflex model but no big deal you cant expect perfection for the cost. 

Key Mechanism 

Both keyboards use a Scissor key mechanism like in the picture above and the keys feel really good to press and seem to have a fair bit of bounce to them but of course will never be as good as mechanical keys like the Cherry MX so really there is not much to say on them really they do the Job and do it well.

Dirt & Key Spacing

Both these keyboards are small of course and that is cool but I actually found both of them hard to type on as I am able to touch type at around 50wpm (Not the fastest I know but its good enough in most situations) as I learnt that at school many years ago back on windows 95 and word 97 even typing commands into retro pies shell was a pain in the backside and I found myself missing keys and I did not have any trouble with a slimliar designed HP slim Bluetooth keyboard.

Now both these keyboards have a great aspect here too and because they are small that means they wont collect a huge amount of dirt between they keys and that makes me happy as trying to clean out my Logitech g510 takes a good hour and then another hour or so to reassemble and tedious as a result.

In conclusion

are these 2 Apple clone keyboards worth it?

Well Yes and no they look great and have most of the functionally of the real keyboards but with things like the tight spacing issue making it hard to type on its no where near as good as a full sized keyboard or a real apple slim keyboard but as a keyboard for basics in the likes of retropie or android I am not talking shell command prompts and the like but more for the likes of games and apps that need a keyboard then its not bad at all and the battery life does make them worth the money.

overall I will still give these keyboards a thumbs up!

Until next time 

Tim





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