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Nimblstand hands on: Improve tablet productivity with the Apple Wireless Keyboard

The $69 Apple Wireless Keyboard is fantastic and with the Nimblstand you can extend that experience to your iPad, Nexus, Samsung, or other tablet.
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1 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Opening up the Nimblstand shipping container

Apple's Wireless Keyboard is a fantastic piece of hardware that I use daily to enter text at a rapid pace via a Bluetooth connection. Combined with the Nimblstand accessory, you can extend this experience to your favorite tablet.

Design

The Nimblstand is made of lightweight, durable, and recyclable ABS plastic here in the US. The unit itself is actually two pieces. One piece is the bas unit where you slide in your Apple Wireless Keyboard and the other is an extension wedge that you can move to the front or back, depending on your usage mode.

There are two usage modes for the Nimblstand. One that has the extension wedge opposite of the Apple Wireless Keyboard so you can enter text on your tablet. The other has the extension wedge positioned under your keyboard with your tablet facing opposite the keyboard and at a lower angle so you can draw on your tablet or manipulate it in an angled position that is more comfortable than lying on a table. Your tablet can rest in the slot in portrait or landscape orientation.

To ensure your device is balanced, the Nimblstand opening supports tablets up to 9.6 mm (0.38 inches) thick with no maximum width. Phones and smaller tablets can be up to 14 mm (0.55 inches) thick with a maximum width of 150 mm (5.9 inches).

The extension wedge can be moved to the side opposite of the keyboard or under the keyboard through a pinch of the side secured to the base and slide. Both the extension wedge and Apple Wireless Keyboard are secured to the base unit by sliding in from one side or the other into openings cut into the plastic.

The Nimblstand is black plastic with Nimblstand logos in green. On the bottom of the base unit you will find two long strips of rubber material to keep it from sliding on a tabletop. There are also indicators to remind you which side to slide in the extension wedge for your intended usage.

I was sent the combination unit to test out so a Wacom Bamboo stylus was included. It fits into a slot under the tablet opening for storage and then when you are using it to draw on your tablet it can be stored in a stylus holder on top of the Nimblstand.

Usage and Experiences

The Nimblstand weighs in at 193 grams and an Apple Wireless Keyboard is 318 grams. This combination offers a compelling platform for unrestricted text entry speed on a tablet and it was great to type away on the awesome Apple Wireless Keyboard while using various tablets.

Given the weight of these products, this can help the commuter have an enhanced experience with their tablet. I could not test this on my commute since we just have one keyboard at home for our iMac, but after testing the Nimblstand in my home office I may just pick up an Apple Wireless Keyboard to use on the road with my iPad since it goes with me on every business trip.

The Nimblstand is a simple solution, but it is often these kind of products that open our eyes to the possibilities for our mobile gear. The Nimblstand works very well for its intended design and it feels like it will last forever.

I also had the chance to test out the Wacom Bamboo stylus and found it to be well constructed, balanced nicely, and useful for drawing on the iPad and other tablets. The stylus has a rubber nib on the end for fairly accurate drawing and writing on tablets and phones.

Pricing

You can purchase the Nimblstand for $39.99 or in combination with a Wacom Bamboo stylus for $56.99. The Apple Wireless Keyboard, sold separately through Apple, is $69.

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Top of the Nimblstand with Bamboo stylus in storage slot

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Simple instructions to get you set up

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Bottom of the Nimblstand with rubber strips

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Side view showing different opening, the round one is for the Apple Wireless Keyboard

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Apple Wireless Keyboard in the Nimblstand

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iPad is in typing mode

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Back view showing the extension wedge in place

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Wacom Bamboo stylus

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5mm nib on the end of the Bamboo stylus

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Bamboo branding on the stylus

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