Review: Nuu MiniKey for iPhone 5

Nuu MiniKey for iPhone 5 Header

Let’s face it the iPhone’s keyboard is not the most well designed keyboard in the crowded smartphone market. I like to type messages fast, but doing this on the iPhone results in typos and possibly auto-correct mistakes. It’s not really efficient when you’re out and about (like at lunch) and you’re trying to get an important e-mail out ASAP. This is where the Nuu MiniKey case comes in.

The case includes a sliding keyboard that’s easy to install and connect to your phone. The keyboard gets connected through Bluetooth so you’re set to use your keyboard as soon as you take it out of the box. The first thing you’ll notice is just how good the case feels. The back of the case/keyboard is ultra smooth, very similar to the finish of the Mophie cases. The phone clip is made of hard plastic that protects your phone. The clip isn’t the most stylishly designed thing in the world, but it does its job of protecting your phone.

The cool thing about the keyboard is that with the keyboard in use, the Apple on-screen keyboard disappears giving you double viewing space while you’re typing. Which is great when you’re writing horizontally on your phone (like articles on Nerd Reactor coughs). Another cool feature on the keyboard is the ability to control your phone on the keyboard. You can lower or raise the brightness on your phone, control iTunes, lock your phone, and it even has a home button as well.

MiniKey Keyboard

While the keyboard and case overall are pretty solid there are minor grievances that I have with this case. The first thing you have to realize is that the buttons are stiff. So typing fast on will be difficult because you will have to press down firmly on the keys before something gets typed. After a couple of days, the keyboard will be broken in and you’ll be ready to go.

The next thing I want to point out is that although this is designed like a traditional computer keyboard, the punctuation marks are not placed like on a traditional keyboard. The most used punctuation marks (question mark, at symbol, apostrophe, etc) are placed to the right side of the letter keys while the comma is placed to the left side of the spacebar, and the period to the right. Trying to unlearn ten plus years of keyboard typing can be difficult at first. After a couple of days, you’ll get used to the key placements, but once in a while you’ll still make that honest mistake of typing the wrong punctuation mark because it’s placed differently than a traditional keyboard.

The Shift/Fn key is another thing I found to be the most annoying thing about the keyboard. On a regular iPhone keyboard, when you hit the shift button to capitalize a word you only need to press it once. On the keyboard you’re going to have to hold the shift key, which would be fine and all, except for the fact that it’s only located on the left side of the keyboard. Meaning if you were capitalize, let’s say the letter A, your thumb would have to move from the right side all the way to the left. It seems like a simple task and it may sound like I’m being lazy, but if you’re holding the keyboard and want to hit the A key, moving your thumb is not ergonomically sound. The same thing can be said with the Fn button as well. The Fn key will be the most used key since pressing it will let you use the numbers and symbols. Unfortunately, this key also has to be pressed and held in order for you to use the numbers and symbols.

Overall, while having this keyboard is a useful tool to have, you might want to see if it’s the right option for you. There are a couple of areas where it could be a dealbreaker for the user. It all depends on your personal taste. To me, I think the shift/fn being held instead of being pressed one time and it’s automatically held is a pretty big annoyance to me. Others might overlook this, it’s really up to you.

If you’re still interested in buying the case, you can buy it at the official Nuu website.

Grade: B-

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1487 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.