Less than a thousand: Portronics Chicklet is the boss of budget portable keyboards

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When we think of keyboards, we think of bulky wired rectangular bars. And those massive keyboards work just fine as long as we’re tethered to our desks and have to do all the work in one cubicle. But if your job gives you more flexibility and allows you to work just about anywhere, having those huge wired keyboards just isn’t practical. In such cases, you need a super portable wireless Bluetooth keyboard that can easily slip into your bag and won’t add too much weight when you carry it around.

There is a wide range of keyboards that are not only completely wireless and lightweight, but also very portable. But while some Bluetooth keyboards can slip easily into the pockets of your backpack, they can be slightly heavy on the pocket. If you’re looking for a super portable and lightweight Bluetooth keyboard, there’s an option that will not only be light to carry, but also light on your wallet. Portronics is an Indian technology brand, known for its affordable accessories. One of these accessories is a Bluetooth wireless keyboard called Portronics Chicklet. The official price of the Portronics Chicklet is Rs 1,999 but the device is often available under a thousand rupees with discounts and offers on various platforms.

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Foldable, thin, light

The Portronics Chicklet is nothing like your regular keyboard in terms of design. It comes in a small, slim box that’s big enough for a slightly larger-than-usual smartphone or full-size e-reader. And that’s exactly what comes out when you take the device out. You get a very lightweight rectangular plastic slab that’s no bigger than a big smartphone these days.

One of its sides has a small Porttronics logo near the base while the rest is plain. This seemingly boring slab actually contains the keyboard. The Chicklet is a foldable keyboard, meaning the keyboard is folded in half and out of the box is the folded version of the device. Unfold the Portronics Chicklet and it reveals the hidden keyboard.

Once you unfold it, the small rectangular slab extends into a full-fledged keyboard. The keyboard is divided into two equal halves which are connected together using a band.

The keyboard is divided into two equal halves which are connected together using a band. (PhotoExpress)

The left side of the keyboard has two small buttons on the top left – one is a toggle to turn the device on/off while the other is a “connect” button to press to pair the keyboard with a device . There are two small LED indicators right next to these buttons, one that shows charging status while the other shows connection status. The keys are divided between these two sections on the keyboard. The keys from ‘Q’ to ‘T’ (as well as other function keys) are placed on the left half of the keyboard while the keys from ‘Y’ to ‘P’ are placed on the right half of the keyboard with the rest of the function keys.

potronics chicklet, potronics chicklet keyboard, There is a micro USB port on the top of the keyboard to charge the device when it runs out of juice. (Express Photo)

Both sides have a small space bar. The Chicklet also has magnets that keep the keyboard closed when folded. There is a micro USB port on the top of the keyboard to charge the device when it runs out of juice. The Chicklet is plastic and while the build quality doesn’t feel top notch, it doesn’t feel cheap either. It weighs around 175 grams, which makes it even lighter than some smartphones.

Easy pairing process

The keyboard must first be paired with the device you want to connect it to. To do this, you need to activate the toggle button, then press and hold the “connect” button for two to three seconds. The status LED will begin to flash blue indicating the Chicklet is ready to pair. Now you need to enable Bluetooth on your device and make sure the keyboard is nearby. It has a range of about eight to ten meters.

In your Bluetooth settings you will find the Chicklet. Once it appears in your list, tap on it and the keyboard will be paired with your device. It is compatible with macOS, iOS, Windows and Android devices.

potronics chicklet, potronics chicklet keyboard, The Chicklet is plastic and while the build quality doesn’t feel top notch, it doesn’t feel cheap either. It weighs around 175 grams, which makes it even lighter than some smartphones. (PhotoExpress)

Portable keyboard with a learning curve:

The Portronics Chicklet is quite a fun device to use, all thanks to its form factor. Once paired with your device of choice, the keyboard works well. Even though it has a compact form factor, the Chicklet’s keys are quite decently sized, meaning you’re unlikely to hit the wrong key accidentally. Just like a regular keyboard, the keys also have a good bounce. But the biggest star of this Chicklet show is portability. It’s by far the easiest and most portable Bluetooth keyboard to carry in this price range. You can simply fold it up and even slip it into a slightly deep jacket pocket. Pair it with your phone and get the functionality of a real keyboard anywhere.

That said, if you’re used to a laptop keyboard or PC keyboard, the Chicklet will definitely take some getting used to. The steepest learning curve comes with the double spacebar and the strip that connects the two halves of the keyboard. Getting used to the existence of the group is the biggest hurdle you would face with the Chicklet.

potronics chicklet, potronics chicklet keyboard, If you’re used to a laptop keyboard or PC keyboard, it will definitely take some getting used to. (PhotoExpress)

The keyboard is also quite light which is a good thing when it comes to portability but if you have a habit of pounding your keyboard you will have to give up that habit because on a table like surface with no grip the keyboard will move a bit when you press the keys too hard. It has a 180 mAh battery which can be charged quite quickly. The company claims its battery lasts for over 140 hours on a single charge, which we found more or less to be true.

The Chicklet managed to go a week on a single charge, which is pretty impressive. It comes with a sleep mode, which activates when you don’t use it for more than ten minutes. To start using it, press any key, wait three seconds and you’re good to go.

A chewy chick for word smiths

While the Portronics Chicklet has an official price of Rs 1,999, the Bluetooth wireless keyboard is often available for less than Rs 1,000 on various platforms. There’s a bit of a learning curve with the keyboard and those lacking patience probably won’t be impressed, but overall it’s a good option, especially at a discounted price. It is a perfect device for those who are always on the go and need to write quick and long emails and messages.

Coming next week: one cable to charge them all… and send data back and forth!

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