Lenovo Bluetooth Keyboard with TrackPoint
Last year, when I was eager to start writing, I began looking for ways to make my writing setup productive and comfortable. I was using a MacBook Pro when I began my writing journey, so my focus was to upgrade my setup with my MacBook Pro, which I attempted and explain in my post The Perfect Writing Setup.
After purchasing all of the items and setting up my desk, I ultimately decided that I didn’t like it. The high cost of all the items was a big reason, but I also felt the setup forced me to go to my desk to write when I like to have the freedom to write anywhere.
When I got my iPad Pro 11-inch I knew that the ergonomics of using the Magic Keyboard for long periods at my desk was going to be a problem. So I thought I would look for ways to create a new Perfect Writing Setup for my iPad Pro but cheaper and also didn’t restrict me to my desk.
Obviously with the support of a cursor in iPadOS it made sense that I would need a setup that would include a pointing device. I thought about using the Magic Keyboard by itself, with the iPad Pro in my, already owned, Viozon stand. But felt that I was limiting myself in other new peripherials I could try out to make the setup better.
The other obvious choice was to get a Bluetooth Magic Keyboard and a Magic Trackpad but, again, I wanted to find something more resonable in price so decided not to go that route either.
It wasn’t until I watched a video posted on Excessorize Me where he showed off the Lenovo Bluetooth Keyboard with TrackPoint, that I knew what I wanted my setup to be. With the Viozon Stand and a Lenovo Bluetooth Keyboard with TrackPoint, I would have everything I needed for a very minimal, productive, and affordable setup.
Before I go over the keyboard I will just say that the Viozon Stand is pretty great. It has two different sized clamps to fit different sized tablets and the height of the stand makes the iPad Pro just about perfect for my posture. It would be awesome to have the ability to make it a bit higher but it is still a huge improvement instead of looking down at the iPad Pro in the Magic Keyboard.
For writing, the Viozon Stand is a great in being able to rotate my iPad Pro into portrait orientation. I never worry if the iPad is going to fall out and the tilting angles are really good; going completely down where the iPad Pro hits its bottom to the stand and all the way up and over — though, flipping it all the way back makes the stand unbalanced and can fall over.
Now for the Lenovo Bluetooth Keyboard with TrackPoint, it is overall pretty fantastic. The keyboard feels identical to the keyboard on the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1, which is not a bad thing. The key travel is nice, the key sizes are great, and the layout is pretty perfect. I really have no issues with typing on this keyboard except one big thing that I noticed immediately after putting it down on my desk.
As you can see in the photo above, the keyboard is slightly bent making the keyboard rock and forth, a lot, as I type. I tried putting the little feet in the back of the keyboard up thinking that may help. I even tried to, gently, bend the keyboard back to make it more flat on the desk but both attempts failed.
I was left having to put a microfiber clothe in the bottom right corner to make it stable. Once the keyboard was stable, though, I really did find it a joy to use. My concern is the quality of this keyboard long term, when something so simple, like making a keyboard lay flat on a flat surface, what else might be in store for the keyboard quality-wise?
I usually don’t think of Lenovo as bad quality and I may have just gotten a bad apple but was still disappointed since the seller couldn’t replace the keyboard for a new one. I instead have to be buy a brand new one and do a return which is going to take over a week to replace.
It took me a bit to get used to the Windows styled-keys and translating that with iPadOS keyboard shortcuts but once I did it was no issue at all. Most of the function keys worked with the iPad Pro too, which was really awesome. All of the sounds and brightness keys worked as expected but what was really neat was the magnifying glass key brought up spotlight.
The trackpoint definitely took some time to perfect, but once I started getting comfortable with it, it became very useful. Being able to move the cursor around the screen is straightforward and not that different than using a trackpad or mouse. The TrackPoint and right and left click buttons are more like a mouse then trackpad, though, so you do not get the same gestures as you would with the multi-finger swipes on a trackpad.
Having the TrackPoint and buttons so close and in the middle of the keyboard is pretty convienient. It is not like the trackpad on the Magic Keyboard is that far away from the keyboard, but having the TrackPoint in the middle of their G, H, and B keys makes it super easy to get to and start using.
You also get a really neat feature with the TrackPoint by using the middle button between the right and left click buttons. If you hold down the middle button and move the TrackPoint up and down it allows you to scroll on the page. While on a website, writing in Ulysses, or scrolling through my photos in the Photos app I was able to scroll up and down in a breeze.
I did find some situations where it didn’t work so well though. When scrolling through Twitter it would sometimes want to select a tweet in the feed instead of just scrolling past them. If it was something that I depended on greatly I would be pushing to have this feature run perfectly in ever situation, but since it is more of an extra, I didn’t stress too much when it wouldn’t work perfectly.
As a portable keyboard, and as long as it lays flat, I can see this being a great alternative to writing for long periods. The iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard is great, but, especially with the 11-inch model, the keyboard layout can be a bit tight after typing for awhile. This Lenovo Keyboard is full-sized plus you get a pointing device built in providing an all-in-one writing tool that has no problem fitting in a bag.
I am definitely going to get a replacement unit and as long as the wobble issue is fixed, I can definitely see this as a keyboard I throw in my bag for long trips. Even without the Viozon Stand and just having my iPad Pro sitting up in the Smart Folio Case would be an awesome writing experience when I want to switch up my setup on the road.
While in my office at home though, this is going to be an outstanding option when I am at my desk. The ergonomics of having the iPad at eye level with a full size keyboard and cursor pointer, this is going to be my new go to for writing long posts. I actually have an idea for my next novel, if I ever complete my first, and can’t wait to use this setup to get started.