Artist Review: Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard

The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard in one of the most compact Bluetooth keyboards around.

I bought this secondhand to test it with the Surface Pro 4 to see if it's good enough to replace the Type Cover. With the Type Cover, when I'm drawing, I won't be able to access the keyboard shortcuts and draw at the same time because my drawing hand is over the keyboard.

Let's go through the different features of the keyboard.


This is an extremely compact and portable design. When it's folded, it's almost the size of a CD case. It's also very lightweight.

The material used for the cover is matte and feels nice to touch. The keys have good travel distance and nice to type with. The only catch is you'll need sometime to get used to the layout of the keys because there's this gutter in the middle.

When the keyboard is closed, there's a magnet that hold the two sides together. It also auto shuts down when closed, and automatically powers on when opened up. It's very convenient.

Battery life is great. It can last for months without charging. And it charges via a micro-USB port at the top right. It's the same port used by most Android phones for charging. When the keyboard is running low on power, a red indicator light will come on.

Keyboard layout

Function buttons
Labels for the function buttons aren't printed on the top row of buttons.

Switching between devices

There are two shortcut function buttons for switching between devices. Note that this Bluetooth keyboard supports Android, iOS and Windows so there are keys that reflect different operating system, for example the CMD button for Mac and Home button for Windows. Switching between devices is very easy. You just press the button and it switches instantly. The downside is you can only assign to two devices.

Only one Control button
There's only one Control button on the left. This is not really a problem for typing. However, it's a big problem for using keyboard shortcuts because Control is the most used button in combination for keyboard shortcuts. This means it's almost impossible to do one-hand keyboard shortcuts with buttons on the right side of the keyboard. For example, if you want to Control+P, you have to use two hands.

So essentially, if you want to use keyboard shortcuts for drawing apps such as Photoshop or others, just avoid this keyboard.

Since the keyboard supports different OS, important buttons from each OS are printed on the usual modifier buttons.

Arrow buttons are small

It does take a while to get use to using those tiny arrow buttons, especially the Up and Down buttons which are half the usual size.

There are other keyboards with such small arrow buttons. However, it's more of a problem here because these buttons are too close to other buttons. For me, there's a tendency to hit other buttons when I'm pressing the Up button.


This keyboard is the most compact solution that's actually quite comfortable when used for typing. It does take a bit more time to get used to it because of the huge gap in the middle but after getting used that, typing is pretty speedy. The keyboard layout is certainly a compromise for portability, but overall it's well implemented. I really miss the right Control button because I can't use any keyboard shortcuts from the right side of the keyboard with one hand.

I like that it turns off automatically when closed and you can quickly throw it into a bag. The exterior is tough and feels quite durable. The keyboard is also designed to repel water.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who wants a truly portable keyboard that provides a comfortable typing experience compared to using on-screen keyboards or typing with thumbs.

I feel that this keyboard is too pricey though, especially when compared to other portable Bluetooth keyboards. However, many other keyboard doesn't have similar form factor so it's difficult to compare.

The other keyboard that I really like, if you don't mind the extra bulk, is the Logitech K810 Bluetooth Keyboard. The buttons are well spaced out and all the important keys are included. I've already bought the K810 so I'll be putting the foldable keyboard on sale.


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