Share one Bluetooth keyboard between multiple devices with the Multi-Sync Keyboard

By , Aug 30, 2014

Kanex Keyboard multi-devices

Have you ever used a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad? Sure, you have! All serious iPad users have, at one time, tried to use a Bluetooth keyboard with their favorite tablet. I tried to use an external keyboard on several occasions with my iPad, not just for reviews either.

The same can be said for iPhone. In fact, at one time I was searching mini Bluetooth keyboards to keep on my desk, just to make iMessaging easier. That was before my OS X days. During the course of any day, I almost always keep my iPhone and iPad in a dock or stand next to my computer. Being a user of multi-devices, there are certain tasks I like to accomplish on each device.

Complicating my movement from device to device in a serious work environment is input. Typing on an iPhone or iPad’s virtual keyboard is not the best experience, and that is coming from a fanboy. What would be perfect, is a wireless keyboard that operates either devices without the hassle of re-pairing each time. What would be perfect is the Kanex Multi-Sync Keyboard.

The Device

Having used the Kanex Multi-Sync Keyboard for several months, I am very pleased with its overall operability. Switching from one device to another is instantly seamless. When it comes to pairing time from device 1 to 2 to 3, you will find it is similar to any other Bluetooth devices. A slight pause, and you are up and running on the other gadgets.

This is truly a solution for people that are multi-device users. Sometimes a desktop is the best option, but if you want to switch to iPad, why should you have to go through the pain of unpairing a keyboard with the desktop, then set it into pairing mode, and connect it to the other device? It is easier to have two dedicated keyboards. Taking it a step further, it is best to have one keyboard that connects all of your devices at once.

Kanex included all of the great buttons you would expect in a keyboard for OS X. A full number pad is the biggest attractor for me, because Apple does not make a wireless bluetooth keyboard with a full keypad. Additional dedicated buttons include Mission Control, brightness, audio/video control, volume, sleep/wake, fn, home, page up/down, delete and end. I also appreciate the spotlight and iOS Home button keys.

Personal reaction

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I like everything about the keyboard’s size and functionality. It has really improved my desktop experience. However, there are a few things I would change or point out to potential customers. Most annoying is the pairing. Each day I wake up my laptop and the Kanex must wake up and re-establish the connection. Most likely, this is caused by the keyboard going into a hibernation state when unused. But, there is just something really annoying about having to peck the Enter key and waiting before I can type in my user password.

Also, there is no Launchpad button. This is not a huge hindrance, but I wanted to note the only way to access Launchpad is through the Trackpad or dock icon. Finally, I think the key responsiveness is a little slow. Slow is not the best word for it, but I feel as if I must type harder on the Kanex keyboard than other keyboards, even a built-in laptop keyboard. I find myself missing capital letters a lot because the Shift key must be depressed harder than one might think.

Conclusion

Despite the items I referred above, I still use the Kanex keyboard every single day, for about 9-10 hours. Speaking of time, I cannot even remember the last time I changed the batteries. That should tell you the benefits far outweigh my concerns. The ability to instantly switch between iPhone, iPad, and my MacBook Air is incredible. Added to that, the full size numeric keypad and wireless operability make this one a contender.

The design is white and gray, matching Apple’s aesthetic, but it only comes in a plastic variety. At $59.95 on Amazon, it is a reasonably priced accessory, especially considering a Logitech competitor retails for $80. I do wish Kanex would make a premium version that is anodized aluminum to give the keyboard a proper Apple fit and finish. I would easily pay additional dollars for metal housing, assuming it matched my other devices. Next go-round, I’m looking for a little more response on the keys and an aluminum housing.

Do any of you use multiple keyboards? Or, do you have a multi-sync keyboard to recommend to others?

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  • http://www.truffol.com Truffol

    this really is how all bluetooth keyboard should be going forward in this multi screen era…

    • iXanczy

      *multi device era ;D

  • Bob

    I’m going to buy a fake Apple keyboard ripoff just to use this feature.

  • abhi0n0nakul

    It is very strange that an ios fan site does not have an ios app dedicated to it.
    Please do something, to make the experience better.
    Coz obv an app experience will be better and beautiful than browser one. If done nicely.

    • bn326160

      No, it won’t. A well written mobile version would be good enough. If the used framework allows it, it can even act like an app once added to the homescreen.

      • abhi0n0nakul

        The scrolling in comments section is really laggy at times on iphone 5

  • Simos805

    My Logitech K810 works like this! :)

  • Dmaez

    I have been using the Logitech K810 which does the same thing for my Mac, PC, and phone at work for a year or so now and it works really well. While this one looks much bigger if you want something you can port around a lot the K810 works really well too

    • WJH

      haha me too! it’s a decent keyboard with good tactile feedback and with illuminated keys for typing in the dark.

  • Dmaez

    I am waiting for a mouse that does the same thing I use something called wormhole now but it can be finicky and is more of just a work around

    • http://www.versalytics.com/ Redge

      Logitech makes a mouse that can be paired to two machines. Simply slide the switch on the bottom of the mouse to choose between “1″ or “2″. Works great.

      • Dmaez

        Oh wow good to know thanks!

  • Tommy Gumbs

    I use my tablet as a tablet. Tried the keyboard thing once and quickly realized that If I wanted a keyboard to use with such a small screen, I would buy and MBPA.

    • Andrew von Pikrt

      Not sure what MBPA is, i think u meant MBA, but I use a BT keyboard with the iPad all the time when I don’t want to drag around a laptop and want to quickly draft something in a coffeeshop or something. Much more comfortable than on-screen keyboard..

      • Tommy Gumbs

        Yea, I meant MBA. And to each his own.

  • Andrew von Pikrt

    Its certainly not a new idea, its certainly not the first keyboard that does this, but it certainly is the best looking one. If they’ve added a solar panel at the top, it would be pretty much flawless. Thumbs up for this one.

  • ItsAllOverSnottyFans

    I have mutliple macs on my desktop (work and personal macbook pros hooked up to external screens), and I have had my eye on the logitech keyboard. But unless I can do that with a trackpad, it doesn’t make sense..

  • gittlopctbi

    The Logitech is what I use. Great keyboard. And it is backlit. And it goes forever on one charge. And I can still use it when it is charging.