Turns out rumours of a physical keyboard attachment for Samsung’s next flagship Galaxy Note smartphone was true. At Samsung’s Unpacked 2015 event, the company also took the wraps off its interesting new accessory called the Keyboard Cover.
Unlike Typo, the failed BlackBerry keyboard clone, the Samsung physical keyboard looks nothing like a BlackBerry keyboard. It’s also a very unique one, which does not require pairing with a phone. Instead, it snaps on to the top of the device with a separate back cover that comes with each Keyboard Cover. Because this attachment mechanism can be easily put on and removed, the Keyboard Cover offers further flexibility for users to switch between past-paced productivity and multimedia consumption.
The keyboard itself is thin, though the combination of back cover and keyboard adds a substantial amount of thickness to the Galaxy Note 5 that was used as a demo. What was really smart about this keyboard was not only in its modular build, but also in the way it works. The phone automatically detects when the user snaps on the back cover portion of the Keyboard Cover, adapting the display of the screen to fit the keyboard.
The new physical keyboard from Samsung will work with Samsung’s two new phablets, the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 edge+. We were also told that a smaller version is currently being developed for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. This keyboard has likely been developed to attract Samsung’s increasing corporate users, especially those used to smartphones with physical keyboards. The company has been making further inroads into the corporate market, with its secure KNOX offering and recent partnership with BlackBerry in the corporate security space.
Adding a physical touch to the Galaxy Note 5 or S6 edge+ will not be cheap though: the Samsung Keyboard Cover for Note 5 and S6 edge+ will retail for $80 (about RM325) in a few weeks’ time. It is also unlikely that this accessory will be coming to Malaysia.