Freedom Pro Bluetooth keyboard: Good for use with any tablet

Summary:Tablets can be adequate mobile blogging tools, if paired with the right mobile keyboard. The Freedom Pro Bluetooth keyboard works with just about every tablet.

There is only one certainty in the life of a professional blogger, when you don't have your blogging gear with you you will need it the most. For that reason I have tried using every tablet I have tested as a mobile blogging system. This testing has failed until getting my hands on the HP TouchPad that I am using currently. I will be covering the mobile blogging experiement in a future post, but want to share the one piece of the mobile system that works consistently with all of the tablets I have tested to date. That is the Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard.

The Freedom Pro (FP) is not my favorite keyboard due to weird key sizes and placement, but it is much better than using the onscreen keyboard for entering large amounts of text for most of my blogging. The FP keyboard is very mobile as it folds in half for easy transport, so the tradeoff in usability is worth it for occasional short blogging sessions.

What makes the Freedom Pro keyboard so unique is its ability to work with both the SPP and HID Bluetooth profiles. The HID profile is used with desktop systems and some tablets, but not all. Many Android tablets do not work with the HID profile reliably (if at all), and having the SPP profile support on the Freedom Pro means it can work with just about every tablet out there. I have used it successfully with the HP TouchPad, iPad 2, XOOM and the Samsung Galaxy Tab (both original and 10.1). It is a safe bet the FP will work with any tablet currently on the market.

Key placement on the Freedom Pro is a little tight to make the device as small as possible, but touch typing is possible with speed after a little practice. There are two space bars due to the split in the middle of the keyboard to allow folding it for transport, but they work well. The keyboard even has arrow keys, although they are very small and hard to hit reliably.

The keyboard occasionally loses the connection with the tablet, but toggling the power slider is enough to quickly get connected again to continue working. The Freedom Pro Bluetooth keyboard is not the best mobile keyboard, but it works with just about everything and is much faster for text entry than the onscreen touch keyboards on tablets.

The HP TouchPad is going to be my mobile blogging system which I will be covering in a future post, and I will likely get the HP wireless keyboard for the system. It is especially designed to work with the TouchPad and is a real keyboard without the compromises found in a mobile keyboard. For those just looking to do occasional text entry on the go, the Freedom Pro might be the solution.

Topics: Tablets, Browser, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Wi-Fi

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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