Review: AZIO KB333BM Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard for Mac, iPad, iPhone

I have an iMac 27" I7 -- I wanted to try this keyboard because I needed to recover space on my desktop. I run my iMac in Windows via Bootcamp quite a bit when I'm not working/coding to play games so it was important that his kb also work under bootcamp. When I unpacked the keyboard, I was instantly disappointed in the style and construction. It's not quite as small as the mac wireless keyboard, measuring almost 2" wider and about 1" wider. It also has a cheap feel to it -- there's something rattling around in the antenna housing and the keys are a die-cut plastic. On Apple kb's, the keys are smooth giving the kb an almost rubberized texture -- they're also solidly mounted so there's no "play" or travel in the keys. On the Azio, the keys feel tactically different and there's a ton of play in the keys -- it's almost like they're mounted on swivels.

Installing the batteries was fairly easy -- but the battery door is cheap, thin, plastic. It's definitely a failure point over time. Pressing the connect button isn't easy -- the placement is on the bottom of the keyboard, along the back edge, so the button has to be recessed so you don't tap it during normal use. There's no tactile feedback when you do click the button to initiate a connect -- you have to flip the kb over to see if the blue light has lit.

When I went to sync the kb, I was in windows 7, and attempting the sync immediately brought the computer down with the BSOD. Seeing how it was windows, it didn't surprise me much so I re-booted into Leopard. Pairing the device didn't work -- when it asked me to type in the sequence of numbers, there was no feedback to the screen so eventually Apple asked me to identify the key to the right of the right shift key.

Which is an up-arrow. Which wasn't recognized by Apple as a key. Which meant I had to select from a menu of choice of what type of keyboard I had. So I selected the only viable option - US/English 101 key.

I rebooted trying to get into Bootmanager -- as the computer rebooted and I heard the start-up tone, I pressed and held-down the option key. The blue light on the kb flashed furiously for a second or two, then the machine booted me into Mac mode, bypassing completely the bootmanager. I re-paired the device by removing it and re-discovered. This time, without the feedback (which I realize may be an Apple issue and not an Azio issue), I just blindly typed-in the numbers without pause and the computer accepted the keyboard pairing.

Rebooting the machine, however, produced the same results as before - the kb was not recognized, not was my holding down the option key during boot, and again the Bootmanager was bypassed.

The keyboard itself feels cramped and awkward. The keys appear to be both slightly (about 1/8") smaller than Apple's kb, and they're set closer-together. There additional width of the keyboard is allocated to keys along the right side, two columns, F13-F16, home, end, delete, page-up/down, and the 4-arrow keys. Totally unnecessary to add these keys and increase the form-factor imo. Even tho this is advertised as a mac kb, they couldn't break the windows dependencies...there's also the unnecessary function key just to screw up your typing, right under the left shift key.

I'll try this kb out with my iPad -- perhaps it will encourage me to use my iPad more for text-input. Otherwise, this device is simply garage-sale fodder. If you want a smaller keyboard, then get the keyboard here on Amazon (Super Slim USB kb) -- it's wired, but it works well. Or spend the big-bucks and try the Apple keyboard.

tl;dr: Keyboard feels cheap and loose. Could not access bootmanager. Pairing causes BSOD in windows