One2Touch NFC Keyboard.

Using low-power NFC communication and made for Android, the One2Touch Softpad is a unique take on a travel keyboard

If you have ever tried to do any real work on a touch screen device, you know how frustrating text entry can be. Having a mini-computer in your pocket is mighty convenient, and applications to edit things like presentations and documents are good enough for limited use on Android, but the limiting factor, for me at least, is trying to type on a piece of glass.

I wouldn't recommend any Android device for a dedicated office computer, but for traveling and those unexpected times where you need to get something done, the One2Touch Softpad NFC keyboard is a really interesting gadget.

One2Touch NFC Keyboard.

It's compact enough to just toss into any travel bag or briefcase when folded and secured with the included silicone band. When unfolded, your Android device rests between the split working areas, and because it works in portrait or landscape there's enough room for a long list of devices. Once in place and connected, it acts like a keyboard is supposed to act. All typing and text — including symbols, numbers and dedicated Android functions like search and home — work as advertised, and while the split keyboard will take some getting used to, it's easier and far more functional that trying to peck out things with an on-screen keyboard.

One2Touch NFC Keyboard.  One2Touch NFC Keyboard.

Setting up the Softpad is nice and easy. You'll need an Android device that has NFC, of course, and access to Google Play. Make sure the batteries in the keyboard are correctly inserted and aligned properly, and NFC is on and enabled on your Android device, then touch the two NFC hotspots together.

You're directed to Google Play to install the correct software, which includes a simple routine to get things enabled and ready to go. All you have to do is tell the system that you allow the software to act as a keyboard, then choose it as a default input option. You're walked through the entire procedure, so there's no guessing involved and no need to jump back and forth between a browser window to follow complicated directions. It just works.

Once properly "paired" and set up, simply placing your Android in position turns things on and you're instantly connected to the Softpad for quick and easy use.

One2Touch NFC Keyboard.

For most of us, most of the time, this is something we would hardly ever use. I admit it. But I can envision a tired traveler, forced to work on something in Google Docs from his or her hotel room, using the Softpad S1 in conjunction with HDMI out to a television.  

This isn't going to make you want to throw your laptop away, but for some people an instant pairing, low-power solution for better typing is well worth the $99 price tag. You can pick one up at Brookstone if you're interested.

 

Reader comments

The One2Touch Softpad S1 NFC keyboard review

43 Comments

It does. At first, I was ready to put it aside and forget about it completely. But after a few hours of using it, your fingers start to "remember" where the keys are. It's a pretty handy little device for those that have a need.

Jerry do you consider yourself a good typist? Or do you chicken peck? I ask because in the video it either seems you are not the best typist, or that keyboard is super compact and small... making the user forced to peck away. sorry if that is offensive! :D

I'm a "super" chicken pecker :P

I can jam out about 80 WPM on my laptop using only my two index fingers and the pinkies for shift/command/option/control

This keyboard is a little cramped, and I'm not the best typist in the world (not even close) but a lot of that is because I'm trying to do it through a camera viewfinder — my assistant wasn't available to help that day lol.

And it wasn't offensive at all :)

On topic: As with anything used with a small amount of effort for a short period of time, you will get used to it.

Off topic: Dumbest signature ever.

Posted via Android Central App

Hey Jerry, thanks for the review. I have three questions for you: first, how long do you think the batteries last? You mentioned your voltmeter showed they were still pretty good—do you think you'd be replacing the battery monthly or more frequently? Second is it hard to get the NFC chips aligned? Will a slight bump ruin the connection? And lastly, have you tried out the ELECOM NFC keyboard? It looks pretty similar, but it's a lot cheaper!

Thanks so much and sorry for all the questions!

My meter still shows the batteries having a full charge after about 3 weeks worth of playing with it in the evenings on different devices. I would guess the batteries last a lot longer than a month.

The NFC chips line up pretty easily. Any issues I have in the video is because I'm looking through a camera viewfinder and not at the keyboard/phone themselves.

I'll have to take a look at the ELECOM. Thanks for the suggestion!

At first glance I thought a device would be a worthless gimmick, but after reading Jerry's review and thinking about it, it could actually come in handy.

I went looking for a keyboard about a month ago and came across this one. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for but,it was interesting. Over the price limit I'd pay but interesting. What I was looking for was a small, attachable, physical keyboard to use around the house when texting, posting, banking, etc.

Yeah, I'll admit, I didn't expect the price tag to hit the wallet that hard.

Posted via Android Central App

Agreed. I would say $50 tops would be closer to agreeable, but a solid Benjamin is too much. IMHO.

Posted via Android Central App

I thought Bluetooth keyboards were kind of silly on tablet computers (why not just use a laptop???), but this is ridiculous.

Thanks for the review, Jerry,
Technology moves very fast,
The price tag is still very high, for a companion accessory!

I know plenty of people that still prefer a physical keyboard over a virtual one. I can't say the same for myself, but that's a broad statement nonetheless.

Posted via Android Central App

Pretty much...

Consumer: We don't want physical keyboards and we're willing to pay for 600-800% profit margins on electronic gadgets.

Company: Ok, here's $15 a rubber keyboard to make typing anything beyond an SMS tolerable, and it can be yours for just $100.

Even as outrageously overpriced as phones are to begin with, it's insanity to price this thing at roughly 1/5th the cost of a high end phone.

It's a crazy world we're living in.

I don't think consumers really said that. What they have said is that they want high-end more than they want a physical keyboard. But since there has never been a high-end phone with a physical keyboard, I don't think you can conclude that consumers don't want physical keyboards.

And since nobody asked me, yes I do want a physical keyboard. I hate how my 4.7" screen turns into a 2.5" screen any time I have to type.

Even if you have a physical keyboard on your phone, thumb typing isn't as fast as using all your fingers on a full-sized keyboard.

I prefer a touchscreen keyboard because the keyboard can hide when you're not typing anything. Plus, I'm already pretty accurate with it. I don't make many mistakes and it's less tiring because you don't have to press down on a physical key; you just have to tap it.

I can type over 60wpm on my phone for a short period of time, but I'm still a lot faster on a full-sized keyboard. If I had to do a lot of typing, I'd much rather be typing on a full-sized physical keyboard than the on-screen keyboard on my phone, or even a physical keyboard if my phone had one.

It looks like another version of the keyboard is avail. If you watch the video associated with the App, it shows another product as well. Looks a lot better too. Not such a crazy split keyboard, but one catered specifically for phones. This one seems to be their "tablet" version. Just thought you guys would like to know and check it out.

Very neat use of NFC!

I really had to go a bit into the video to be sure there was no bluetooth involved at all!

Da question is why in heavens did they go with the NFC pad sandwiched within the keyboard!?
.. Something unfolding like a upsided-down "T" would had made a lot more sense.

A keyboard that folds in two, with a pad that unfold up.

Bonus: Portrait mode tablets compatibility!

The NFC pairing is neat but I think I would prefer blue tooth so I could prop up my tablet in front of me or use it in landscape. I could use a portable keyboard at times.

Great review. I would love to have this when I'm out and about, but $100 is a show stopper.

I love this, especially on sale for $40 in return 0's link. As someone who made a serious effort to learn proper keyboarding and increase my typing speed, I sort of hate index finger pecking away on my smartphone.

Posted via Android Central App, HTC One

Really ñice.... I am searching for keyboard like this to my mob ... but in chennai rare....:(

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Phil,

In your opinion, how hard would it be to get those batteries overseas if the keyboard dies? Also, how rugged does the keyboard seem for traveling?

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I'm a writer and a touch typist, so I think I'll stick with my US$30 Logitech MK320 Wireless keyboard/trackpad for my Android phones and MiniPCs. (All mine have USB host ports.)

Surprisingly, high-end MiniPCs, such as the Tronsmart MK908ii, make an effective desktop replacement at low cost. All you need is an MK320 and a HDTV to plug it into.