[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Upon receiving the Candyboard Bluetooth mini keyboard from VisionTek – the Illinois-based company best known for their line of AMD-powered PC graphics cards, but also a manufacturer of various other devices such as SSDs and portable speakers – I must admit, I was a bit at a loss as to exactly what to do with the thing. With its most obvious use case (to me, anyway) being to control presentations (especially given the built-in laser pointer), and me currently having no presentations to give, I set about trying to find other interesting uses for the device.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Candyboard Bluetooth Keyboard[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]VisionTek mentions that the Candyboard Bluetooth works well as a keyboard for newer PlayStation consoles (and it likely does), but, being a PC/Nintendo/Android gamer, I didn’t have access to a PS3 or PS4 to try it with. I also would have loved to have gotten it working with Google Glass, but it seems support for Bluetooth keyboards was either removed or broken starting with the XE16 update for Glass. After a bit of time with the Candyboard Bluetooth, however, I did indeed find a few personal use cases.

Connecting the Candyboard Bluetooth to my Nexus 5 was simple and painless, and I, this being my first experience with such a setup, was really surprised to find that Android (at least KitKat, anyway) actually controls pretty well with a keyboard and mouse. A mouse, you say? Yup, the Candyboard also features a built-in capacitive notebook style touch pad which works quite well, and can even be switched to be used in either a horizontal or vertical orientation, along with dedicated left and right mouse click buttons.

This is a good setup for doing presentations straight from your smartphone or tablet, without the need for carrying a laptop with you, so long as you have a device that features some kind of video-out. This could also definitely come in handy in the case that you crack the digitizer on your mobile device and still want to be able to use it until you get it fixed/replaced.

Working my way around Android with the Candyboard Bluetooth, I stumbled across a few more interesting uses for this setup. You can of course use it as a controller for games that offer keyboard support or freely re-mappable buttons. It also works great as a remote shutter button for the camera, particularly if you are using the front-facing camera so you can accurately frame your shot.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Candyboard Bluetooth Remote Shutter[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]There are also some pretty obvious use cases for having the Candyboard Bluetooth connected to your PC or laptop. One of the main ones would be to use it as a remote control for media, and it works great in this regard, thanks in particular to the included media keys. Even in a dark environment, you’ll have no problem using the Candyboard, being that it features easily togglable backlighting for the keys. And for those times when you want to connect it to a computer that doesn’t have Bluetooth support, VisionTek wisely decided to include a USB Bluetooth dongle, normally concealed inconspicuously in the side of the Candyboard.

The hardware overall is well designed and a pretty good size, although those with very small hands might have a little difficulty reaching the keys toward the center of the device. For most folks, that shouldn’t be a problem. It feels solid and sturdy in the hands, and it looks quite nice as well, particularly with the backlighting turned on. For anyone looking for a mini Bluetooth keyboard with included touch pad, you can’t go wrong with the Candyboard Bluetooth.

Website: VisionTek Candyboard Bluetooth

About the author

Chris Foote

Singer, guitarist and songwriter for the Grand Rapids, MI based band, Ars Nova. Google Glass Explorer. Google Helpouts guitar lesson provider. Photographer. Transhumanist. Technology enthusiast. Enlightened Ingresser.