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Typo2 for iPhone 6 review: For the desperate physical keyboard fan

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The Good The Typo2 keyboard case is lightweight, packs about a week of battery life, and offers a solution for iPhone fans desperate for a physical keyboard.

The Bad The case blocks the iPhone 6's home button, which makes Touch ID impossible to use, and the shallow, cramped keys will take some getting used to. You'll need to charge the case separately.

The Bottom Line The $99 Typo Keyboard case adds a credible physical keyboard to the iPhone 6, but losing access Touch ID sensor makes it a tough trade-off.

6.7 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 8.0

Review Sections

Typo keyboards is betting that many of you like your iPhone 6, but really wish you had a physical keyboard to make hammering out lengthy messages that much easier. To that end, the company has created keyboard cases you can slide your iPhone into, bringing the physical keyboard experience to devices that have long since left them behind. It's the successor to the ill-fated Typo keyboard , a nigh-identical device that bore more than a passing resemblance to BlackBerry hardware, which led to litigation.

The Typo2 offers a slightly different layout, but the general idea remains the same: slide your phone into the case, connect via Bluetooth, and you've got a physical keyboard for your iPhone 6. Whether or not it's worth the $99 price of admission is wholly dependent on how badly you want a physical keyboard on your smartphone.

Typo ships to the UK and Australia, at a hefty cost of $27, making it $126 in total (plus tax). That converts to roughly £80 or AU$150.

Design

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The Typo2 keyboard case. Nate Ralph/CNET

There isn't all that much to this case. The iPhone 6 slides into the base, and you'll then fit the other end of the case on top to lock it in. The case's weight is negligible, but it will add a smidgen of thickness to your slim smartphone -- as expected, for a phone case. The plastic shell feels fairly sturdy, though it likely won't stand up to drops and falls as well as some of the more purpose-driven cases out there.

The four-row keyboard also adds about an inch of height to the iPhone 6; for comparison's sake, it becomes about as tall as the iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note 4 , so you'll want to keep smaller pockets in mind. The case offers all of the requisite holes for easy access to the iPhone 6's buttons and the camera lens. There's also a gap on the underside that makes way for the headphone jack and the charging cable: small channels are provided for each cable, and I found it pretty easy to plug things in without flipping the phone over, or struggling awkwardly.

There's no physical connection between the Typo2 and the iPhone, so you're going to have to charge each device separately. The Typo2's battery will last for about 7 to 10 days, and charges by way of a micro-USB port sitting on the left side.

And then, of course, comes the keyboard. I'm in two minds about this. I love physical keyboards: for all its faults, the BlackBerry Passport is a phenomenal tool on which to get work done. But it's also a cumbersome device, forcing you to make the call between error-free text and a comfortable user experience.

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The case will make your iPhone 6 a bit longer. Nate Ralph/CNET

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