Review Score: 4 out of 5
The Jorno folding keyboard had a colorful history even before showing up on Kickstarter in late 2012. The most promising folding keyboard since the days of the Stowaway, it had been one of the more impressive startup products at CES, but was then cancelled before being raising over $100,000. Then Jorno missed its expected shipping date by about two years as other folding options came into the market. In light of production problems along the way that required design changes, backers received a different item than the one they signed up for, but most were probably delighted to receive anything at all given the long delay in which many had given up hope.
Unlike other keyboards that fold in half with a single centered hinge, the Jorno has two hinges. The left one falls just to the left of the R, D and C keys while he right one lies just to the right of the P, ; and > keys. The keyboard tuns on automatically when opened and turns off when folded. Between the sturdy hinges and underneath the keyboard is an unsightly bulge that likely houses the battery and contains the microUSB charging connector.
However, the hump serves two purposes, helping to increase surface friction for greater stability and helping to anchor the Jorno’s included wraparound case that closes with a magnetic clasp. While not as clever as the origami covers for Amazon Kindle and iPad tablets, the case also functions as a stand for a smartphone or tablet. That’s a bit of a consolation given that the original Jorno was supposed to include a removable minimalist stand. While the case adds a significant bit of thickness to the Jorno while in motion, the naked keyboard the naked keyboard my fit in, say, a cargo pants pocket. It would be a stretch to get it into a front pant pocket.
There are no symbols on the Jorno as to how to pair it (it’s Fn-C, mnemonically for “Connect”?). The Jorno can also be customized by telling it to what OS you’re pairing although here too it’s a bit less than intuitive (Fn-Q for Android, Fn-W for Windows and Fn-E for iOS). The keyboard’s one-page user guide lists a number of other unlabelled shortcuts.
But once things are set up, the Jorno offers a great typing experience. The fifth row of keys is handy for number entry. The surface is stable and the keys are responsive, offer a good typing feel and are where you’d expect them to be. They include elongated Shift and Return keys. Command/Windows and Alt keys are doubled on either side of the unbroken space bar, and even the left and right cursor keys are full-sized.
While it is a little thick when folded and ay fall short of true pocketability, the nonetheless attractive Jorno is one of the best folding keyboard to appear in some time. It offers a comfortable typing experience and is savvy about different mobile operating systems and While it may require the case to prop up mobile devices, the stand the case creates can accommodate tablets as well as phones, leaving it up to you as to whether you want the extra support.