When I bought my first tablet it was the 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab and I found it to be incredibly useful for entertainment purposes such as browsing the internet, watching movies and playing games. When it came to using the tab for anything more constructive I was hampered by the fact that the tab was completely touchscreen. This wasn't really a problem when I was typing out a quick email or sending a message through MSN but when it came to using the range of office application that I had downloaded to it this was too much of a hassle with the touchscreen so I decided to buy a keyboard to use with the tab.
I ended up buying the official Samsung k10UWE keyboard as I wanted to be 100% sure that I was buying something that was going to be compatible with the 7" tab.
I paid £40 online for the keyboard and this was when it was first out so I am sure that it is now available cheaper. I do recommend that you get yourself the official one as although there are a lot of third party accessories available there are also a lot of cheap knock offs from China that promise to be compatible with the tab range only for them to not work when connected as I have found out to my cost.
The reason that I bought this keyboard over a wireless Bluetooth one is that this one also acts as a dock for your tab and it meant that I could pop my Galaxy tab into the keyboard and have it sit upright and I wouldn't have to worry about finding something to prop it up so I could see what I was typing.
The tab sits very comfortably in the dock and feels secure and not at all wobbly. The screen is at the perfect angle to be able to view the screen to the best of its ability and when I would put it on a desk and sit in my chair I was able to type out long documents and emails and see exactly what I was doing with no problems whatsoever.
For the price you would expect something well-made and that is exactly what you get with this keyboard. The keyboard itself is extremely solid and there is no hint of flex with it. They chiclet keys are all secure and responsive and they have a satisfying click to them when you press them down. It obviously isn't as big as a full sized keyboard but is comparable with using a netbook keyboard and I personally found it comfortable enough to type on for long periods of time and didn't find the keys to be too crowded together.
As well as all the keys you would expect there are also some dedicated ones used especially for the tab such as ones to adjust the screen brightness, volume, copy, cut and paste and even one that will take you straight to the google search function on the tab.
Connecting your tab to the keyboard is extremely simple and user friendly. All you need to do is insert the tab into the docking part and the keyboard connects automatically. There is no faffing around and as soon as it is connected the keyboard is ready to use.
The keyboard runs from your tabs power but is such a low powered item that any battery drain is negligible and I never noticed it running down my tab any quicker.
Your tab can only be connected in portrait mode which was absolutely fine for me as this is the optimum way to use the tab for typing long documents but some people may not like the fact that you can't connect the tab also in landscape mode also. Something which has absolutely no bearing on how well it worked but was something I liked was just how cool the tab looked when sitting in the keyboard.
There are a couple of minor points which do stop this keyboard docking station from being the perfect product. One is that it doesn't charge up your tab whilst it is connected unlike a lot of other docking stations. Also I personally would have liked to have seen a HDMI port on the keyboard as well so that I could have turned it into a complete docking station without having to buy even more accessories. I knew these things were missing when I bought the keyboard though so it wasn't a major problem for me.
It does have a 3.5mm audio out port so that you can connect some speakers which I did appreciate as I do like to listen to music while I am being 'productive'.
Overall this was by far my favourite accessory for my 7" Galaxy Tab. I used it loads and it really did make the tab much more than just a large phone and meant I could use it for nearly everything that I would with my laptop.
Because it was so easy to use it also meant that I could just pop the tab into it and write a few quick emails before leaving the house. It really did make these things quicker and easier than they would have been using just the touchscreen.
I was also impressed with just how well made it was and you could see and feel that it was a premium product and not one that Samsung just made on the cheap without any thought put into it.
I no longer have my tab and am still undecided on which tablet and size I am going to go for next but one thing is for sure I will most certainly be buying another keyboard dock as I had such a good experience with this one and I would highly recommend it to anyone with a 7" tab as it will transform it from basically a large phone into something much more useful and productive.