The on-screen keyboard on the PS3 isn’t too bad but sometimes using the controller can be slow and cumbersome – particularly for long messages.
As a server administration for my Battlefield clan I now often have to message people if I’m intending to “kick” them so that they know why (usually to allow clan members on, sometimes because they’re being a douche). So, a “proper” keyboard was a good idea.
As I’m sitting the other side of the room a wireless option was always going to be best but reviews of using “standard” Bluetooth keyboards on PS3’s were always poor, due to regularly dropped connections. I’d be cynical to suggest this was something done by Sony to promote their own kit 😉
But as its turns out, Sony’s own Bluetooth keyboard has no such connection issues. Pricey, though, it is – £40 from Amazon, for instance.
However, you really do get what you pay for – the keyboard is excellent. It’s compact (about the same size as a laptop keyboard), made even more so by a lack of edge around it – I’ll explain this further in a short while. The keys have excellent travel and a good, standard layout. They’re very square but not spaced like “scrabble tile” keys are. The top row of keys are function keys but by pressing these alongside a “function” key then these can perform PS3 controller actions – e.g. the square button.
All the normal computer keys are here so it can be paid with other devices as well – I tried it on MacBook for example and this worked fine. However, be aware that the keyboard only remembers one pairing at a time, so regularly using it on both the PS3 and another device will become a pain.
In the middle of the keyboard is a pointing stick instead of a trackpad and there are two thin “mouse buttons” in front of the space bar. This means that it truly can be used as a multi-functional keyboard with different devices.
As I was saying before there is no bevel around the keyboard – the keys go edge-to-edge – with the exception of the bottom. A small ridge exists beneath the bottom row of keys, housing the aforementioned mouse buttons and, in the corner, the power button. Next to it is a status light. The lack of any kind of edge is about the only issue with the keyboard as picking it up and, particularly, handing it to someone it tricky without accidentally pushing down buttons as a result. But, naturally, it keeps the keyboard size to a minimum.
The keyboard works with 2 AA batteries (supplied) which are placed in a raised section on the rear of the underside – this section then props the keyboard up at the right angle for typing. Rubber feet prevent the keyboard from slipping about.
When initially setting it up for some reason I couldn’t get it to power on. This suddenly resolved itself and I’ve had no problems since.
The keyboard comes in a slimline box which is barely larger than the keyboard itself – a good bit of reduced packaging which is always welcome.
Although I’ve not tried it yet, I’m reliably informed that although this keyboard will connect and generally work with the PS4, the Dualshock specific buttons don’t work.
An excellent quality keyboard which can be paired to pretty much anything with Bluetooth. Superb in use on the PS3 it’s only problem is the lack of bevel making picking up difficult, particularly when in use.
But that’s a minor point – if you can afford to spend £40 on a keyboard then it’s a worthy purchase.