If you’re a cord-cutter, there may come a time when you need a physical keyboard. Some devices are hard to navigate with a remote control and sometimes you just don’t want to use the virtual keyboard.
The Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard is a wireless keyboard that integrates a mini QWERTY keyboard with a touchpad and some multifunctional media buttons. In this review, we’ll look at the Bluetooth version of the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard – or “Jelly Comb MINI” for short.
Disclosure: Flixed purchased the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard directly from Amazon. We have not been compensated for this review, and neither Jelly Comb nor any US distributors of their products were involved with this review.
- 1 A MINI Keyboard – With Maximum Features
- 2 Design and Usability
- 3 Keyboard Design and Usability
- 4 Touchpad Design and Usability
- 5 Other buttons and lights
- 6 Testing the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard
- 7 MacOS
- 8 Who Should Buy the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard?
- 9 The Final Word
A MINI Keyboard – With Maximum Features
The Jelly Comb MINI is an inexpensive touchpad keyboard manufactured by Jelly Comb. This Shenzhen-based manufacturer specializes in phone accessories, such as camera lenses and wireless headphones. In addition, they manufacture a number of PC peripherals like USB touchpads, wireless mice, and USB number pads.
Some Jelly Comb products can be found resold on other sites, including Wal-Mart, but most of their products are sold through Jelly Comb Direct on Amazon.
Price and specifications
The Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard retails for $19.99, making it a lower-cost alternative to more expensive options like the Rii i8+ Mini BT.
The specifications of this touchpad keyboard are outlined clearly in the Amazon listing.
- Bluetooth 3.0 technology
- Operating distance of 10+ meters
- Automatic, power-saving sleep function
- Built-in Li-Ion rechargeable battery
This version of the Jelly Comb MINI only comes in black. There’s a black and orange version available, but it’s more expensive and has a different body style and design, so I consider that a separate product.
The Amazon product listing claims that it’s compatible with:
- WIndows 10 PCs
- Android TV boxes
- Google TV boxes
- Xbox 360
There seems to be some confusion about what devices the keyboard supports, though. The product listing does not list iOS or MacOS devices as compatible. However, the box claims that it is compatible with all iOS devices.
After doing some research, I found that the box was correct, and in my own testing, the touchpad and keyboard both worked with Mac devices. I was unable to test it on iOS, however, So buyer beware.
A top choice for cord-cutters on a budget
The Jelly Comb MINI has pretty good reviews on major retail sites like Amazon. Most consumers noted that it was a good value, was easy to set up, and worked well with Smart TVs, Android set-top boxes, and Windows home theater systems. 62% of customers gave it a 5 star review, and 16% gave it a 4 star review. It has an overall ranking of 4.1 stars.
Most of the negative reviews mention occasional connectivity problems, poor instructions, and the lack of a backlit keyboard. Some users also said that the keyboard feels fragile and easy to break.
Design and Usability
What’s in the box
The Jelly Comb MINI comes in an attractive package. The outer shell is a sleeve, and it contains a smaller, nondescript brown box inside, where the remote is nestled.
The Jelly Comb MINI is placed inside a plastic container which prevents it from shifting throughout shipping. Removing it from the package was easy, and underneath the remote was a mini USB cord, to be used for charging the internal battery.
Altogether, the package contained the keyboard itself, the USB cord, a small 3-page instruction manual, and a promotional message from Jelly Comb.
The manual is pretty brief. It outlines the technical specifications of the device and also explains some of the multifunction keys. It concludes with a short set of instructions on how to pair the device.
The instructions are fairly easy to understand and are written in proper English, unlike some other manuals for Chinese-made devices.
Jelly Comb MINI product design
The device itself is quite small. Here is a picture with a penny next to the keyboard, for comparison.
It’s thinner and slimmer than my Google Pixel 2, so it’s quite a featherweight. Here’s another view that will let you see how thin this keyboard is.
The shape is a slightly-curved rectangle, but the keys themselves are laid out in straight rows. The QWERTY keyboard is separated in the middle by the touchpad, and the “spacebar” consists of two buttons, which are located on both sides of the touchpad.
The back of the keyboard is unadorned except for 4 small Phillips head screws, and a Jelly Comb logo.
The Bluetooth sync button is located on the upper-left edge of the device, and the power switch is located on the opposite side. At the bottom edge, below the directional pad, is the Mini-USB charging port for the device.
The body of the keyboard is not too impressive when it comes to hardware quality. It’s made of a hard, brittle-feeling plastic that doesn’t have a whole lot of heft to it. I can see why someone might think that this keyboard is cheap, or may break easily if dropped. It does feel somewhat delicate.
However, despite some misgivings I read online about this product’s durability, I can vouch for its ability to hold up to abuse. I must confess that I accidentally dropped it from my desk during my review. It held up to a fall of about 4 feet onto a hardwood floor with no damage, cracking, or any other visible marks.
I wouldn’t make it a habit to drop this device, but it should hold up to everyday wear and tear.
Keyboard Design and Usability
The Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard has a full complement of keys, arranged in two discrete rows. The center of the keyboard is occupied by a touchpad that’s roughly 1×1 inch, with two “mouse buttons” and a set of directional keys directly below it.
Spacebar adjustment issues
I’m not sure how I feel about the design of this keyboard. The fact that the touchpad is in the middle of the keyboard is not a deal breaker, but it did take some time to get used to.
The primary issue I experienced while typing was accidentally missing the “spacebar” buttons that are below the touch screen. Unlike a lot of other wireless keyboards, the spacebar button is split in half, and it’s not located in the center of the keyboard.
By force of habit, I kept accidentally pressing the directional keys that occupy the center of the remote, rather than the spacebar. After some time, I re-adjusted, but the process was still a bit annoying.
The keyboard buttons actually impressed me. They are made of a rubber-like material that reminds me of one of my oldest flip phones – in a good way. They feel tactile and “crunchy”. When you press a button, you get a bit of resistance and a nice “click” that confirms your input.
Mini keyboards need to make sacrifices to jam all of the standard computer keys into such a small device, and this Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard is no exception.
The “[“ and “]” keys are located in the bottom-right of the keyboard, and the dash/underscore key is located underneath the spacebar. The question mark and back/forward slash buttons are also located on the left side of the keyboard, which took me a while to get used to.
The rest of the buttons are in pretty standard positions, with the notable addition of an “email” button between the FN and Win keys, and a “search” key located between Tab and Esc.
When I began typing on this keyboard, I had some trouble accidentally “fat-fingering” the wrong keys, but I have big hands. After a few minutes of practice, I was able to write out full sentences quite easily, with few mistakes.
Touchpad Design and Usability
The touchpad of the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard is quite small compared to some other products on the market. It’s finished with a slightly roughened plastic material, which feels quite nice to the touch. There’s a little bit of resistance as your finger glides across it. That makes it easier to use for fine mouse cursor movements.
The touchpad supports multi-finger input. While using this device with my MacBook Air, I was able to scroll effectively and use two-finger right-clicking. The device can be “clicked” with the touchpad, or by using the right and left-click buttons located below the touchpad.
The touchpad is pretty responsive, overall. It is a bit hard to get used to because it has an enormous degree of cursor acceleration. That is, if you move your finger slowly, the mouse will move only a fraction of an inch.
If you move your finger quickly, however, the cursor will move a great distance – about 3/4 of the distance across your screen. Mouse acceleration is normal for most touchpads. However, because this touchpad is so small, the cursor accelerates to a dramatic extent.
Besides the standard QWERTY buttons, there are a few extra additions to this keyboard. A “search” button indicated by a spyglass, and a multi-use “function” button.
The search button did not work for me in MacOS, but on Android it opened the search functionality of whatever app I was in, such as Twitter or the Google Play Store.
The function button allows you to use the top row of function keys to do things like control audio playback. It also allows the directional keys to be used as “page up” and “page down” keys, and will take screenshots when pressed in combination with the right spacebar key.
There is an “on” switch on the top of the unit, and the Bluetooth pairing button is on the opposite side. Above the touchpad, there are four indicator LEDs that show whether or not the device is on, synced, or out of battery and requires charging.
Testing the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard
I decided to put the Jelly Comb MINI through its paces by connecting to as many different devices as I could, and attempting to use all of its different functions. Here’s what I found.
To begin with, I decided to connect the unit to my MacBook Air. I didn’t expect much, because according to the official documentation, MacOS is not supported by this Bluetooth keyboard.
Connecting the unit was very easy. I simply switched it on and pressed the Bluetooth pairing button. Once the blue LED began flashing, I found the unit in my MacOS system settings, as a generic Bluetooth keyboard.
I connected to it, and the unit responded immediately, pairing with my device in seconds.
For the most part, the touchpad worked seamlessly. I was able to perform two-finger gestures like scrolling and right-clicking.
There is no support for three or four-finger gestures. Given the size of the touchpad, it is physically impossible to perform these gestures anyway. So that’s not a big deal.
The Win key worked as a “CMD” key on my Mac, and the rest of the interface keys also worked seamlessly, allowing me to switch between windows and tabs with keyboard shortcuts.
The Fn button worked with the F7-F12 keys to control media playback and volume on my Mac. However, the F1-F6 keys would not adjust brightness, bring up the Launchpad or perform the other functions they were intended to.
The directional pad also worked well, allowing me to move fluidly through documents and on web pages.
I did lose touchpad functionality once while using this keyboard. However, simply turning the device off and on again solved the issue.
I discovered why this happened later on in my testing. No matter what platform you’re on, Function + F6 will turn off the touchpad. I’m not sure what purpose this has, though.
Next, I decided to try this device out with my phone, the Google Pixel 2, to ensure that it was usable on Android tablets and phones.
I pressed the sync button on the keyboard, and after a few moments, the keyboard popped up in my Bluetooth settings.
I paired with the keyboard, and was asked to set up my keyboard input.
I chose the Google Keyboard, and then started typing!
The first thing I checked was the functionality of all of the “function” keys. They all worked perfectly. F1 minimizes all apps, F2 brings up email, F3 opens up the multiple app view, F4 brings up the menu tab in an app, F5 brings up your music player, and F7-F12 control volume and media playback.
There are a few other keyboard shortcuts, too. The “Internet Explorer” button brings up Chrome. Search brings up a search tab in whatever app you’re in, and the Windows key brings up Google Assistant.
The keyboard and touchpad functioned flawlessly with Android. Using the touchpad for touch-based gestures, such as swiping up to unlock my phone or swiping a notification away from my home screen was a bit difficult, but I got the hang of it after some practice.
I had no problems using this keyboard and touchpad on my phone. The keyboard functioned well, and the touchpad input was surprisingly snappy and easy-to-use.
However, I don’t really think most smartphone and tablet users will want to use this keyboard to replace the on-screen keyboard. This isn’t a knock on the Jelly Comb MINI itself, just an observation that most modern phones and tablets don’t need external peripherals to be easy to use.
Unless you really hate touch screens, and yearn for the good old days of physical BlackBerry keyboards, you’re probably better off just using your phone or tablet the way it was meant to be used.
Android set-top box
The vast majority of people who are interested in this device will be using it for some kind of home theater system, such as an Android set-top box. I decided to give this a shot, and see how the keyboard functioned with one of my Android set-top boxes.
I had some trouble finding the Bluetooth keyboard after navigating to System Settings. However, after I exited and reopened settings, it appeared.
I selected the Bluetooth keyboard and connected to it almost instantly. I was able to start using it right away.
I decided to see how well it handled text input by logging in to the Google Play Store. Text input felt smooth, and the keyboard worked very well. Compared to the remote that came with this particular Android set-top box, it was a huge improvement.
The built-in remote that came with this box was frustrating to use and often failed to respond to inputs entirely, so being able to smoothly navigate with a mouse and keyboard remotely was great.
The touchpad felt a little bit off, however. While it responded well most of the time, it occasionally became very laggy and stuttered quite a bit. In addition, the touchpad input was very sensitive. I had to be very precise when trying to click on an icon or a menu option.
Overall, though, the remote worked pretty well with my Android TV box. If you’re looking to replace the hard-to-use remote that comes with a TV box such as the MX Pro, this is a solid choice.
Who Should Buy the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard?
We’ve tested the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard, and now it’s time to talk about who should buy it. This pint-sized keyboard can’t hold its own against full-sized input devices. It’s great for occasional couch use in situations where a full keyboard may be useful.
Android set-top box users
One of our biggest issues with inexpensive Android set-top boxes like the MX Pro and Matricom G-Box Q3 is how hard they are to navigate. Most of these cut-rate Android boxes don’t use Android TV OS, and are not optimized for couch use.
Users of these boxes must often use the supplied remote control to manually enter text on a virtual keyboard, and must use a special “mouse button” option on the remote control in order to move the cursor on the screen.
However, when I used my Jelly Comb Mini with my Android set-top box, the experience was much better. I could finally move the cursor quickly and effectively, and input text faster than I could with a virtual keyboard.
A Bluetooth keyboard does not address all of the flaws that most cheap Android set-top boxes have, but it can certainly help.
If you have a dedicated Home Theater PC (HTPC) that runs Plex, or that you use to play local media, this wireless keyboard and touchpad from Jelly Comb is a good investment.
When you’re using an HTPC, there are times when you’ll have to stop using your home theater application of choice, and interact directly with a macOS, Linux or Windows desktop. That means you need a keyboard and mouse, not just a remote control.
This device is small and unobtrusive, so it’s a good alternative to keeping a full-sized keyboard and mouse in your living room.
Overall Review: 7.3
Packaging and design: 7
The packaging of the product was high-quality, and protected the Jelly Comb MINI throughout the delivery process. The instruction manual was brief, but it did outline the pairing process. It also informed me about the special functions of the buttons that are unique to the Jelly Comb MINI.
The keyboard itself is also okay. It’s very thin and lightweight. However, it does feel a little bit brittle, and the plastic doesn’t feel very thick or high-quality. The strong tactile sensation of the keys themselves helps make up for this, however.
Keyboard design and usability: 7
I have some issues with the layout of this keyboard. The biggest one is the “split spacebar” as I mentioned earlier in my review.
There are very few things that should be consistent with any keyboard. To me, one of those is the fact that the space bar should be in the center of the keyboard. While I got used to the design, it still felt somewhat awkward to use. In addition, it was hard to remember the location of some of the keys, such as the question mark and bracket keys.
However, overall keyboard usability was great. I had no problems with typos or the keyboard failing to recognize inputs. The keyboard worked well with every device that I paired it with.
There were some inconsistencies with how the keyboard worked between different platforms, but that’s to be expected, given its “all-in-one” design.
Touchpad design and usability: 7
The touchpad on this keyboard is very small, but that’s to be expected from such a tiny, thin device. The touchpad feels nice to use, and it’s made of a slightly roughened, slate-like plastic. It responded well to my input on all platforms I used it on. It even supports multiple finger gestures and inputs, such as two-finger scrolling and clicking.
The touchpad does have a high degree of mouse acceleration, and this takes some time to get used to. It did have a tendency to lag on my Android set-top box, but this did not impair its actual usability.
For the price, this is a very good keyboard. It has all of the features and functionality of a full-sized keyboard and mouse in a tiny, hand-held package. Not only that, it incorporates device-specific shortcuts for Windows, Mac, and Android that are very useful and make navigation a breeze.
It’s not backlit, it feels a bit thin and flimsy, and it’s not the prettiest keyboard you’ll ever see. However, if you want rock-solid touchpad performance and a keyboard that feels satisfying to use, it’s definitely worth your money.
The Final Word
I had a great experience reviewing the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard. It paired quickly with every device I used it on, and the basic functionality was excellent across multiple operating systems and devices.
There are some minor problems like some confusing key layouts and the “split spacebar”. I also ran into touchpad lag issues. None of these are deal breakers.
For the price, the Jelly Comb MINI Wireless Touchpad Keyboard is an excellent device. It’s ideal for HTPC owners or anyone with an Android set-top box.