I recently purchased the Anker Wireless Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard from Amazon. I purchased it to replace my aging 1st Generation Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard. I haven’t been a huge fan of the Apple keyboard since I purchased it with my iPad Air many years ago. The part that I dislike the most has to be the battery hump in the back. Since the keyboard runs on two AA the back has a rounded hump to hold the batteries and elevate the keyboard. The thinness of the keyboard and the round hump make the keyboard awkward and hard to be portable like its companion iPad.
What’s in the Box
Anker packaging, although not as great as Apple’s, is always beautifully organized. When you slide off the front cover then pull the flaps to lift up the lid front and the center will be the keyboard in a styrofoam sac. There is a smaller box next to the keyboard, and in that box is a USB-B micro to USB-A cable or what is commonly referred to as micro USB cable. This cable can only be used to charge the keyboard. Unfortunately, you are unable to use this cable as a wired connection to your Mac nor can you use the keyboard at all while it’s charging. It’s important to note that you might have to purchase a power adapter separately if you don’t already own one. When charging a red light will appear at the top of the right of the keyboard. Also in the box, under the keyboard and the USB cable is some documentation. This includes a “Welcome Guide” detailing how to use the keyboard and some tricks. The other sheet is a support page explaining how to contact Anker support when you run into a problem or if you’re satisfied.
Dealing with Bluetooth can be a struggle. When you turn on your Bluetooth device it automatically connects to the closest device that was last connected. This can be a pain. But by using the keyboard shortcut Fn+Z you can easily disconnect the device from whichever device you are connected to and connect to another. The 3 LED at the top right makes it easy to tell the status of the keyboard.
How to pair to macOS
To pair your keyboard to your Mac click on the Apple menu on the top left of your screen then go down to “System Preferences”. Now make sure that your keyboard is powered on by flipping the switch on the right side of the keyboard next to the charging port, and that the keyboard is in pairing mode. To be in pairing mode there should be a blinking blue light in the top right. If the keyboard is not in pairing mode click Fn+Z at the same time then quickly release and it should then start blinking. Now getting back on your Mac open the “Bluetooth” preference pane. All “searching” devices, like your keyboard, appear at the bottom of this list. Wait till you see your Anker keyboard in the list. Once your Mac finds it click “Connect”. The device should now be moved to the top of the list and have an “X” on the right-hand side of the label on the list when you hover over it. If you ever want to remove the device from your Mac click that “X”.
How to pair to iOS
To pair to your iOS device, like with macOS, make sure that the keyboard is powered on and in pairing mode. To be in pairing mode there should be a blinking blue light in the top right. If the keyboard is not in pairing mode click Fn+Z at the same time then quickly release and it should then begin blinking. Now on your iDevice open Settings, navigate to Bluetooth. At the bottom of the list click on the keyboard name when it is “found”. The keyboard should then jump to the top of that list and labeled connected. To remove the device from the list click on the “i” next to the device name than “Forget this Device”. You will then be pushed back to the man Bluetooth list and that device removed.
This keyboard is beautiful. Its thin wedged design makes it super portable and makes an incline perfect for typing. Its also extremely simple to use and key travel is perfect. This might possibly be one of the best 3rd party wireless keyboards I have used or it definitely makes it to the top of my list. At first sight, you can defiantly tell that this keyboard is designed with an iPad in mind. All of the function keys correspond to an iOS command. F1 home, F2, and F3 are brightness controls, F4 search, F5 on-screen keyboard appear or disappear, then F6 through F8 are playback controls, F9 through F11 are volume controls, and finally F12 is screen lock. I can see how this keyboard would be great for full-time iPad users like writers or students. It has a more solid design than iPad keyboard cases and is more versatile. According to Anker, the rechargeable battery can last up to 6 months (based upon two hours of continuous usage per day). If the keyboard sits idle for more than 30 minutes it will go to sleep, this along with the power switch it can last for longer periods of time.
I strongly recommend this keyboard to anyone who is in the market for one. It will serve you well and get the job done. Coming in at roughly US $20.00 it’s a great low budget keyboard and way less expensive than any keyboard Apple makes.
Oh No! I Broke It!
Yes, that’s right. I broke my first keyboard. I had it in my backpack for a couple of weeks, then one day when I pulled it out I found that keys were missing. That’s when I emailed customer support at Anker and explained to them my problem. Anker’s wonderful support kicked in. Along with having some of the best products they also come with a great warranty. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee or 18-month quality-related issues. I luckily fell into the 18-month quality-related issues and was sent a brand new keyboard. They truly have customer service like no other.
Disclaimer: I was not paid by Anker to write this article. These are my true thoughts and feelings on this keyboard and the company Anker as a whole.