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Published on June 21st, 2011 | by Greg


NUU MiniKey: A Slider Case For The iPhone 4

For those who are look­ing for a phys­i­cal key­board or are still un­used to typ­ing on the iPhone, this de­vice is for you. Fa­thers, if you are a bit dis­ap­point­ed in your as­sort­ment of gift ties, maybe take one back and con­sid­er get­ting your­self an odd, but use­ful case.

The Nuu Mi­ni-key trans­forms your iPhone 4 in­to a QW­ER­TY Slid­er with a slide-out phys­i­cal key­board that con­nects to the iPhone via a Blue­tooth con­nec­tion, leav­ing all func­tions and con­nec­tors un­blocked. This means, of course, that it is pow­ered sep­a­rate­ly, and can’t be pow­ered by the phone it­self. The snap-on case of the MiniKey works with the iPhone’s own an­ten­nas, come with key­board back­light­ing (which is ex­cel­lent in the dark and can be switched off) and au­to­mat­i­cal­ly goes to sleep when the iPhone en­ters stand­by mode which saves its short­er-than-de­sired bat­tery life.

The de­vice us­es its own sep­a­rate charg­er as well and fea­tures a nice grip feel, and sol­id slid­er mech­a­nism. Near­ly ev­ery key al­so has an ex­tra func­tion, pro­vid­ing quick ac­cess to num­bers and sym­bols. To ac­cess them you just press the func­tion key. The Minikey al­so sup­press­es the on­board key­board al­low­ing you to see more than just a few lines of what you are typ­ing.

When at­tached to the snap on case, the en­tire de­vice be­comes around three times thick­er than the iPhone it­self. This is def­i­nite­ly a put-off to some, as it is a bit bulky for many pock­ets then, but it’s a com­mon ex­pe­ri­ence with these kinds of phys­i­cal at­tach­ments to the iPhone. It makes up for the size in­crease by hav­ing a nice tac­tile key­board, eas­i­ly-ac­ces­si­ble func­tion keys and var­i­ous oth­er fea­tures. The afore­men­tioned bat­tery can be used for a week’s mod­er­ate­ly ac­tive use and rough­ly 30 days stand­by time. It al­so charges via mi­cro USB in about 4 hours.

If you are look­ing for a phys­i­cal key­board add-on to the iPhone 4 this is def­i­nite­ly one to con­sid­er, al­though at $70 it’s a bit prici­er than some com­peti­tors. But it does work bet­ter than most, al­low­ing us to type faster and with few­er mis­takes (or au­to-cor­rect fol­lies). We wouldn’t sug­gest it for ev­ery­one, or even ev­ery­one with an iPhone 4- but it’s a slick piece of work and a nifty so­lu­tion.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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