Azio Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for Mac
By Rachel Williams
Azio’s wireless keyboard for Mac is a lightweight, Bluetooth-enabled keyboard that also works with
the Apple iPad and iPhone. The device is
a compact 12¾" × 5½" (324 × 136 mm)
and angles slightly up for a more comfortable wrist position. It is attractive,
styled in typical Mac brushed metal with
white keys, and it has Mac command
keys for keyboard shortcuts.
PHOTOS COURTESY J. ROBERT WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY
Setup instructions are clear and
easy to follow once you find the Connect button on the underside of the
keyboard. The switch is very small and
flush with the plastic casing, making
it a little difficult to see in low light. A
blue light on top of the keyboard lets
you know when the device’s Bluetooth
is discoverable. On the iPad, you simply tap the Settings icon to open the
Settings menu, press the On/Off button under the Bluetooth heading, and
tap to connect. The iPad automatically
searches for the device and will display
a dialogue box with a PIN code. Enter
it on the keyboard, and you’re all set
to type—unless the provided batteries suddenly drain, the device shuts
down, and you have to go hunting for
two AAA’s. With a fresh set of batteries,
Azio claims that the keyboard is good
for 10 million keystrokes.
The keyboard’s action is nice to the
touch, although the keys wobble a little bit if you start typing at high speed.
If you take a small break, there is a
slight delay in keystroke recognition
when you start typing again. This can
cause the keyboard to miss the first
few letters of your newly entered text.
Although Azio’s wireless keyboard oes not have a 10-key number pad, it does offer a complete set of function keys for access to a variety of Mac functions.
The Azio is not rechargeable by USB, but it does come with two disposable
AAA batteries. An LED indicator on the front monitors battery status.
For entering quantities of information, the keyboard definitely made
using the iPad easier, especially the
shortcuts for copy and paste. The device is a full keyboard and has all the
standard function keys along the top.
The volume keys (F10, F11, and F12)
worked instantly, but the rest of them
didn’t work with the iPad applications
that I tested. Because there’s no 10-key
pad, numerical entry is just as slow as
using the touchscreen on the iPad.
I tested the Azio with an iPad while
across a table from a MacBook laptop
that had Bluetooth on and its devices-
discoverable setting activated. My typing
on the Azio keyboard for the iPad did
not interfere with the MacBook typing
at all. With a range of about 30 feet, the
keyboard can get pretty mobile. That
mobility, however, would be of little use
with an iPad alone, because it’s difficult
to read what you’re typing from a dis-
tance. Used with a Mac that’s connected
to a projector or other large-format dis-
play, the lightweight Azio could easily be
passed among students. Teachers could
also use the device for mobility through-
out their classrooms without needing to
carry anything but the keyboard.