The “LIFEBOOK UH Keyboard (UHKB)”, which was campaigning until December 24 on the crowdfunding site “GREEN FUNDING”, has arrived.
It’s supposed to be used mainly on UMPCs, but I also want to use it on smartphones and tablets. If you can connect to your smartphone, it will be easier to type long sentences even in a short time.
I thought, but it’s not compatible with Android. For now, the Bluetooth connection is possible, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G side is also recognized as for “text input”, and the software keyboard does not appear when character input is required, so it seems to be recognized as an external keyboard. There is a panel, but I can’t enter it no matter how hard I press the key.
So I have a Smart Keyboard Folio, but I found it to be a bit hard to grip, so I decided to hook it up to the iPad Pro 12.9 (4th Gen).
Before that, let me give you an overview of UHKB.
UHKB is designed with the concept of a mobile keyboard that only removes the keyboard part of the FMV “LIFE BOOK UH” series, which is famous for its ease of typing.
The investor package is a special specification, and UHKB is installed in the keyboard part of the box which mimics a laptop. “Yeah, I’ll just remove the keyboard from my laptop.” I was so excited to go to the opening ceremony.
UHKB is slim with key pitch about 19mm, key travel about 1.5mm, size 302.6(W) x 161.8(H) x 10.9(D)mm and weighs about 350 g (measured value is 327 g). This is the perfect keyboard for mobile.
The body is made of aluminum and has a high-class feel, with a texture that makes you want to show off on the go, and the smooth feel is comfortable. It looks like you can type comfortably even in the upcoming sweating season. The keyboard has a backlight with a three-step dimming feature, so it seems easy to work with even in a recital venue where the lights are off.
Even better, it has a touchpad. Until now, you had to carry a mouse in addition to the keyboard, and its roundness took up a strange place in your luggage. It was a good idea to buy a mobile mouse.
The touchpad size is 909 (W) x 404 (H) mm. Sufficient space is guaranteed for operation. The left and right click buttons are bar type, and some people may feel they are “thin”, but since they can be tapped without using physical buttons, there is no problem for Me personally.
Connect with a Bluetooth 5.0 or USB Type-C cable. Bluetooth uses multi-pairing which can be connected to up to three devices such as tablets, PCs and smartphones. When you want to change the connected terminal, press the physical button (change pairing destination button) at the top right of the keyboard. The LEDs assigned to the numbers “1”, “2” and “3” light up for about 2 seconds, indicating which terminal you are connected to.
The supported operating system is Windows 10 (64-bit version) / macOS 12 / iPadOS 15 or later. I have also confirmed that it works on the latest iOS 15.4.1 on the iPhone. Since the operating system differs depending on the connected terminal, it is also characteristic that the mode (key mapping) can be switched. To change, press the “Fn” + “F1” keys.
To log in to the terminal, power on the keyboard, wait for the number LED to flash quickly, and operate from the terminal-side setting screen. If for some reason the keypad light does not flash, press and hold the pairing destination switch button. Flashing starts and pairing standby state is set.
For a wired connection, turn off the power. If it is on, it will be a Bluetooth connection.
When I actually connected to the iPad Pro 12.9 (4th Gen) via Bluetooth or wired, I was able to confirm that not only key input but also the pointer (mouse cursor) by the touchpad works without delay .
However, there are two problems.
One is that the pointer disappears from the iPad, and the other is that if you type kana, you cannot type according to the normal JIS key layout.
The first issue is the pointer disappearing. Immediately after login, the cursor is displayed by UHKB’s touchpad operation, but when I input it from the character key, it disappears and does not recover. When I slide my finger on the touchpad, I kind of get that “Hmm, the pointer is here right now.”
To fix this problem, you need to go to “Accessibility”, “Touch” and “AssistiveTouch” in iPad settings, and set “AssistiveTouch” and “On” there. However, if you leave it as is, the AssistiveTouch button will still be on screen and it will get in the way, so let’s set “Always show menu” at the bottom of the same screen to “Off”.
The size, color, scrolling speed, etc. of the pointer are defined from “Accessibility” and “Pointer control” in the settings. You can also choose to hide the pointer when you don’t use the touchpad for a long time.
Now the second problem. If you look at the JIS layout keyboard at hand, in most cases the keys are engraved with letters, numbers and symbols along with kana. Kana input is an input method that retrieves and inputs these kana characters.
Normally, “ro” is just left of the right Shift key and “to” is two left of the Delete or BackSpace key. The macron is between the Del or BackSpace key and “he”.
This is not the case with UHKB. “He” is in two places, the macron position and the “ro” position, and for some reason the “ぉ” (small writing of “o”) that can be typed in combination with the shift key is “he “. In place.
Below is a table of characters that can be entered alone or in combination with the Shift key when entering kana, so please refer to it.
I don’t seem to remember, so I decided to quietly use the genuine Smart Keyboard Folio for the iPad Pro 12.9 (4th Gen).
However, if you are a person who types in Roman characters, it is significantly easier to use, and UHKB (the commercial product name is FMV Mobile Keyboard), which has been decided to be marketed, is the real Magic Keyboard (41,580 yen) or Smart Keyboard. The price is a bit cheaper (22,000 yen) than Folio (24,800 yen), so why not include it in your options?
The original plan was that it would be compatible with Android devices, so if that could be done by updating the firmware, I’d like to use it as a laptop with the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and mobile screen.