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Aug 29 2012

Matias One Keyboard Review

The Matias One Keyboard.

I will not make the obligatory LOTR joke.
I will not make the obligatory LOTR joke.
I will not make the obligatory LOTR joke.

Oh crap, who am I fooling…one keyboard to rule them all.

There, now that is out of my system, let’s talk about the One Keyboard.

I am pretty sure that the developer of the One keyboard has teenage daughters because he had to be driven by the need to text at a speed to keep up with them!

The basic idea is simple. It is a dual function keyboard, USB to connect to a computer and bluetooth to connect to your phone. A single button switches the modes of the keyboard and allows you to use it for both functions.

They have three versions of the One and I chose the big, retro clackety IBM style with the numbers pad but you might prefer the laptop style keyboard or their Tactile version. The tactile is based on the old Apple Extended keyboards.

The two mechanical keyboards have a little cradle set aside for your phone to sit on. This allows you to stare into its halcyon glow as you type texts or tweets to your heart’s content.

The Bluetooth range on the Matias is actually a bit too good. I have found myself in the parking lot at my office opening up Messages on my phone to send a quick text and having to turn off bluetooth to be able to finish. If you take your phone to the bathroom with you…well you get the idea… I wish Apple would allow a quick software switch to turn BT on and off without jailbreaking the phone!

Having the full keyboard for texting is a joy except for one little issue. You still have to reach over and hit send on the phone. Not a Matias issue but it would be nice if there was a keyboard equivalent for this.

The One keyboard runs off of the 5V output on the USB port and has a 2 port USB port which is nice for attaching a mouse or other USB accessory. No batteries required!

The first time I looked at the right side function key I thought the keyboard was defective. It is at an offset angle rather than level like all the other keys. This facilitates resting your right thumb on it and switching the arrow keys from being line and character advance to page up and page down. Pretty clever actually.

Unfortunately, this placement of the arrow keys means I seldom actually have my phone on the pad designated for it. It is difficult to have the phone charging while on the pad without the cable being in the way. I wish there was a pass through for a sync cable so that the phone could sit here and charge at the same time.

Conclusions:

The Matias One is definitely a convenience. It can save you desk space and allow you to interface with both your BT enabled phone and your computer from the same keyboard. It works well, feels good and does exactly what it advertises.

However, it strikes me that you can buy both a USB keyboard and a bluetooth keyboard like the Verbatim BT Keyboard for less money than the Matias.

So, if your desk space is at a premium and money is not a challenge, the Matias is a great choice.
Otherwise, you may get more bang for your buck by buying two separate products.

Matias One Keyboard $79.95 – $199.95

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