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See More Reviews I bought the Handheld Scientific BT-500 Bluetooth adapter for one reason, and one reason alone: it's a nightmare trying to find a mechanical keyboard with Bluetooth, let alone a good one!
(Please be aware that I did not use the adapter for gaming, just editing -- but I'm a really fast typist!)
My Anne Pro (v1) was so finicky on Bluetooth, I considered reporting them to Amazon for false advertising after trying two with the same woeful results. I went from there to an "ergonomic" keyboard with the Kailh Low Profile switches. Worked fine with android and Mac, but my iPhone and iPad were SOL. Never even got a chance to really test out those switches.
I then discovered the LexonElec Ajazz AK33 "Geek" keyboard! Perfect pairing for Android/iOS and overall consistent and snappy Bluetooth performance. It worked great until it didn't. The Bluetooth module croaked somewhere between typing the words "good" and "keyboard." Got a flood of untyped characters, then nothing -- dropped off Bluetooth (almost) never to be seen again. Tried multiple restart, reset, reconnect... well not so much that last one.
This gave me my first chance to try out the BT-500 which had arrived a few days after the Ajazz (and I thought I'd never use it).
I didn't have any directions. I just did the obvious: plugged the adapter into a power brick, connected it via USB to the keyboard, and held the device's only button until it went into pairing mode. Paired instantly. Stayed paired. Survived a barrage of emacs commands in all their Control-and-Meta-Modifier glory (okay, I realize that "glory" is stretching it even for an emacs goof like myself).
Turns out the BT-500 worked better than the Ajazz's built in Bluetooth. Definitely zero lag (again, no gaming on my end, so keep that in mind) with every key recognized correctly: even the function keys. Oh, and when still using the Ajazz's Bluetooth, I had edited Android's kcm and kcl files to make the Caps Lock a control key. Forgot all about it, until one day I thought "wait a minute, didn't I...?" Yes, yes I did. And it still worked transparently.
The Ajazz beat the BT-500 in one arena. The Ajazz could save 5 different device pairings, and it only took the click of a key to switch to another device. Switching the BT-500 requires unpairing and re-pairing each time.
Of note, once paired, the BT-500 behaves like a good citizen with the Mac. Oops, I forgot to mention the Ajazz hated my MacBook Pro mid-2012 (sure, it's an old computer, and sure I'd love to upgrade, but I ain't doin' it just because some snobby keyboard comes along and acts all judgemental and refuses to play nice). Phew. So, yeah, the BT-500 connected to the Mac with no problems whatsoever.
I'm actually typing this review on the replacement Ajazz, whose Bluetooth module also croaked (this time in the middle of a sentence which began "hopefully it won't"). And it's the BT-500 to the rescue again. Well, initially not so much, but that also was the keyboard's fault: after reseting the Ajazz, it was smooth (well, clicky) sailing once again.
Full disclosure: I'm writing this review because handheldsci offered to refund the cost of the unit for a review. But, what I really want is a second BT-500 so I can keep it in the car. I like the little guy that much. Again, I'm not gaming with it, but I would never game with any Bluetooth anything anyway.
I hope I don't sound too shill-ish at this point. So just in case... remember what I said about how hard it is to find a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard?
As of this writing, Amazon no longer lists the LexonElec Bluetooth Ajazz (Google found one in South Africa though). Nor do they sell that low profile keyboard. And the Anne Pro? It's been upgraded to the Anne Pro 2, with the statement: "[Bluetooth] pairing and stability is one of the most concerned issue on the Anne Pro 1st Gen. Obinslab has spent great endeavor to get it mostly resolved and bring the performance to demanding standards." I really want to make a joke about mostly resolved, but I'm glad Obins decided to fix the darn thing (free upgrades to the Anne Pro 2? Anybody? Anybody? Obins? Obins?).
That's three for three by my count, and all of 'em on the wrong side of the stats. Hopefully it's obvious now that I am legitimately enthusiastic about a Bluetooth adapter that just plain works. Mac, Android, iOS, no problems.
My one gripe: I (my wife) found the LEDs too bright... and I can't even gripe about it. The LEDs can be configured in firmware -- and it's even easy to change them ("firmware" and "easy" do not often appear in the same sentence). I did so right in this here emacs session; all on a rooted Android tablet (Kindle HD 10) using Terminal Emulator for Android in an Ubuntu chroot environment.
CTL-ALT-INS [on Ajazz, it's CTL-ALT-FN-INS] and Boom!:
Bluetooth Adapter Firmware v5.1.0
Copyright 2018 Handheld Scientific, Inc.
Type help or ?
L1>set led blue 1
Blue LED intensity is set to 1
L1>set led green 1
Green LED intensity is set to 1
L1>set led blue 5
Blue LED intensity is set to 5
L1>set led blue 1
Blue LED intensity is set to 1
All changes were saved. Some changes need reboot to take effect
Exit command mode
And here I am back in emacs. The intensity of the LEDs changed immediately after hitting <enter> on the 'set' command, so I didn't reboot. Nor did I even touch the BT-500, just typed the CTL-ALT-INS key sequence to get in, then save/exit to get out. It's totally intuitive and easy to use. And since the BT-500 sits between keyboard and computer, it intercepts everything I type while in command mode. When it responds to commands, the computer sees those responses as basically just typed characters. So you can go into command mode in any text editor or word processor. That's great design in my book.
Macros and remapping are available in command mode also, just check the manual. If you need the manual, you can find it online.
Did the LexonElec Bluetooth Ajazz come with brown switches?
Mine was fakey Blues. I think there is a version with brown, but I don't recommend LexonElec since you're paying extra for built-in bluetooth that's all but guaranteed to fail. Buy a straight Ajazz w/o bluetooth instead.