I picked up the Lenovo S6000 Bluetooth keyboard from Qoo10 recently, to use it with my HP Stream 7. I ended up spending quite a bit on my Stream 7, since a keyboard does help improve the usability of the tablet significantly. Although using it together can be rather hilarious – the keyboard is much bigger than the tablet.
The Lenovo S6000 Bluetooth keyboard is designed specially for the IdeaTab S6000, and serves as a cover, dock, and bluetooth keyboard. Since I don’t own a IdeaTab S6000, I am purely using the keyboard. I bought the Lenovo S6000 bluetooth keyboard at $19.90 from Qoo10 from seller (IDEAS FOR LIFE). The pricing is significantly better than eBay pricing, but on inspection, it looks authentic to me. Probably clearing leftover stock.
Other than my HP Stream 7, I have also paired the keyboard and used it together with my Android phone, and iPad occasionally. It can only remember pairing with one device but re-connecting it is pretty quick and hassle-free.
Specs of the S6000 Keyboard
- Weight: 350 g
- Dimensions: 260 mm x 180 mm x 7.99 mm
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Battery Life: > 3 months (2 hours per day)
- Standby Time: > 6 months
- Internal Lithium-ion battery
Conflicting Considerations on Portable Keyboards
Always-On or Removable?
Some keyboards are designed as part of a case – hence serving multiple functions. Having an always on keyboard case means that you have access to it all the time. No prior planning required! The trade off here is that these cases tend to be bulky.
I generally prefer a removable keyboard. I appreciate flexibility more. There are instances when I don’t need it – such as when using the tablet while lying down – so why lug it around as part of the case, right? A removable keyboard is also more adaptable since I might carry or work on a different device.
Portability versus Usability
The thinner the keyboard, the more portable it is, but the worse the feel of the keys. It’s the same for the physical dimensions – just that small size means cramped keys. I was initally contemplating one of those 7″ keyboard / case combo but thought it was too small.
The S6000 Keyboard is quite wide – which is good, the keys offer good separation and while smaller than normal, are still OK to type on. Instead the keys at the side, such as the ctrl buttons and especialy the arrow keys are shrunk to accommodate the larger size standard keys. I find the arrows exceptionally small and had a hard time pressing them. I still needed some time to familiarise myself with the keys though.
On that same vein, the S6000 keyboard is not too portable. If portability is important to you – do consider the Logitech Keys-to-go keyboard, other than being a little pricey, I had a great time using it.
The Lenovo S6000 Keyboard is decked out in glossy back. The top of the device sees approximately 3-4cm of wasted space, which I presume is to house the battery. There’s a groove under the Lenovo logo which allows you to dock your tablet. It’s wide enough to hold most devices, as long as the thickness is less than 10mm.
This 82-key keyboard uses a typical layout with the top row reserved for function keys. Although the IdeaPad was an Android-based device, strangely, the shortcut keys were all messed up for me on my Android devices. Things like the Home key were remapped to the Explorer key and for the life of me, I can’t find the Back button, which is something very important on Android. Strangely, it worked better for me on iOS. On Windows, you can always run Autohotkey to remap the particular keys. If you root your Android device, you can also remap keys for your bluetooth keyboard with key layout files but I think that’s too much trouble.
S6000 Function Keys that do not work
- Windows: Windows key. Right click / menu key. Media playback key. Multi-task key.
- Android: Home key (remapped to explorer). Back key. Brightness.
The On/Off button along the Bluetooth switch is detected at the side. There’s a blue led that will flash when in pairing mode. As the keys are not protected, you should always put the keyboard to off when you store it.
Typing on glass isn’t a fun experience especially when you need to churn out a 500 word article. I think all of us have improved over the years but nothing beats having an actual keyboard to work with. Another annoyance is the on screen keyboard typically covers half the screen, leaving not much space to work around. So having the ability to whip out this Bluetooth keyboard when I need it has been a life saver for me. The S6000 keyboard would complement well if your tablet is a 9″ or 10″ size. It is a comfortable size to work on, offers good battery life and at $19.90, it is reasonably priced. It is however on the bulky end and unless you own a Ideatab S6000, it only serves one particular function.