Looking for a keyboard that you can plug into your PC, smartphone, or tablet? There’s no shortage of options. Want a portable display? There are growing number of those available too.
But the FICIHIP Multifunctional Keyboard stands out as one of the first accessories I’ve seen that combines a keyboard and touchscreen display into a single gadget. Plug it into your computer or mobile device and you can use it as both a keyboard and a second screen.
The keyboard is a product from a Chinese startup called Shenzhen Pengling Zhichuang Technology, and it showed up on Kickstarter recently where Super Early Bird backers can reserve one for about $210.
That’s about 45% off the expected retail price of $379, and if everything goes according to plan the keyboard will ship to backers in August. But this is the company’s first Kickstarter campaign, so it’s probably a good idea to proceed with caution.
Still, it’s an interesting device, and I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite lite it before. The FICIHIP Multifunctional Keyboard has an aluminum body, a QWERTY keyboard, and above the keys is a 12.6 inch, 1920 x 515 pixel display with a 60 Hz refresh rate and a touch panel with support for 10-point multitouch input. You can use it as both a second screen and a touch input for your PC or mobile device.
The display seems similar to the 12.6 inch touchscreen display Asus uses above the keyboard for the Zenbook Duo UX481 laptop. But having a keyboard & touchscreen display combo device like the FICIHIP Multifunctional Keyboard does open the possibility of basically making your own “Duo” PC… if you don’t mind using a USB keyboard with your laptop.
The keyboard itself features RGB backlit keys and comes with a choice of low-profile K1 Scissor Switches or you can pay a little more for a mechanical keyboard with Keychron K2 “Gateron” switches and support for hot swappable keys.
On the back of the keyboard you’ll find to USB 2.0 Type-A ports and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. When used with compatible phone or tablet with support for video output over USB, all you should need is a single USB-C cable. The company says the FICIHIP Multifunctional Keyboard supports Samsung’s DeX as well as other software that provides a desktop-style user interface for Android phones when connected to an external display.
You can also use the keyboard as a USB hub by connecting hard drives, mice, or other peripherals to the USB 2.0 ports.