Tech reviews

Under a thousand: Full of key features at a bargain price! | Technology News

Wireless keyboards and mice are no longer limited to just computers and notebooks. With phones and tablets getting more and more powerful by the day, many use these accessories interchangeably with their notebooks. Wireless keyboards especially help in bringing another layer of functionality to devices like phones and tablets, giving them almost computer-like feels. Most wireless keyboards can cost a fair bit, making them out of reach for many users, but there are options that are available at relatively lower prices. They do have their compromises, but those are offset by their sheer affordability. One of these is the Portronics Bubble Square, which is available at Rs 849, and comes with a number of handy features, making it quite an affordable wireless typing proposition to those wanting to type more on their devices.

When a product is launched in the budget segment, one of the first areas where companies often make compromises is in design or build quality. This remains true for the Portronics Bubble Square too. While the keyboard is in no way flimsy and feels solid enough, it cannot be mistaken for an expensive or premium one.

Having said that, Portronics has ensured the Bubble Square looks appealing in general, and will definitely attract attention. The keyboard is made totally of plastic and is available in three different colours– green, purple and pink, all of which make it look like a very youthful product. What’s more, unlike some Bluetooth keyboards that cut out features in an attempt to stay compact, the Bubble Square is a full sized keyboard with well-spaced keys, and even a number pad area, which the Excel crowd will appreciate. The keys are of a decent size and laid out in a largely regular format, making you feel right at your typing home. The Bubble Square also has a small slot at the top to hold a smartphone. While handy enough, it would have been good to have a larger one that could have held a tablet. The back of the keyboard has small silicon strips on all four corners, making the keyboard stay put in place when you use it. There is a small space for batteries (it uses a single AAA cell) on the top of the keyboard’s back and right next to it is a USB connector in a slot. There is a toggle on the upper side of the keyboard to switch it on and off.

Portronics Bubble Square The keyboard is made totally of plastic and is available in three different colours– green, purple and pink. (Express Photo)

At about 640 grams, the Portronics Bubble Square is not exactly lightweight, but a lot of folks might be willing to put up with that, given the fact that it is a full-sized keyboard. It measures 39.5 x 15.8 x 3.2 cm, which is reasonably compact, once again given it is a full sized keyboard with a number pad. All in all, the keyboard looks the part and does not try to masquerade as something it is not – premium.

A full fledged wireless keyboard experience on budget

In terms of performance, we had little to complain about the Portronics Bubble Square keyboard. Not only are the keys of good size, they are also very well spread with plenty of space between them. The travel they offer is quite decent too and the clickety keyboard sound that divides many, is quite prominent with this one – people will hear you typing. The key response time is very good too, with hardly any latency. The only complaint we had with the keyboard is that it has the Windows key is only present on the right side of the keyboard, making some shortcuts very difficult to use (we had to use two hands to execute many commands). You also get handy shortcut keys (or hotkeys), which take the keyboard’s functionality up a notch by letting you switch music tracks, adjust volume, access mail and other features from the keyboard itself. Having a number pad around definitely makes a difference, although we often forgot it existed, used as we are to more constrained keyboards.

Festive offer
Portronics Bubble Portronics Bubble comes with hotkeys that can be used to switch music tracks, adjust volume or access mail. (Express Photo)

The Portronics Bubble Square comes with Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, and also comes with a 2.4 GHz connector, giving us another way to go about connecting devices, especially if they are oldish ones with no wireless connectivity! It can connect to up to three devices simultaneously (two over Bluetooth and one over Wi-Fi using the connector). One can easily switch between these devices by pressing the 1, 2 or 3 keys on the number row on the top of the keyboard, while holding down the Function (Fn) key. The keyboard is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows devices, and it did so effortlessly. We used the keyboard with an iPad Pro, an iPhone and the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro and in all three cases the experience was quite pleasant, although the Fold 3 Pro was not stable in the space meant for phones on the keyboard and we had to fashion a different stand for it (we do wish that slot was larger!). Potronics claims that the single AAA battery in the keyboard can last you close to a year and more, and the keyboard also gets into sleep mode when not used for ten minutes, conserving battery. Waking it up is as simple as striking a key.

The Portronics Bubble Square keyboard may not look too fancy, but it is comfortable to use, and is packed with a number of handy features. The vibrant colours help its appearance case as well, and at its price of Rs 849, it is a great proposition for anyone looking for a full-sized wireless keyboard on a tight budget.

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First uploaded on: 16-06-2024 at 17:55 IST


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