IFA 2015 will conclude this week, and LG was expected to have some interesting displays to be seen. They also took the time to show off a new device, the LG Rolly roll-up Bluetooth keyboard made for mobile devices. This is a review, release date, and price of the LG Rolly.
The Verge managed to get their hands on the LG Rolly at IFA 2015, and the first thing that was said is that technically, the Rolly doesn't roll. Instead, it unfolds segment by segment into four rows of keys. Trusted Reviews stated that these four segments magnetically lock around the battery box, and it can be difficult to get it to "unlock". There are actually several rollup keyboards that consumers can purchase that are made of a rubbery material that rolls up, but none can roll up as small as LG's Rolly.
The Rolly is clearly made to fill a void that many consumers of mobile devices have: the inability to do serious work without a keyboard. There is a generation of younger consumers who have learned to type using a touchscreen keyboard and are quite comfortable with it, and they are capable of doing more on a mobile device than their parents may ever be able to achieve. The LG Rolly has two interesting claws that can hold a mobile device in place as the user types on it, and this older generation needs to have the clickity-click of keyboard keys going on if they are creating some serious content.
Other Bluetooth keyboards can fill this void, but then the user must take some slate with them, defeating the purpose of mobility. The LG Rolly is not quite small enough for the pocket, but "big" enough so it could be put in the bottom of a bag and be forgotten about. Some have complained that the keyboard is taken up by a lot of "useless plastic" as the user's fingers often bump into the top row. The top row has a battery bar that can hold a single AAA battery that LG claims can be used for three months, which is efficient use of battery life. There doesn't seem to be any word if the Rolly can be charged via USB, which is generally how most Bluetooth keyboards are powered.
In short, there is going to be an audience for the Rolly, even if it doesn't literally live up to its name. However, there is technology that LG has been working on that could make the next generation of Rolly be more like its namesake. LG has been developing flexible displays for years, and if they or some other company ever succeed, then smartphones will have a lot less real estate when put in the pocket. Instead, the consumer can just unroll their screen when needed, and retract it like a window blind. The Rolly 2 would benefit with such technology, which would make it a portable scroll made for typing instead of a square bar.
Perhaps that is what the future Rolly will be. As for the present LG Rolly, it is expected to be available in the United States sometime this September 2015 before becoming available in Europe and Asia before the end of the year for a price of $119.