Continuing on with our series of keyboard reviews, we're taking a look at the portable, foldable Jorno keyboard. The Jorno made its debut on Kickstarter way back in 2012, and after years of refinements and design changes, the keyboard began shipping out to customers in March of 2015.

The Jorno's look is quite a bit different than the original concept presented in 2012, but the basic idea is the same -- it's a tri-fold Bluetooth keyboard that collapses down for better portability. The Jorno name heralds the design of the keyboard, which resembles a Moleskine journal when it's folded up for travel.

jornoiphonestand

What's in the Box and Setup

The Jorno ships in a compact box that includes the keyboard itself, the cover/stand that holds it up, and a USB cable for charging. Setting up the Jorno takes just a few seconds. When it's unfolded, it's powered on (as indicated by a green light) and Bluetooth can be activated by holding down function and tapping the Bluetooth key (the "C").

jornowhatsinthebox
From there, it pairs within the Settings menu of an iPhone or iPad like any other Bluetooth accessory.

Design

The Jorno is a two-piece accessory with a QWERTY keyboard and a separate stand rather than a keyboard case, so it's able to work with a wide range of devices, including the iPhone, the iPad, and other smartphones and tablets. The main component of the Jorno is the keyboard itself, which is collapsible and can be folded down into a 5.7 by 3.5 inch package that's then covered by the case/stand for travel.

jornopieces
When the Jorno is not in use, the black leather-like stand serves as a case, but when you need to type something, it folds into a triangle shape held together by magnets, much like an iPad Smart Cover. A small plastic lip at the bottom ensures an iPhone or an iPad stays in place, and the magnets that hold it all together are strong enough that nothing is in danger of falling over. Since it's just a simple stand, the Jorno's case can hold an iPhone or iPad in landscape or portrait mode for typing, watching videos, and more.

jornoipadtray
On the bottom of the stand, there's a plastic foot that can be pulled out and set into several different positions to slightly change the viewing angle of an iPad or iPhone. The entire lip of the case doesn't slide out, but the small portion that does is strong enough to hold up an iPad Air 2.

jornoipadportrait
Constructed from aluminum and plastic, the Jorno keyboard itself is light and easy to carry at 6.51 ounces. The aluminum outer portion of the keyboard is a dark silver color (similar to the Space Gray iPhone/iPad), while the plastic keys and the keyboard are black. There are two hinges on the Jorno keyboard to allow it to fold down, with both sides folding inward toward the middle when it is collapsed.

jornofoldedup
Because of the hinges, the Jorno keyboard does not lie entirely flat on a desk or table so it does rock back and forth a bit when you're typing, a factor that can be irritating. The hinges also prevent it from being used on a lap -- when the hinges aren't supported on a flat surface, they fold inward because they don't lock in place. The hinge's folding mechanism is smooth and it takes just seconds to fold/unfold the Jorno keyboard and stand when getting ready to store it away or use it.

jornounfolded
Aesthetically, the full Jorno package is compact and unobtrusive. The keyboard has a simple no-frills design, as does the stand, but the keyboard is marred by four screws that hold the hinges in place. The screws peek up over the top of the keyboard and are visually distracting, but don't get in the way of typing.

jornohinge

The Keys

The best descriptor for the Jorno's keys is "clicky." They make an audible clicking sound when typing and that click is louder than the click of the keys on a MacBook. People who prefer a quieter keyboard may not like the louder-than-average clicking sound.

Key feel is one of the most important aspects to consider when it comes to a portable keyboard, and this is an area where the Jorno does a solid job. The keys feel satisfying to type on and are comparable to the keys on your average desktop keyboard.

jornokeyboard
Compared to a MacBook Pro or Air keyboard, the Jorno has a similar feel, but it takes a bit more force to press a key down and there's slightly more travel. It's not quite the same sensation as typing on a MacBook keyboard, but it's similar enough that it'll feel familiar from the first press. Size wise, the Jorno keyboard is more compact than a MacBook keyboard, so the keys are smaller and closer together. When unfolded, the Jorno is approximately 10 inches in length.

It takes some time to adjust to the size difference between the keys on the Jorno if you're used to typing on a MacBook Air or Pro, but after a short period of time the average touch typist should become accustomed to the spacing and will be able to type nearly as quickly as you do on MacBook.

jornowithiphone
The Jorno is designed to work with a wide range of devices, so it's got keys that are specific to Windows, Android, and iOS devices. Toggling between the three modes can be done by holding down the function key and pressing the appropriate key on the keyboard.

When in iOS mode, holding down function and pressing the keys arranged at the top of the keyboard enables several iOS-specific features. There's a key to return to the iPad or iPhone's home screen, initiate a search, select text, copy, paste, control media, and change the volume of a device.

Other Features

The Jorno has a battery that lasts for 85 hours of continuous typing or 220 days in standby, which means you should only need to charge it once a month or so depending on your usage habits. If you're only typing occasionally, you may only need to charge every few months. Charging is done with the accompanying Micro-USB charging cable.

To preserve battery life, the Jorno keyboard turns on whenever it's unfolded and it shuts off when it's closed. It will also go to sleep after two minutes of inactivity, waking up again with a key press.

Kickstarter Controversy

Kickstarter backers who ordered a Jorno keyboard waited three years to get their hands on a finished product, and what backers received was a good keyboard, but not exactly what had been promised at the start of the campaign. The Jorno was first put on Kickstarter in 2012, where it raised more than $100,000 in pledges, so we'd be remiss not to mention the hundreds of customers who waited years for a product that went through several design changes.

Looking into the Jorno's history, issues with the keyboard kept popping up over the design period, resulting in delay after delay, sometimes with little communication from the Jorno team for months at a time.

The Jorno Kickstarter backers paid for folded more than three times and it was more compact than the final version (original estimated dimensions were 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.2" vs. 5.77" x 3.53" x 0.67"), which isn't quite comfortably pocketable, since it's almost an inch thick with the case. Some original Kickstarter backers are disappointed in the final product, while others are just glad to receive a product at all. In the end, the Jorno team ended up with a decent product that's going to appeal to new users, but it's not quite the "world's smallest folding Bluetooth keyboard" as was promised to original backers (that title now goes to the TextBlade).

jornooriginal

The original Jorno prototype

When looking into the Jorno's history, we found a similar product from EC Technology available on Amazon at a lower price, leading us to question which product came first. Many of the original Kickstarter backers have also questioned the Amazon product, so we asked Jorno creator Scott Starrett for an explanation, and in a statement, he said the version available on Amazon is a copy of the Jorno product.

We've worked for two years to develop a patent-pending design that provides a truly premium mobile keyboard experience. During the production process, we became aware that other companies began making a very similar product featuring non-standard U.S. key layouts. As a tech startup, we've learned a lot throughout the process including the reality of copies in manufacturing, sometimes to the detriment of original creators. We stand behind Jorno's quality design and back it with our 90-day warranty. We're confident that Jorno users will love the keyboard as much as we do.

While the copycat product is available at a cheaper price, it does not offer the accompanying leather stand and case that gives the Jorno its signature look, and it offers no performance guarantees.

Who's It For?

If you're looking for a portable keyboard that can be used with multiple devices, the Jorno is worth considering. It will work with Macs, the iPhone, and the iPad, plus other non-Apple devices. Many of the previous keyboards we've looked at have been limited to the iPad.

The Jorno folds up into a size that makes it easy to stick into a book bag or purse and the keys have a feel that's superior to many iPad keyboard cases on the market. The case/stand is well built and has a good, strong magnet inside, and the whole package works well together.

jornoiphonesizecomparison
For a basic keyboard that offers few features beyond portability, the Jorno has a high price. It's more expensive than many other collapsible keyboards on the market, but it's an arguably more elegant solution. One major caveat -- if you need a keyboard that can be used in a variety of situations where a flat surface isn't always available, the Jorno is not a great choice. Its hinges don't solidly lock into place, so it's going to fold inwards whenever it's not on a table.

Pros:

  • Good key feel
  • Compact and portable
  • Unobtrusive look
  • Versatile, works with many devices

Cons:

  • Rocks slightly on a flat surface
  • Can't be used in a lap
  • Protruding hinge screws
  • Features are too basic for the price

How to Buy

The Jorno can be purchased from the Jorno website for $99.99.

Tags: review, Jorno

Top Rated Comments

subjonas Avatar
84 months ago
I assume thats a paid for advert ?
:rolleyes:

Tons of people say this exact same thing every time they do a review. I don't get it. What's the difference between this site doing a review or Engadget or any other tech site doing a review?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jessica Lares Avatar
84 months ago
Hahaha. I'm a really loud typer to begin with, can only imagine the kind of racket I'd make with this wobbling around!

I'd hurt myself with those screws eventually too. :p

Thanks for the review. Glad it at least shipped. So many Kickstarter failures out there.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rjlawrencejr Avatar
84 months ago
I assume thats a paid for advert ?
:rolleyes:

Never assume.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dayv Avatar
84 months ago
Glad it at least shipped. So many Kickstarter failures out there.

I'm not sure I'd consider three years of delay to be much better than a failure.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrXiro Avatar
84 months ago
Tons of people say this exact same thing every time they do a review. I don't get it. What's the difference between this site doing a review or Engadget or any other tech site doing a review?

trolls that's why.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
josh995 Avatar
84 months ago
Thank you for linking to the Amazon version. Didn't know it existed and I just now bought that one. I don't need a leather case for an extra $65ish bucks.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
ryanscoolios13thumbnail

Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More

Tuesday October 15, 2019 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 13.1.3 and iPadOS 13.1.3, minor updates to the iOS 13.1.2 software that was released two weeks ago. This is the fourth update to the iOS 13 operating system that came out in September. The iOS and iPadOS 13.1.3 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update....
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Expecting iPhone and iPad Supply Constraints in September Quarter

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that Apple is expecting supply constraints to affect the iPhone and the iPad in the coming quarter. "The supply constraints that we've seen in the June quarter will be higher in the September quarter," said Maestri. The constraints will impact iPhone and iPad sales...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...