At the time of writing, Argos (a high-street retailer here in the UK) has a sale on DS games, including “Learn with Pokemon: typing adventure“. For someone that doesn’t play Pokemon games (and doesn’t need to learn how to type) this wouldn’t usually be of interest. However, the game in question has one very nice incentive to its purchase: a bundled-in Nintendo Bluetooth keyboard. At the sale price of £9 it would almost be crazy not to snap one up. You can easily pay £15-£25 for a no-name Bluetooth keyboard on Amazon, and I won’t even bring up Apple branded nonsense . This post is a quick review of the package and the keyboard. For reviews of the game itself, there are a few around the internet (note: I don’t have any affiliation with those sites, they were just the first results on Google).
This is where things get interesting for me. The keyboard is a standard Bluetooth device without any of the almost-but-not-quite implementations or non-standard service discovery or other methods that companies have sometimes used to make sure you only use their peripherals the way they want you to. What this means is that the keyboard will work with your phone, your tablet, your Raspberry Pi, or any other device you might want to pair it with.
Pairing is simple:
- Hold the Fn key while turning the keyboard on (you don’t have to hold it afterwards).
- Scan for the keyboard on your device and connect to it.
- Your device will give you a pin code, type this on the keyboard and press enter.
- Enjoy typing on a physical keyboard rather than an on-screen one.
The Nintendo keyboard is light but feels reasonably sturdy. The keys are a nice size and spaced sensibly to use without needing tiny fingers. In fact, the alphanumeric keys only take up slightly less area than on my current PC keyboard. The size of the keys is also very sensible, roughly matching most standard keyboards and almost exactly matching my current PC keyboard. One of my pet peeves is when keyboard manufacturers change the layout, size, and shape of keys for no reason. The backspace/enter/shift/ctrl column is especially prone to this. The keys have a nice action as this type of keyboard goes – smooth but firm, making it clear when they have been pressed. Obviously I can’t say anything about battery life yet, but I expect it to be reasonable and I will be leaving the keyboard turned off when not in use.
Overall, I’d say I’m quite happy with using the Nintendo Bluetooth keyboard as a general purpose peripheral and it’s a steal for £9. It’s just a pity that I can’t pass the game on to someone else, as it’s largely pointless without the keyboard.
1 Actually, I will. £60? Seriously?