LG announces Rolly Keyboard, updated G Pad Android tablet ahead of IFA 2015 expo

  • Wireless keyboard folds up along 4 rows to create a ‘stick’ for portability
  • G Pad II 10.1 tablet features slim screen bezels, Snapdragon 800 processor 

THE IFA 2015 consumer electronics expo in Berlin, Germany won’t kick off till next week (4-9 Sept 2015) but new product announcements have already begun trickling out.

Today LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, a division of LG Electronics, unveiled the Rolly Keyboard (pic below), a portable keyboard that folds up along the 4 rows to create a ‘stick’ that should easily fit into a pocket, purse or briefcase.
LG announces Rolly Keyboard, updated G Pad Android tablet ahead of IFA 2015 expo
In a statement, the South Korean mobile handset giant said this is the industry’s first solid roll-able wireless portable keyboard, and it will show this off for the first time at its booth at IFA 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

In an effort to expand its presence in the market for mobile device accessories, which the company said is experiencing fast growth, Seo Young-jae, the company’s vice president in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications said, “LG Rolly Keyboard is one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings.”

“The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn’t been explored before,” he added.

LG’s new portable keyboard certainly transforms quite differently from the typical hard-key keyboard such as Microsoft’s version, which folds in the middle to form a flat square form factor. 

Other foldable keyboards are low-priced soft-key flexible versions made from silicone material that can roll up like a tortilla wrap.

The Rolly Keyboard is made of what LG described as ‘impact-resistant and durable’ polycarbonate and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic. 

It comes with a 17mm key pitch, which is very close to the 18mm key pitch found on most desktop keyboards.  As such, LG claims typing on the keyboard will offer a satisfying tactile feedback not found on silicone keyboards.

LG announces Rolly Keyboard, updated G Pad Android tablet ahead of IFA 2015 expo

To prop up a tablet or smartphone, the keyboard comes with two arms that fold out to support these devices in an upright position.  It supports devices with 10-inch screens and below, which happily for many d include the iPad and of course, LG’s own G Pad tablets.

Unfolding the keyboard would automatically enable the pairing function to connect to two different devices at the same time using Bluetooth 3.0 wireless technology.  Users would need to press a key to toggle between both the paired devices.

Rather than using a rechargeable battery, LG opted for a single AAA battery to power the device for up to 3 months of ‘average’ use.

LG announces Rolly Keyboard, updated G Pad Android tablet ahead of IFA 2015 expo

In an e-mail response to Digital News Asia, senior analyst with research firm Forrestor wrote, "The Rolly holds a lot of promise in the accessories world, and ticks the box for portability, design, and usability. The challenge is whether they can find a price point that satisfies most users."

LG hasn't announced a pricing yet, but Teo expects it to hover between US$80-$99 to be competitive.

The keyboard will debut in the US market in September, followed by key markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia in the fourth quarter.

This announcement closely followed LG’s recent unveiling of its G Pad II 10.1 (pic below) earlier this week, an Android tablet with a 10-inch 1920 x 1200 resolution display.

LG announces Rolly Keyboard, updated G Pad Android tablet ahead of IFA 2015 expo

Available in both Wi-Fi and LTE (Long Term Evolution) versions, the tablet is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor, and endowed with a 7400 mAh battery, one of the largest among mainstream tablets.

LG said the tablet’s screen bezels are the slimmest among similar-sized tablets which helped to reduce the overall size of the device.

It also has a Reader Mode, which makes reading e-books more comfortable by reducing the blue light of the display backlight.  There are studies which say the blue light from such displays can cause eye fatigue and in some cases even blurred vision.

Apps-wise, the G Pad II 10.1 comes pre-loaded with Microsoft office for Android Tablet and 100 GB of free OneDrive storage for two years.

Pricing and local market availability for both the Rolly Keyboard and G Pad II 10.1 will be announced at the time of launch locally, but visitors can get a hands-on with both products during IFA 2015.

Related Stories:

LG takes quirky Aka smartphones beyond domestic shores

Phablets are passé, tablets are in-your-face in Asia: IDC

Media tablet volume sales up 41% in SEA: GfK

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