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What is a Flexible Keyboard?

By Ken Black
Updated May 16, 2024
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A flexible keyboard is a keyboard usually made of soft silicone that is highly portable and attaches to a computer through a USB connection or serial port. The keyboards can act as replacement keyboards if an original keyboard gets damaged. They can also be quite durable; in some ways even more durable than a traditional keyboard.

The silicone skin of a flexible keyboard will protect it from a number of different substances. For example, if the keyboard is used much around liquids, the silicone is excellent protection against spills. In other cases, such as in automotive garages or industrial areas, the flexible keyboard can replace keyboards that need to be protected with plastic coverings. This is ultimately more friendly for the user, as the keyboards usually have a more natural feel than one with a plastic cover. When dirty, they can easily be wiped off with a damp cloth.

The advantages of the flexible keyboard do not stop with its ability to repel dirt, liquids and grime. When there are many keyboards and computers within a close distance to each other, keyboard tapping can sometimes become quite loud and distracting. The flexible keyboard is a silent keyboard that makes virtually no sound when being used.

Also, the flexible keyboard, because it is so soft, is truly very flexible. They can be rolled up and stored in a computer bag or briefcase and are sometimes referred to as a roll-up keyboard. This allows for transport with a notebook computer. However, care should be taken to make sure the rolled up keyboard is protected from bumps as much as possible. It is still a delicate instrument.

For those who need to type on a notebook, but do not like the feel of the keyboard or having the notebook computer so close to them, a flexible keyboard may be an ideal option. The user can connect the keyboard to the computer and not be forced to have the computer on their lap or extremely close to them. However, they still should locate the keyboard being used on a flat surface.

It may take some time to adjust to typing on a flexible keyboard. For example, hitting a key off center may not register the keystroke at all, because of where the sensors in the keys are. However, there are some flexible keyboards that do a better job of detecting off center hits than others. The keyboards can generally be purchased for $12 US Dollars (USD) and go up from there. Purchasing a higher-end model is likely to yield more satisfactory results.

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Discussion Comments
By Terrificli — On May 12, 2014

You don't want to spend too much on these things as that kind of defeats the point. These things are used and abused and even more expensive ones wear out in a hurry.

Interested in one of these? Buy two or three for cheap and replace them as necessary. They are disposable by nature and getting one that's too expensive will be frustrating because it will wear out if used frequently.

By Vincenzo — On May 11, 2014

These are quite popular with gamers as they can be used on some consoles with a USB port for typing in passwords and doing anything else the requires keyboard input. While input is usually done through a game controller, that is a clumsy method. An inexpensive, flexible keyboard that can easily be hooked up, used and then stored away is a great alternative to using a controller.

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