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Get a folding portable Bluetooth keyboard for $18.89

This is just the thing for those times when an onscreen keyboard won't do. Plus: Serious savings on a VR drone!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


Like I said earlier this week (when that ding-dang cable organizer sold out so quickly), I love simple, effective, inexpensive solutions to life's little problems.

In this case, the problem of needing to send a long email or edit a document when you're on the go, with only your phone or tablet at hand. You need a real keyboard, but it's not like you can just make one magically appear.

Oh, wait, yes you can: Battop (via Amazon) has its folding portable Bluetooth keyboard for $18.89 when you apply discount code ZJGI9QBQ at checkout. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers. Price on this the last time I shared it: $26.95.

When I see a keyboard like this, something in my brain goes tilt -- in a good way. This goes back to the Stowaway for PalmPilot -- anyone remember those? It's like, "What is this strange slab of plastic? Wait, what's happening, OH MY GOD IT'S A KEYBOARD!"

And for anyone wishing to use their phone or tablet as a surrogate laptop, a keyboard really is essential.

When folded, the Battop looks remarkably like a three-hole punch and feels very solid, like you could whack someone upside the head if they were giving you trouble. Unfold it and it's a full QWERTY keyboard -- a touch narrower than standard, but comfortable enough for touch-typing.

What's more, it has a built in stand to hold your phone or tablet upright. Just don't expect to use it -- or any folding keyboard, really -- in your lap. What's more, it works with not only Android and iOS devices, but also Windows tablets. So if you bought, say, a Microsoft Surface and don't want to fork over another $130 for Microsoft's keyboard, this can take its place. (Not saying it's as good, merely that it's compatible.)

To my thinking this is a way better solution than a keyboard case or cover, which adds significant full-time bulk to any tablet. Here, you whip out the keyboard when you need it, stow it when you don't. My only complaint is there's no clasp or catch to keep it shut when folded. Rubber bands to the rescue!

Battop backs the product with a 12-month warranty -- important given that a handful of reviewers cited reliability issues. For what it's worth, I've used one on and off for the better part of year, with no issues to speak of.

Your thoughts?

Dave Cheng/CNET

Bonus deal: As you know, I kind of like drones. (Get out!) But just flying around gets a little dull after a while -- unless you're wearing VR goggles and getting a drone's-eye view of the sky! Sounds expensive, right? Not today: Woot has the Ehang Ghostdrone 2.0 VR for $419.99, plus $5 for shipping. Price elsewhere: at least $650.

This is new, not refurbished, and it comes with both a 4K camera and a set of VR goggles. Even more amazing, it's a very recent product, having been reviewed by CNET just last week. I'll let that review do most of the talking, as I haven't flown this one myself.

But I will say the thing looks really cool, with its down-facing propellers and futuristic goggles. CNET's review: mostly positive. Amazon customer reviews: about the same.