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What is a Roll-Up Keyboard?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Created for portable use with hand held devices such as PDAs, or Personal Data Assistants, the roll-up keyboard is an excellent alternative to using a stylus to manipulate a virtual keyboard on a small electronic device. Often composed of flexible plastic, the roll-up keyboard literally can be rolled in a manner similar to a set of blueprints and easily carried along in a briefcase or portfolio. Inexpensive and easy to maintain, roll-up keyboards are easily the most workable solution of all types of portable keyboards.

One of the advantages of the roll-up keyboard over some of the collapsible PDA keyboards of years past is that the board is actually the same size as a standard keyboard that is used with a desktop computer. Many models are a full thirteen inches long, allowing plenty of room for a full set of keys, including the row of function keys across the top of the board. This means that moving from a laptop or desktop computer to using the hand held device no longer requires approaching the typing process with two different techniques.

Roll-up keyboards are also compatible with any type of hand held device. Whether the device is configured to be Mac or PC compatible, the roll-up keyboard will work easily. All that is required to connect the roll-up keyboard is a standard USB connector port on the device.

Because of the sealed plastic coating that is used for the body and as a cover for each of the keys, the roll up type of keyboards also offer an advantage that not even a standard keyboard can offer. In the event that liquid is spilled on the roll-up keyboard, there is little danger of shorting out the board. Simply wipe the roll-up board clean and dry it off.

Some models of the roll-up keyboard come with a collapsible cradle that provides a smooth working surface for the board while it is in use. This makes it possible to use a roll-up keyboard even if there is not a tabletop or some other type of smooth surface readily available.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including EasyTechJunkie, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Reminiscence — On Mar 12, 2014

I keep a roll up keyboard in my laptop case just in case I need to do a lot of word processing. I used to carry my standard PC keyboard and a wireless set-up, but that got to be too much of an aggravation. Now I plug the roll up keyboard into a USB port and start typing. It's not as reactive as my regular keyboard at home, but I have a heavy touch anyway so it works well for me.

By AnswerMan — On Mar 11, 2014

I tried using a roll up keyboard a few years ago, but I wasn't that impressed with it. The portability factor was nice, but I had to hit the keys much harder than usual and I made a lot of typos because of that. Letters would get dropped, so I'd have to spend a lot of time going back for corrections. I usually don't like the keyboards on laptop computers, but I actually found them easier to use than the roll up keyboard. Maybe the one I bought was an earlier generation and they've improved some of the technology since then.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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