The best way to review something is to use it in real life, as in, just make it the item you use the most in a given situation. There is no better test for something than to use it for what its intended, and go a little above that as well. We got the chance to visit Rapoo at CES this January. Rapoo is a Chinese company that specializes in wireless devices who is looking to make a splash in the U.S. They’ve already done so in Europe and China, so they have accolades to back them up. I am reviewing one of their keyboards, the E6300 The best way to review something is to use it in real life, as in, just make it the item you use the most in a given situation. There is no better test for something than to use it for what its intended, and go a little above that as well. We got the chance to visit Rapoo at CES this January. Rapoo is a Chinese company that specializes in wireless devices who is looking to make a splash in the U.S. They’ve already done so in Europe and China, so they have accolades to back them up. I am reviewing one of their keyboards, the E6300 bluetooth keyboard, on my Galaxy Note 2. How does it stack up?
The E6300 is made for maximum portability. The size is smaller than most Bluetooth keyboards, making it easy to carry. The back of the keyboard is made of brushed aluminum, giving it a high quality feel that most Bluetooth keyboards are lacking. The E6300 comes in black or white, and while it is marketed as an iPad keyboard, it works on other OSes just fine. It has a built-in rechargable battery, so no worrying about batteries here. It charges through a Micro USB cable. The back of the keyboard has a clearly labeled on/off switch and a connect button, which I’ve never had to use. Not all the shortcuts work, but the audio controls work fine, as well as the search, home and back keys. I skip through songs in Google Music as I type in Evernote. The layout is a bit a different, so it does take a bit getting used to. The keys all feel solid though, and the keyboard is silent. It has been referred to as a “kids keyboard” by some passerbys because of the diminutive size. It is about an inch wider than my Galaxy Note 2. It is a perfect size to take with you and not add bulk to your already light load.
Two Shots In
The portability makes this an easy travel companion, but there are some sacrifices with the tiny size. You have to get used to the smaller typing area, and because the [, ], and ‘ keys are beneath the comma, you have to learn to go there when you need any of those keys. I was making a lot of typos at the beginning(yes I know there is spell check), but that is an easy way of seeing if something works well. Given the amount of typos I had, I am confident in saying that the Rapoo E6300 is a fantastic option for those who want to travel extremely light and carry a keyboard. I tried it for other things besides this review, and I must say that the small size does it make it more adequate for shorter sessions. I did use the keyboard for extended sessions, but after about 30 minutes of time I did start feeling some cramps in my wrists. The E6300 isn’t made for marathon sessions though, and I’m really happy with its performance. For a future revision, I would make it overall about 5-10% bigger, that would be perfect. I went through about 4 hours of use without needing to recharge the battery. Once that was done I plugged it in and recharged, I’m paranoid like that. The connection was pretty solid, but if I stopped typing for over two minutes, the connection would drop. I had to turn off the keyboard and turn off bluetooth, then start both of them over for them to connect again. This is a bit inconvenient and I hope it is fixed in a future revision.
The E6300 is a breath of fresh air in a market full of “me-too” portable keyboards. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the end all be all of bluetooth keyboards. If I know I am going to have a very long typing session on my Note 2 or Iconia Tablet, I usually take my HP Touchpad keyboard, as it is closer in size to a regular keyboard. When I want to travel ultra-light and want to stay productive though, the E6300 is always with me. The E6300 plus my Note 2 and Seidio Active case with kickstand are the ultimate combo of portability and productivity right now. Congratulations Rapoo, you have gained a place in one of my consistent gear bags. I’m looking forward to Rapoo making a bigger splash in the U.S and seeing more of their products very soon.