I am one of the original recipients of the Google Nexus 7. In fact, my unit arrived within a few days of Google releasing the device to the marketplace. Since that time, I have totally enjoyed my Nexus 7 experience. However, I must note that while the tablet is great, I have had issue with two of the accessories that I purchased. One of these accessories was a gel case and the other was a micro-mini keyboard/case combination. My displeasure was the result of the keyboard being too small, making typing with it difficult.
Since I am always looking for things of interest to share with our readers, I was pleased to hear that Chris Pirillo received an invitation from MobileFun to test the company’s wares, and he extended the invitation to his staff here at LockerGnome. With that idea in hand, I then wandered over to the MobileFun website to take a look at the accessories the company offers. There I found an impressive and varied selection of accessories for a majority of the most popular cellphones and tablet computers that are currently on the market.
Once there, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there were several accessories I thought would provide protection or improve the performance of my Nexus 7. After selecting the items that caught my attention, I contacted Mr. Blake Scott, the North American Marketing Manager for MobileFun, and requested the accessories for review. These items were immediately sent to me.
The first product I tested was the Freedom Expression Bluetooth Keyboard. I found that the keyboard connected easily and without incident, via Bluetooth, to my Nexus 7. The most valuable feature to me, however, is the fact that having enough power isn’t a problem: the keyboard has a built-in, rechargeable battery and the unit includes a USB charging cable. This means that, with an estimated 300 hours of use between charges, this keyboard will be in action for a long time. For traveling purposes, the company even includes a neoprene slip case to protect the keyboard when it is not in use. I found the case to fit snugly and I can see how it has the ability to keep the keyboard clean and free from scratches and dings.
I found the keyboard itself to be well laid out with 80 keys arranged in six rows. In fact, there was no question in my mind that the layout of the keyboard allowed for better typing accuracy than the one that I had originally purchased. The Freedom Expression Bluetooth Keyboard has what I call feel, which makes it both comfortable and a pleasure to use with the Nexus 7.
Chalking up this experience with the keyboard on my Nexus 7 as a success, I decided send it through the hoops on my Apple iPad just to see if it would work and was surprised to find that it worked perfectly. So is having a Bluetooth keyboard that works on multiple tablets worth the $53.95 asking price? Well, after giving it a real workout, I would highly recommend the Freedom Expression Bluetooth Keyboard to anyone who is looking for a well-designed keyboard to connect, via Bluetooth, to their Nexus 7 or Apple iPad.
Next up: what the Nexus 7 needs is a well-made case that not only protects the tablet itself, but also doubles as a stand. The Nexus 7 Cases meet these needs perfectly and are a great compliment to the Freedom Expression Bluetooth Keyboard. The SD TabletWear Smartcase, is easy to use and features an adjustable positioning mechanism that makes this cases ideal for media viewing or as an accessory to the keyboard.
The SD TabletWear SmartCase is well-made and holds the Nexus 7 tightly. For ease of use, the case has cutouts that allow easy access to all of the buttons and ports on the Nexus 7; in my experience, I noted no issues. Additionally, for those of you with a preference, it was also nice to note that the SD TabletWear SmartCase comes in two colors: black or white. However, the feature I really enjoyed was the sleep function. This function is built into the cover via a magnet, resulting in the Nexus 7 being put to sleep when the case is closed and waking up the next time that the Nexus 7 cover is opened. Priced at $23.95, this is a quality cover and stand that is definitely worth the price.
I enjoyed using the SD TabletWear SmartCase along with the Freedom Expression Keyboard so much that I am using both to type this article. These two items complement each other handsomely and I am sure that they will provide anyone with many years of trouble-free use.
Another product I was sent for review was the Dual Case Pack, also available from the MobileFun website. The Dual Case Pack includes a FlexiShield Case as well as a screen protector and a neoprene sleeve for storing your Nexus 7 when not in use.
The FlexiShield case slips easily over the Nexus 7, and all controls and ports are available. What I really liked to see was that both microphones were open and not blocked. Since I use my Nexus 7 for dictation, this was an important feature for me. The screen protector comes with a small cleaning cloth and a small piece of firm cardboard to assist in the application of the screen protector. The neoprene sleeve is my favorite piece of the Dual Case Pack. The Nexus 7 easily slides into the sleeve, which completely protects the device from front, back, top to bottom, and everything in between. The sleeve, with the Nexus 7 inside, easily slips into the rear pocket of my jeans for easy transporting. Priced at only $19.99, the Dual Case Pack is packed with value at a reasonable price.
Comments, as always, are welcome.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Strategeme.com
Other images courtesy of MobileFun