Filco Convertible 2: hands-on review

Update July 2017: Good news, everyone! Full-size Convertible 2 keyboards with MX Brown switches will be available this summer in UK, German or Swedish layouts (ISO). MX Blue switches will also be available, for UK layouts only. Click here for the full EU range, or here for USA layout keyboards.

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Today, like many days, I’m writing a lengthy article on a full-size Filco keyboard. I’m hitting around 80 words per minute, lovingly listing specifications and technical tips. Normally I’d be at home, but today I’m on the train – and I’m typing on my phone wirelessly. The keyboard I’m using isn’t a standard Filco; it’s the Convertible 2. It’s called the Convertible because it can work like a traditional USB keyboard when a wire is plugged in, but it’ll just as happily connect to a phone, tablet or laptop over Bluetooth when you’re sitting on the couch or on the move.

Getting set up

Connecting to the Convertible 2 for the first time is pretty simple – just turn on the Bluetooth switch, then press the ‘clear memory’ button, and you’ll be able to pair the keyboard with your phone or laptop as usual. Using the keyboard again is simpler – just turn on the keyboard, and you’ll automatically reconnect.

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If you want to connect to multiple devices, you can. Just use Ctrl + Alt + Fn, then 1, 2, 3 or 4 to switch to one of the four profiles, and you’ll automatically connect to the saved device if it’s within range. This works really nicely for switching between your laptop and a phone, or a phone and a tablet. You can be typing on your laptop, get a text on your phone and instantly be able to bang out a lengthy reply.

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Of course, sometimes you might prefer the simplicity of a USB connection. Simply connect the provided mini USB cable to your PC or laptop, and set profile 5 with Fn + 5, and you’re back to a completely standard USB keyboard. Once connected you’ll automatically use the USB source for power, saving your AA batteries, and you can even switch back to a wireless connection while continuing to get power from USB. You could even use a USB wall adapter, like the one that came with your phone, to get the power you need.

Rock solid reliability

After you’re connected, you’ll get precisely the same excellent typing experience as you would on a standard Majestouch-2 keyboard. You get a full layout, including numberpad, and your choice of Brown, Blue or Red switches. The chassis is the same too, so you get that traditional solid plate-mounted feel and rock-solid reliability.

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Actually, the typing experience will be a little better on the Convertible 2, as the inclusion of the Fn key has also let Filco include a set of media controls on F1-F3 and F5-F8. You can adjust your volume, skip forward and back, play and stop. It’s pretty darn convenient.

As the layout is identical (with the Fn key replacing the little-used Menu key), you can easily pick up custom keycaps for the Convertible 2 as well.

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The Convertible 2 is rated to operate for 6 months on a single charge from the pair of AA batteries before that low battery LED starts showing. And of course, if you’re ever running low then you can always choose to use USB power instead.

My hands-on impressions

The Convertible 2 has been a blast to test. After trying so many crazy gaming, ergonomic and compact keyboards, it’s felt great to get back to the standard for mechanical excellence. The full-size keyboard feels great for typing and gaming, with a standard layout, light keycaps, a sturdy plate-mounted board and no distractions.

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If you’re going to use your Bluetooth keyboard primarily on the move, then it makes sense to pick up a compact board that can travel with you easily. On the other hand, if you want to have just one keyboard wherever you are, you can’t do better than the Convertible 2.

Full size, top quality, at home or on the go.

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Links for more!

For more details on the Convertible 2 or to place your order, check the links below:

Update July 2017: Good news, everyone! Full-size Convertible 2 keyboards with MX Brown switches will be available this summer in UK, German or Swedish layouts (ISO). MX Blue switches will also be available, for UK layouts only. Click here for the full EU range, or here for USA layout keyboards.

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  • DavidSzpunar

    Great review, thanks! My only small nitpick is that operationally, changing the Bluetooth device that’s active requires Ctrl+Alt+Fn prior to pressing 1-5, not just Fn by itself. This is still simple and I do it easily on mine all the time!

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  • Tomasz Sowinski

    Is it usable with OSX in Bluetooth mode? I mean Windows key recognised as Cmd and navigation keys (Home/End/PgUp/PgDn) working as expected.

    • Yeah, it works just like any other Windows keyboard 🙂

      • Tomasz Sowinski

        Thanks, ordered one.

  • David

    Any news on when/if we’ll see the UK version?

    • Sorry, no news at the moment. Could be quite some time, I’m afraid!

      • Andreas Westh

        Ten-key-less and a nordic keyboard layout would be superb

  • Steve Lam

    I’m wondering if they’ll come out with a Ninja version of this board. They should at least give the option of purchasing Ninja replacement keycaps. I’m wondering why only certain boards have Ninja keys.

  • David

    I’ve just seen on their website that they’re making a tenkeyless version !

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