Now that the Amazon Fire TV officially supports Bluetooth keyboards, I decided I should pick one up and give it a try. I purchased the BATTOP Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard due to it’s great reviews, and ridiculously low price. I’ve used it with the Fire TV for a couple of days now and I’m very impressed and pleased. It even surprised me with some unexpected functionality. Read on for my full detailed review.
Design & Build
The keyboard lives up to its name of being “ultra-slim”. It is available in a black or white/silver version. My only gripe with the aesthetics is the BATTOP logo on the spacebar. There is apparently a version without the spacebar logo, but the one I received from Amazon had the logo. It’s built entirely of plastic, but feels quite sturdy. It flexes just a tiny bit when twisted. There is zero creeking noise, even when twisted, which even the beloved Logitech K400 is guilty of.
There’s no question this keyboard’s design is a blatent ripp-off of Apple’s wireless keyboard. The size and placement of the keys is identical. Being a fan of the Apple keyboard myself, I like the styling of this BATTOP keyboard, even if it is unoriginal.
On the front, near the top-right is a green LED battery indicator. During use, the LED remains off and only turns on when the batteries are low. The same light blinks when you press and hold the connect button on the back to indicate the keyboard is in pairing mode.
The keyboard is full sized and comfortable to use. The keys are a tiny bit springier than other chiclet keyboards I’ve used, which I don’t prefer. It feels like I have to press down just a little harder than I’d like, but that may be because it’s brand new and may get softer over time.
While it is narrower than the Logitech K400 overall, due to not having a touchpad, the keyboard portion is larger which makes it much more comfortable to type on. I do miss the stability added by the Logitech K400’s overall extra width when using the BATTOP keyboard on my lap.
Fire TV Pairing
Pairing the keyboard with the Amazon Fire TV was straightforward. See my Bluetooth Device Pairing Guide for full instructions. My first couple of attempts to pair the keyboard failed, but I found it worked every time if I put the keyboard in pairing mode before the Fire TV began scanning for devices, instead of while the Fire TV was scanning like I was initially doing. If you turn the keyboard off, the Fire TV finds and reconnects to it automatically the next time you turn it on. You do not have to reconnect it within the Fire TV’s settings menu every time you turn it off.
The BATTOP keyboard can be paired with multiple Fire TV’s at ounce. It can only be used on one Fire TV at a time, but pairing it with a second Fire TV does not make the first Fire TV “forget” the keyboard, like with Amazon’s Fire TV remotes. Once paired with multiple Fire TV’s, you simply have to put the keyboard in pairing mode and select it from the list of bluetooth devices on the Fire TV in order to reconnect the keyboard to that particular Fire TV. You don’t have to go through the entire discovery, PIN entry, and pairing process every time you switch from one Fire TV to another.
Fire TV Functionality
I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of the Fire TV’s remote functionality could be achieved with the BATTOP keyboard. For starters, the “square” button in the top left, where you’d normally find an escape key, acts as the Fire TV’s HOME button. You can even press and hold it to bring up the Fire TV’s shortcuts menu. Pressing the keyboards FN key and this “square” button acts as the Fire TV’s BACK button.
Pressing the SEARCH button, located on the F3 button on the keyboard, brings up the Fire TV’s search interface. The Fire TV is smart enough to know that you’re using a keyboard and displays a slightly different search interface. This allows you to just type your text query with the keyboard instead of using the arrow keys to highlight one letter at a time like you do when using the remote.
Even the STANDBY button, indicated by a lock icon, in the upper right works with the Fire TV. Pressing it puts the Fire TV to sleep. Pressing any button on the keyboard while the Fire TV is asleep will wake the Fire TV up. You can also press FN, CONTROL, ALT, and DEL simultaneously on the keyboard to restart the Fire TV. The volume, brightness, and other special keys not mentioned already on the BATTOP keyboard seem to do nothing with the Fire TV.
The BATTOP Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard is a killer Fire TV keyboard for the price. I was able to nab it for a ridiculously low price of $6.99. It’s probably higher than that at the time that you’re reading this, but don’t be fooled by its $53 “list price”. The price seems to regularly hover at or around $12. If you’re looking for a slim, lightweight, full sized keyboard to use with the Fire TV, I don’t think you can get more bang for your buck than with the BATTOP keyboard. The Logitech K400 is touted by many, including myself, as the best Fire TV keyboard, but I would not hesitate to recommend the BATTOP keyboard if you don’t need a touchpad and want to spend a little less. I’d love to hear what keyboards you guys are using with your Fire TV, so chime in below in the comments section.