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LG's roll-up keyboard is cute, but predictably uncomfortable

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Getting anyone at all interested in a new portable Bluetooth keyboard is quite the feat, but LG has just about managed it with its new, quirky roll-up peripheral. The Rolly, as it's inventively named, is intended for those who want to be a bit more productive with their tablet time, and I've had a brief tinker with it here at IFA. The benefit of having a keyboard that rolls up around its battery, of course, is that it takes up the least amount of space in your backpack. And neat, the Rolly certainly is. The magnets that run down either side of the key grid are no weaklings, keeping the thing tightly wound and generating a satisfying snap as you roll it up.

Gallery: LG Rolly keyboard | 16 Photos

When unfurled, the Rolly is nice and solid, to the extent you can't tell there are seams in between the rows of keys. As advertised, the keyboard automatically wakes up the nearest paired tablet -- in this case, I tested it with LG's new G Pad II slate, which came to life as soon as I'd levered open the first row of keys. The feel and travel of the island-style keyboard is not dissimilar to the MacBook I'm using to write this, but like every portable Bluetooth keyboard ever, it's no fun to type on. Due to the cramped layout that's unavoidable at that size, I was missing keys, hitting the wrong ones and clawing up my hands in the hope they would somehow shrink before RSI set in. Also, the magnets on either side of the keyboard are slightly higher than the keys themselves, but they still feel like keys to peripheral fingertips, resulting in many a useless tap.

But let's be honest, the Rolly is as much about style points as it is hammering out a quick email at the airport. And me even using the phase "style points" when talking about a Bluetooth keyboard means LG has done something right. With a suggested retail price of $119 when it launches in the US later this month (before dropping elsewhere shortly after), though, you'd have to be rolling in it to pick one up without at least a test drive.

Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.

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