There is no shortage of Bluetooth keyboards out there for mobile typists, but most of them are bulky and serve little purpose if you don’t have a surface to put them on. Enter TrewGrip. This eye-catching keyboard relegates its keys to the rear, with soft grips on the sides and a center dock that lets you easily attach any of your small mobile devices. The $249 TrewGrip offers tons of versatility for those typing on the go, but you’ll have to spend some serious time and money.
Design: TrewGrip Keyboard sports a full QWERTY keyboard split into two portions on the device’s rear, with a wing-shaped, curved design that’s meant to keep every crucial key within reach.
Navigation and function keys such as Enter, Space and the arrow keys are located on the front for use with your thumbs, as are the left and right mouse-click buttons on the top right portion. The gray front panels help you keep your place by illustrating the layout of the keys underneath, complete with green LED lights that illuminate every time you hit a corresponding key.
The TrewGrip’s docking area lies at the center, where you’ll be able to attach a smartphone or a tablet up to 7 inches. Above this area, you’ll find the keyboard’s power switch and mini-USB input.
TrewGrip Keyboard Typing is a comfortable experience. To keep hand cramps at bay, the TrewGrip’s left and right edges sport thick foam grips, which are available in black, blue, red and the company’s signature green.
Measuring 12.03 x 5.85 x 1.85 inches and weighing 1.25 pounds, the TrewGrip is smaller than a desktop keyboard
Setting up: TrewGrip Keyboard is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Apple OS X, iOS and Android. Pairing the gadget with your PC or mobile device is as simple as connecting any other Bluetooth keyboard. Once the keyboard is charged (TrewGrip says the peripheral needs four hours to charge fully), you just need to open your device’s Bluetooth menu and connect from there.
If you’d like to affix your smartphone or tablet to the suction mount at the center, simply slap it onto the surface. Apple iPhone 4s and Dell Venue 7 tablet stayed securely in place when docked onto the TrewGrip,
Practice: The TrewGrip typing tutor features 72 exercises across six categories, ranging from basic repetition of the a,s,d and f keys to long, complex sentences designed to build speed. If you get bored with those exercises, you can play around with TrewGrip’s training games. Finally, there’s TrewGrip’s typing test, which measures your gross words per minute (wpm), net wpm and accuracy after 1 minute and 30 seconds of typing.
Performance: The keyboard paired quickly with a Windows 7-based Dell Latitude 6430u, a Dell Venue 7 tablet running Android 4.3 and an Apple iPhone 4s running iOS 7 and there was little to no noticeable input lag when typing on any of them.
The keyboard’s gyroscope allowed us to accurately navigate our mouse cursor among multiple monitors on our PC, and you even get the mouse function when pairing the TrewGrip with an Android device.
Bottom Line: While the TrewGrip sports an intelligent key layout that mimics where your fingers would end up on a traditional keyboard, it takes a considerable amount of time to get used to pressing those keys in a vertical, upside-down orientation.
This reverse keyboard is comfortable and compact, and can turn your tablet or smartphone into a mini PC in a few seconds.