or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPad › Review: Rapoo E6300 Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review: Rapoo E6300 Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Rapoo's E6300 Bluetooth keyboard is billed as the perfect complement to Apple's iPad, with device-specific shortcuts, a slim profile and extended battery life, but the hardware falls far short of expectations.




At just 5.6mm thin, the E6300 is a hair's breadth wider than the height of the iPad mini, making it perfectly suited to take on the road. It incorporates a brushed aluminum base, flat keys and won an iF award for product design in 2012. On paper, the Rapoo is a well-equipped companion for Apple's tablet.

Unfortunately, it's also one of the worst keyboards we've ever used.

Design



It's hard to believe that this keyboard won an iF design award for product design in 2012. While the available blue and white color scheme is clean and eye-pleasing, the orange and black version is a mess.


Rapoo's E6300 (above) compared to Logitech's K811 keyboard.


While portable, the keyboard's size is so small that it's difficult to use. The secondary key label color (blue on white keys in our sample) also seems totally unnecessary. Rapoo uses large iconic labels for function keys (Fn) and page controls (PgUp/PgDn/Home/End), when simple gray text would have sufficed. With such a constrained key arrangement, the logo-type shortcuts add confusion to an already busy design.

The part number and serial number sticker is a black-ink-on-white label that looks out of place against the gray plastic and gray aluminum. Quizzically, this sticker is in addition to all the FCC ID and model number markings that are beautifully etched into the aluminum.




The most beautiful thing about this keyboard is the back side of it, which is made from brushed aluminum. The back also has a gray plastic hump for the battery, Bluetooth and other electronics, two rubber feet, the On/Off switch, "Connect" button for pairing, and "Bluetooth" and "Battery" indicator LEDs.

While not representative of all E6300 units, our sample arrived with a bend in it and the rubber feet were not placed in the recesses designed to hold them.

In Use



We paired the Rapoo with an iPad mini with Retina display and a 3rd generation Apple TV. Pairing wasn't difficult, following the usual steps of long-pressing Connect on the keyboard, tapping the Keyboard in iOS Bluetooth settings, and typing the four digit code iOS instructs. It worked reliably. We did not test distance range, because the normal use is to sit with the keyboard near the display, though we had no troubles using it with an Apple TV at about 12 feet away.




Typing on the keyboard was another matter. We'll be blunt: Typing was so bad as to be nearly impossible. In practice we gave up using it on iPad after a few attempts at writing this review, instead pairing it with an Apple TV, where you simply don't type as much.

Entering the occasional Wi-Fi password or partial search term was fine, but heaven help you if you need to do actual work. Aside from its small size, the E6300's slick surface and almost zero margin between the keys is also a factor. The net result is that when you type on this keyboard, you will miss the letters you intend to type and your fingers will slip to other keys unintentionally. It's a shockingly bad experience.




Battery life seemed to last a decently long time, but again, because we weren't able to type on it full-time due to the impracticality of the size, we weren't able to see how long the battery lasted under sustained use.

Conclusion



The shame of it is that Rapoo does make some decent products. The Rapoo KX wireless keyboard that uses mechanical key switches is one example. Had that model been available in Bluetooth with dedicated iPad keys, or better still as a lightning wired keyboard, we would have been delighted. Here, we are only disappointed.

Let us be clear: Rapoo is capable of making good products, but this, their design award-winner, is not one of them.




Score: 2 out of 5



ratings_hl_20.png

Pros:

  • Etched brushed aluminum is nice
  • Key feel most reminds us of iBook G3


Cons:

  • Too small for comfortable typing
  • Slippery keys with near-zero pitch
  • Two-tone colors clutter an already constrained design


Where to buy



Rapoo's E6300 keyboard is available in for $49.99 from Amazon in white and black.
post #2 of 20
judging by the avalanche of dis-interest, maybe only a few will be disappointed, the few that bought that is.
post #3 of 20
I made the mistake of buying a Rappo e918, it seemed to be the perfect size to operate my the ChromeBox that I have connected to the TV in my bedroom. Holy moses what a piece of crap, not only was it down right impossible to type without pecking, the attached trackpad was as useless as takimg an enima for dirahea.

Rapoo-Blade-e9180p-5GHZ-wireless-Compact-Ultra-slim-keyboard-wireless-touchpad-High-Sensitive-computer-keyboard-free.jpg

You can see the appeal of such a small keyboard but Roppo needs to spend a little more time in development. I bought this to replace it

$T2eC16J,!zoE9s5nd0o2BRSykwF8zQ~~60_35.JPG
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

judging by the avalanche of dis-interest, maybe only a few will be disappointed, the few that bought that is.

Avalanche of dis-interest, what here on this site or in general, how did you come up with this conclusion, just because you might not like something doesn't mean others don't, the Rappo keyboards are extremely popular, mostly do to their price but their still outselling similiar Logitech models almost 3 to 1. Though I am not a fan of their products their larger keyboards aren't bad at all, I would still recommend buying either a Microsoft Wedge or Logitech K810. The Microsoft Wedge is probably the best mobile bluetooth keyboard that I have ever bought and would strongly recommend it, I use it almost exclusively for all of my devices, iPad included (though I just ordered Logitechs new Fabricskin keyboard case). The Logitech K810 is also pretty nice but its very expensive for what you get so I would opt for their solar Keyboard the K760, it's also Bluetooth and the fact that it doesn't require batteries or charging is a major plus.

Microsoft Wedge keyboard and Mouse
wmkwafercoverslatev1.jpg

Logitech K810 with it's little Buddy T630, if your going to spend the money on the keyboard you might as well get the cutest little mouse ever!
logitech-bundle-keyboard-k810-touch-mouse-t630-bluetooth-ch-wireless-keyboard.png

Logitech K760 in all of its solar goodness, I don't personally use one but my daughter does, it types really nice. The only problems I've seen seen is the range is a little short with the iPad for some reason, when my Nexus 10 or Surface Pro 3 is plugged into the TV via HDMI for instance I can sit on the couch which is about 3 meters from the TV and type without any problems, the iPad unfortunately doesn't quite make it that far as it drops letters or sticks, typing one letter over and over again until I bring the keyboard closer. So I'm not sure if this an iPad Bluetooth limitation or the keyboard. Regardless though its a great little keyboard for the iPad and of course the money.
Wireless_Solar_Keyboard_K760_03.jpg
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #5 of 20
Why are we complaining about a sticker on the bottom? Suggests a bad day more than a bad product.
post #6 of 20
I'm tempted just for the arrow keys. I've always wished the built in, on screen iPad keyboard had arrow keys. To be able to move that damned cursor back and forth between letters or up and down between lines of text instead of using a finger and magnifying glass would be oh so much easier in editing text. Now, someone tell me there are arrow keys on the iPad and I just missed them ... go on make my day.
Edited by digitalclips - 7/30/14 at 5:07am
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #7 of 20
My perfect solution: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C9O9V78/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It looks like they are no longer available. I love my "Macbook Air Mini".
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannybrook View Post

Why are we complaining about a sticker on the bottom? Suggests a bad day more than a bad product.

A misaligned, out of place white sticker on a gray surface, where other important information is etched into the aluminum, screams of afterthought.

 

They're telling us this is a design award-winning product, and clearly they just don't care. There are other products out there that have stickers, but the stickers are placed correctly, and the background of the sticker is matched to the color of the surface it's adhered to.

 

The point is, there are lots of areas where they could have done better. While it's just a sticker, it's representative of the compromises they made, and it would have been cheap to have done better.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post


Avalanche of dis-interest, what here on this site or in general, how did you come up with this conclusion, just because you might not like something doesn't mean others don't, the Rappo keyboards are extremely popular, mostly do to their price but their still outselling similiar Logitech models almost 3 to 1. Though I am not a fan of their products their larger keyboards aren't bad at all, I would still recommend buying either a Microsoft Wedge or Logitech K810. The Microsoft Wedge is probably the best mobile bluetooth keyboard that I have ever bought and would strongly recommend it, I use it almost exclusively for all of my devices, iPad included (though I just ordered Logitechs new Fabricskin keyboard case). The Logitech K810 is also pretty nice but its very expensive for what you get so I would opt for their solar Keyboard the K760, it's also Bluetooth and the fact that it doesn't require batteries or charging is a major plus.

Microsoft Wedge keyboard and Mouse
wmkwafercoverslatev1.jpg

Logitech K810 with it's little Buddy T630, if your going to spend the money on the keyboard you might as well get the cutest little mouse ever!
logitech-bundle-keyboard-k810-touch-mouse-t630-bluetooth-ch-wireless-keyboard.png

Logitech K760 in all of its solar goodness, I don't personally use one but my daughter does, it types really nice. The only problems I've seen seen is the range is a little short with the iPad for some reason, when my Nexus 10 or Surface Pro 3 is plugged into the TV via HDMI for instance I can sit on the couch which is about 3 meters from the TV and type without any problems, the iPad unfortunately doesn't quite make it that far as it drops letters or sticks, typing one letter over and over again until I bring the keyboard closer. So I'm not sure if this an iPad Bluetooth limitation or the keyboard. Regardless though its a great little keyboard for the iPad and of course the money.
Wireless_Solar_Keyboard_K760_03.jpg

 

 

What else do you like or dislike about the Logitech models? One of the things I'd say about the K760 is the battery indicator doesn't indicate much information, and there are people on Logitech's forums who have had trouble recharging it in full sun.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

[third-party pics with commentary]

 

I couldn't be bothered to research third-party bluetooth keyboards a couple of months ago, beyond strolling through the retailers in the immediate area.  The ones I saw were mostly meh; I finally went with the real-deal Apple Wireless Keyboard.

 

What am I missing here, honestly?  What advantages do these alternatives offer, price aside?  The build quality can't be matched, as far as I can tell...

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I'm tempted just for the arrow keys. I've always wished the built in, on screen iPad keyboard had arrow keys. To be able to move that damned cursor back and forth between letters or up and down between lines of text instead of using a finger and magnifying glass would be oh so much easier in editing text. Now, someone tell me there are arrow keys on the iPad and I just missed them ... go on make my day.

The iPad supports the arrow keys found on Bluetooth keyboards. Works just like on a Mac.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post
 

 

I couldn't be bothered to research third-party bluetooth keyboards a couple of months ago, beyond strolling through the retailers in the immediate area.  The ones I saw were mostly meh; I finally went with the real-deal Apple Wireless Keyboard.

 

What am I missing here, honestly?  What advantages do these alternatives offer, price aside?  The build quality can't be matched, as far as I can tell...

Oh absolutely, Apples keyboards are top notch but if you want extras like a illuminated keyboard or solar powered you'll need to look elsewhere. I just happen to like the way the Wedge Keyboard types for instance, it feels more natural but the Apple keyboards are a good bargain.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post

 


What else do you like or dislike about the Logitech models? One of the things I'd say about the K760 is the battery indicator doesn't indicate much information, and there are people on Logitech's forums who have had trouble recharging it in full sun.

The solar panels collect dust like nothing else, I think they produce a small charge that just attracts particles. It's a very good keyboard to type on though, I prefer it over the more expensive model. Power is like this, put it on a window seal for an hour and it will run in the dark for about two days. People in the forums are complaining that their fluorescent offices dont provide enough power, which is true. But if you treat it as a device that needs to be charged and just remember to periodically set it near a sunny spot your golden. This device is not suggested for those who live in Seattle. 1biggrin.gif
Edited by Relic - 7/30/14 at 10:20am
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The iPad supports the arrow keys found on Bluetooth keyboards. Works just like on a Mac.

I meant on the built in onscreen one!
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post
 

 

I couldn't be bothered to research third-party bluetooth keyboards a couple of months ago, beyond strolling through the retailers in the immediate area.  The ones I saw were mostly meh; I finally went with the real-deal Apple Wireless Keyboard.

 

What am I missing here, honestly?  What advantages do these alternatives offer, price aside?  The build quality can't be matched, as far as I can tell...

 

I had a bad experience with using an Apple Wireless Keyboard for travel. It had it with my iPad in a travel case and the exposed power button got bumped, I figure. The AWK went on and drained the alkaline batteries which then leaked all over the inside and outside. The keyboard was ruined, and I vowed never to use an AWK as a portable keyboard again. I've followed a quest for the perfect folding wireless keyboard, and for now have settled on the Perixx Periboard-805L. It folds up for travel, and aside from some key layout issues and it's Window friendly configuration, it's pretty good. It also uses a rechargeable battery (Yay!). However, I've seen the Rude (Ryuudo) RBK-3200BTi keyboard on Amazon, and I think salvation is near. Except for it using AAA batteries and a steep (import from Japan) price, it's almost perfect. :-)

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoDaGuy View Post
 

 

I had a bad experience with using an Apple Wireless Keyboard for travel. It had it with my iPad in a travel case and the exposed power button got bumped, I figure. The AWK went on and drained the alkaline batteries which then leaked all over the inside and outside. The keyboard was ruined, and I vowed never to use an AWK as a portable keyboard again. I've followed a quest for the perfect folding wireless keyboard, and for now have settled on the Perixx Periboard-805L. It folds up for travel, and aside from some key layout issues and it's Window friendly configuration, it's pretty good. It also uses a rechargeable battery (Yay!). However, I've seen the Rude (Ryuudo) RBK-3200BTi keyboard on Amazon, and I think salvation is near. Except for it using AAA batteries and a steep (import from Japan) price, it's almost perfect. :-)

I've had so many different models of the folding keyboard dating back to the Palm version. Every single one broke, the hinges just gave out. So I kind of gave up on the whole idea. The realestate taken up by a Wedge or Logitech really isn't that much more so I'll stick with them. The Perixx does look cool though.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #17 of 20

Yup, been done that path. Found a Dell labeled Stowaway Ultracompact BT folding keyboard on eBay, but its old version of Bluetooth was a little unreliable. Tried an AmazonBasics non-folding BT keyboard, but that felt cheesy and was still bulky for travel, especially after I switched to an iPad mini. Tried a Hippih folding keyboard, but that was even cheesier feeling than the AmazonBasics and was a bit fragile. Found the Perixx Periboard-806 and thought it might be better than the Stowaway, but it was a mini-sized keyboard and too small for touch typing. Returned it and tried the Periboard-805L and that turned out to be usable. (don't get the 805, because that has a smaller keyboard footprint).

 

The 805L is just about full-sized, and although it's not perfect, it's not bad. Since I don't use it all the time, and my prime need is to use it when I'm traveling for work, it doesn't get a heavy pounding. It needs a flat, hard surface to sit on, but that's not a problem. But, the key layout of the 805L is made to use on a Windows machine and lacks iOS specific keys. Some of the layout choices are weird, like a huge Esc key, number key row offset one key to the right (which means I sometimes hit the wrong number or punctuation key), and the Backspace key is too small (for correcting my misteaks). But, it's very usable for a touch typist with a little adjustment. And, it uses an internal rechargeable battery. Charges off a USB port or a USB power adapter. No more leaking alkalines!

 

On the other hand, the photos I've seen of the Ryuudo RBK-3200BTi show a nearly perfect key layout for iOS, and it looks like it's full-sized, the keys are all in the right places and sizes, and it folds. It even comes with a carry case. The only caveats I have is that it needs AAA batteries, and it's not cheap. Otherwise, I would have ordered it already.  :-)

 

For a slightly less than full-size keyboard with iOS specific keys, the Perixx Periboard-804i is worth a look. I got one and I think it's better than the AmazonBasics keyboard. It doesn't fold, but that may be an advantage for you.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I'm tempted just for the arrow keys. I've always wished the built in, on screen iPad keyboard had arrow keys. To be able to move that damned cursor back and forth between letters or up and down between lines of text instead of using a finger and magnifying glass would be oh so much easier in editing text. Now, someone tell me there are arrow keys on the iPad and I just missed them ... go on make my day.

 

If you can resist throwing your arms up in despair until the autumn, your day may be made then, as custom keyboards are coming to iOS8.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

If you can resist throwing your arms up in despair until the autumn, your day may be made then, as custom keyboards are coming to iOS8.

Thanks! Oh cool, I didn't see that. Soooo I can assign the arrows myself ... awesome. I truly am surprised no one else has brought this up. Trying to get that pesky cursor where you want it when trying edit a chunk of text by having to use a finger and a magnifying glass can be a royal pain, especially on blogs where for some reason, on many occasions it just doesn't work!

The question I then have is I wonder of the custom set up will be sophisticated enough to allow the ability to set repeat delay / rate too? So you can move a cursor up twenty lined of text by simply holding rather than repeatedly tapping. However, I'll accept a simple repeat tap above the current set up.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

If you can resist throwing your arms up in despair until the autumn, your day may be made then, as custom keyboards are coming to iOS8.

Thanks! Oh cool, I didn't see that. Soooo I can assign the arrows myself ... awesome. I truly am surprised no one else has brought this up. Trying to get that pesky cursor where you want it when trying edit a chunk of text by having to use a finger and a magnifying glass can be a royal pain, especially on blogs where for some reason, on many occasions it just doesn't work!

The question I then have is I wonder of the custom set up will be sophisticated enough to allow the ability to set repeat delay / rate too? So you can move a cursor up twenty lined of text by simply holding rather than repeatedly tapping. However, I'll accept a simple repeat tap above the current set up.

 

I'd be surprised if there weren't thousands upon thousands of custom keyboard apps developed, as it will be a first for iOS, so I imagine your wishes may well come true!

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPad
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPad › Review: Rapoo E6300 Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad