If you ever had to type a quick email or two from your tablet or your phone whilst sipping away at a cup of coffee, you might have realized that on-screen keyboards aren’t always the best option. Granted, they serve the purpose most of the time, but when doing long stretches of typing, you need to fall back on a dedicated, physical keyboard.

That’s the primary reason for the success of a number of portable keyboards from the likes of Microsoft and Logitech,. Today, Microsoft has announced a new universal, foldable keyboard for iOS, Android and Windows devices that addresses not only the need for a physical input method, but also the portable aspect, in that the keyboard is foldable for easy transportation.

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The new keyboard, which becomes available for shipping July this year and will retail for $100, carries the most prominent feature in it being foldable, so that you can stash it in your backpack for wherever you need. Since it’s a universal keyboard, there’s no dedicated Windows key, nor has the software giant favored function keys, replacing them with media controls which make infinitely more sense on a universal setup.

The new keyboard also supports pairing with two devices at once, and switches between both painlessly at just one touch. The new Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard comes with a built-in battery that should last you three months (on average) before requiring a charge again, done through a simple micro-USB connector at its side. The texture of the keyboard is soft, and it has a solid, anti-slip feel to it which would sit well with typing enthusiasts.

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While there are a lot of good things to write home about the new keyboard from Microsoft, it isn’t all sunshine. There’s an obvious lack of a stand to place your phone or tablet against – something that we’ve become accustomed to courtesy of similar offerings from not just Logitech, but Microsoft itself as well – and the device has a very strong chiclet feel to it. This minor grievance aside, Microsoft has created a wonderful typing companion for people who need to jot down a quick thing or two on the go, and the foldability aspect of the keyboard only adds to how frequently you’ll find yourself pulling it out and carrying everywhere with you.

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