Friday, February 3, 2023

Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Review

The nice thing about not having a product line to review is the variety. Instead of examining the minutiae of different brands of coffee grinder, or mattress or LED Light bar, I get to take a good hard look at one product. I have been given all kinds of things to try out, everything from backpacks to HDD stations, and let me tell you , it has been a blast. Today I’ll be taking a look at the Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard, and before this little gadget arrived I honestly did not see much use in it. Now, after a few days of tinkering, I wonder how I got by without it.

I have my computer in the main room, so does my partner. It means that there are two monitors on our TV stand, and two big ass computers on either side. I realize that this may not be the standard set up, but I would argue that computers of one form or another are increasingly becoming a fixture of people’s living rooms. It means that we need something to control the damned things, and up until now I have gotten by with my keyboard and mouse, just set off to the side. Sitting up and pulling them to my lap when I need them. With this little Jelly Comb Bluetooth build I don’t need to do that anymore. It has a full keyboard on it, and a nice little track pad as well, so I can browse without needing to make an extraneous movements. Still prefer the keyboard for any serious typing, and the mouse for any serious gaming, but I see the point of this little remote, and feel it addresses an increasing need.

There are a few minor issues with this model, the stiffness of he buttons is a cause for concern, and the position of that handy track pad ain’t so handy, but I can see why it is were it is. The style of track pad can’t really go anywhere else, and I think they choose this style due to the inexpense on the production side of things, keeps the price nice and low for the consumer. As for the buttons, I am quite sure that over time they will become less stiff.

Before we get into the review proper I feel it is important to take a look at the company who is selling the thing, in this case Jelly Comb. There are a lot of options on the market right now for Bluetooth keyboard in this form factor, and it is best to know if the firm doing the selling can be trusted.

About Jelly Comb

Jelly Comb was set up by Shenzhen YiTaiDe Technology Co. A Chinese firm that specializes in selling consumer electronics. I can see why they registered under Jelly Comb, far easier on the western tongue. I do not know if the subsidiary as sold, or a new company was set up to own it, but right now the trademark owners are Jelly Comb Corp. All the best gear is made in China these days, so we are seeing an increasing number of home grown firms breaking into the US market, selling tech that is on par with more established brands, but at far lower prices. Jelly Comb have a site, but it’s really more for online hits than actual sales.

They are an affiliate, and an FBA company. It makes them a bit like a dropshipping firm, but with direct links to the manufacturer’s, rather than being a middle man. They source the tech local, then send it to the Amazon storefront, it is Amazon than makes sure the orders are filled and the gear gets to where it needs to go. This is great news for consumers, and a good move on the part of Jelly Comb. It means that we get access to Amazon’s excellent consumer protection policies with every item bought from Jelly Comb. They do have customer service on their own end, and they replied to my anonymous email quickly, but I still feel better for that Amazon safety net. Overall, a lot to like here.

Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Design and Build Quality

So let’s keep my review tradition alive and take a look at the build. A real loo, that is to say the aesthetics of the device. Right off the bat it looks boring. Hard to make a product like this look exciting, I realize, but a little style wold not go amiss. I use an NZXT H440 case, in all white, and the Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard looks a touch unsightly when sitting on it. I think they were going for a more traditional remote control look, and I think it might work in their favor, makes that transition from simple TV to full fledged multi media powerhouse a little easier. The layout of the buttons is nice, and I like how the touch pad looks, if not how it feels. The build is not symmetrical either, with the left side being a little more bulky. I think they were hoping, in the design stages, at the shorter left side wold facilitate using your thumb on the track pad, but no dice.

Using the thing is pretty easy though. I found that I could reach every button with ease, and I have quite small hands. My partner could do the same, and she has smaller hands than I do. As stated, out of the box I found the buttons to be a touch rigid, not deal breakingly so, but there is enough resistance there for you to notice it. The remote is light weight, but not so light that it felt cheap, which is a hard balance to strike. The form factor is great, a little under 6″ by 2″, and it is only 0.3″ deep. I have looked into this market already, and it seems to me that the vast majority of builds out there want to integrate some kind of gaming support, not the case here I am glad to say. I would advise you steer clear of any Bluetooth remote that tries to be more than what it is, if you want a game pad then buy a game pad, if you want a keyboard remote then buy a keyboard remote.

Set up was a touch difficult for me, has to be said, but I lay the blame for that on Microsoft. I set the Jelly Comb Bluetooth remote up on my computer and one my phone, and my phone had no trouble getting connected. It must be noted that it requires Android 4.0 or higher. I do not own any Apple products, yet, but there are restrictions in terms of use on that platform as well, with the track pad being inoperable. With my desktop the issue was with my Bluetooth drivers. I use an older Bluetooth dongle for my headset, and there were a fair few headaches getting that set up as well. Once I go the thing synced it worked like a charm. I like the mouse buttons below the track pad, and giving access to directional buttons and Page Up/Down is a nice touch. I know a lot of folk don’t use them, but I think they are real time savers. Subsequent set up took no time at all, just a matter of hitting the sync button, located on the top edge of the Jelly Comb Bluetooth Remote Mini Keyboard, and waiting four or five seconds. This is a fully wireless device, with a built in battery, which is what gives it its heft. The charger port is mini USB, like Andorran smartphones, and is located at the bottom. it takes about three hours to fully charge it, but it is usable long before that. On a full charge this build will last ages, I literally did not have to charge it again all week.

I play a lot of fighting games, Tekken, SF et al, and as a result I am quite sensitive to things like frame drop and latency. I found that with this build I could feel the latency, but it was ever so slight, my partner did not notice it at all, to the point were I thought I might be going insane, but then she can’t feel the difference between the different versions of Tekken either. Overall I like this build. It addresses a real need in my household, and I am sure in many households. I like not having to move very much when I am chilling out. I no longer have to find weird and wonderful ways of getting to where I want to go using only the mouse, copy and pasting words from the screen. There is one other big factor to take into account before dropping the cash on this product, the price. I took a look across the market for these kinds of products, and I found very few in this form factor, and fewer still with the price that I was willing to pay. Let’s move on.

Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Pricing and Warranty

The Bluetooth mini keyboard market is an odd one. There is no set shape or style, or even feature set, for me to dissect. Every product has it’s own design goals, and that is a good thing. It means we can have innovation, we can have tailored products for different sensibilities. It also means the price vary wildly. The Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard is currently priced at $19.99. There are cheaper models on the market, but most of them are a riff on the same build, a game pad looking thing that does not have a great track record, if I am to go by the reviews. There are sites out there that let you know how trusted the Amazon product reviews are for a build, and most of them do not rank highly. The reviews on this model on the other hand rank very well. They seem to be honest, they seem to actually have the product, and they touch on many of the same issues with the build that I have. $19.99 is an impulse price if I ever saw one. There may be more impressive looking builds out there, with LEDs and all manner of flash, but for a simple, easy to set up, does what it says on the box build, I feel the Jelly Comb is the way to go.

Now the warranty. There is not a good track record here when it comes to consumer electronics from Chinese firms, we all know that, but the benefit of this being an Amazon FBA means that you get Amazon’s amazing customer protection protection policies as standard. The core warranty offered by Jelly Comb is for 1 year, and it is limited. This means that it covers manufacturer’s defects. I would argue that any product that breaks within one year of normal use has a manufacturer’s fault by default, but I have had to press that point in the past with other firms. Due to the Amazon safety net I do not think you need to worry, if the product does not meet your standards, and you cannot gain satisfaction from Jelly Comb you always have the option of escalation to Amazon themselves. Jelly Comb are thus at the mercy of their customers, so it is in their best interests to make sure you are satisfied, it’s one of the reasons they have been so successful.

Love the price, and while the warranty might not be much to write home about, it is at least there. When we add in the Amazon FBA protections then we end up with a good product, at a low price, that grants the buyer a sizable amount of peace of mind. When it comes to buying cheap consumer electronics I would not go anywhere other than Amazon, and I recommend you go there too.

Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Conclusion

This was a bit of a wild ride for me. I went into the review not really thinking much of the Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard. I was happy with my living room set up, and did not think it would bring anything useful to the table. I am happy to say that I was quite wrong on that point. The build quality is high, and while this design might have a few issues, the stiffness of the buttons and the position of the track pad, none of those issues are deal breakers, nor do they impact me very much day to day. The price is on point, competitive on the current market, but the real clincher for me is the warranty and protection policies. I do a lot of online shopping, and having that peace of mind is imperative when I make a purchase. Overall, this is a light weight, easy to use and set up Bluetooth keyboard that will allow you to bridge the gap between the living room of yesterday, and the living room of tomorrow, a good buy.

Barry W Stanton
Irish born writer who drinks too much caffeine and reads too much Terry Pratchett. I enjoy long walks on the server and Korean cuisine.


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