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LG’s Rolly is a Pocket-Friendly Folding Keyboard

Smartphones are replacing laptops as the heart of people's digital lives, but anyone who regularly types more than 140 characters on their mobile devices has likely endured the kind of frustration that makes you want to tear you hair out.

Thankfully, the Rolly is here to rescue you  from your impending baldness with a compact keyboard that, you guessed it, rolls up to fit in your pocket. But unlike other portable keyboards, the Rolly has a rigid back that makes it feel much stiffer than some other flexible keyboard solutions. At $119, however, it may be a little too pricey for casual users.

The Rolly connects to your device using Bluetooth, and can pair with two devices at once, so you can alternate between your tablet and smartphone with ease. It also has two arms that extend out from the keyboard, allowing you to prop up your device for easier viewing. The keyboard is powered by a single AAA battery, which LG says will keep the Rolly going for about three months.

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When I got some hands-on time with the Rolly at IFA, I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the keys felt, although this is coming from someone who doesn’t hate Microsoft’s Surface keyboards. The keys have an expectedly short travel distance, but there was enough feedback and resistance to keep it from feeling dead or unresponsive. Given the Rolly’s portable nature, though, its smaller-than-normal keys will take some getting used to. You can also call me a hipster whose pants are too tight, but when I tried to put the Rolly in my pocket, it wasn’t very comfortable, and there were more than a couple inches sticking up and out of its perch.

Interestingly, this may not be the only off-the-wall product we see from LG. Seo Young-jae, head of the LG’s Innovative Personal Devices Division, said that the “Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings.”

I’m not sure the Rolly will be a runaway success, but I applaud LG for trying, and hopefully one of its new peripherals will strike gold. If you want a Rolly for yourself, you won’t have to wait long, as it’s due out sometime later this month.