For those of us who cling defiantly to our physical keyboards and find tapping away on a touchscreen a chore, a Bluetooth keyboard is a necessity. I went hands-on with a new one that crossed my desk today.

Clocking in at just 250g, the Freedom i-Connex keyboard is a cheaply constructed Bluetooth accessory that won't weigh you down. It'll hook up to your iPhone, iPad or Android device, BlackBerry PlayBook or even your PlayStation 3.

In our tests, the i-Connex worked fine with iOS gadgets, but had some difficulty connecting to an Android tablet. The included plastic tablet stand also proved too flimsy to support the weight of a Kindle Fire HD 8.9.

Typing on the chiclet-style keys -- or "chocolate style" according to the documentation -- feels unnatural at times and the split space key seems to be in the wrong place for your thumbs.

These are just the start of the problems. Leave the i-Connex keyboard connected to your device and you'll find the hinge mechanism stubbornly holds the Y key down, resulting in an infinite string of consonants. It's like unwanted ASCII art.

The pull-out smart phone stand is no more reliable, offering a construction akin to a toy you might find in a cracker. It's held up by a thin black wire barely fit to support the weight of the stand itself, and that's before you even attempt sticking your phone to it.

All in all, the Freedom i-Connex offers little benefit other than its relatively low price of £35 -- Apple's shiny aluminium alternative will set you back £57, and is less portable. Click through the photos above to see it in 'action', and let me know what you think down in the comments, or on our sturdily built Facebook page.

The Freedom i-Connex connects easily to the iPad.
And the iPhone.
On the left sit volume buttons and play/pause/skip music controls.
Once folded, you can slip the i-Connex into a pocket or bag.
When unfolded, you have a full-sized keyboard to type to your heart's content on.
The i-Connex's party piece -- fold it up while you're connected and it'll churn out Ys forever.
Connecting to your iOS device is a breeze -- just pair it via Bluetooth.
The keyboard connects to Android devices too, but it can be hit and miss.
Tucked away in the top of the keyboard is the least sturdy fold-out stand imaginable.
The i-Connex is also bundled with an equally flimsy stand for your tablet.


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