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LG's Rolly keyboard packs up into a Bluetooth wand

Despite the name, LG's Rolly keyboard doesn't really roll. Instead, the Bluetooth peripheral unfolds segment by segment, with four rows of keys laying neatly on any flat surface or clacking magnetically into place around a square spine. As a rod, the Rolly feels neat and balanced, and although it's too long to stow in your pocket, you could easily slip it into a bag and forget about it. Unfortunately, while the device's form factor is impressive, actually using the thing as a keyboard leaves something to be desired.

The problem is that although it looks a decent size, much of the keyboard is taken up by useless plastic. When typing on the Rolly, your fingers are either bumping into the top bar (where the batteries and electronics are housed), or tapping fruitlessly on magnetic blank keys that run down either side of the device. As with any new product, you might become accustomed to these constraints with time, but the Rolly is unlikely to be comfortable for extending typing sessions.

rolly_gif.0.gifMagnetic keys on the side of the Rolly keep it snapped together.

That being said, the keys themselves are satisfying to use (for a portable keyboard), and the Rolly boasts a Bluetooth pairing functionality which lets you connect it to two different devices at once. The battery bar also holds a pair of concealed arms that let you prop up a tablet or smartphone at a laptop-like angle for doing work, and LG claims that the Rolly will run for three months on a single AAA battery. It's expected to retail for around $119 in the US sometime this September before heading to select countries in Europe and Asia before the end of the year. And while Rolly isn't perfect by any means, if you're in the market for a portable keyboard it's worth considering the rolling option.