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Gear: Lightweight, tough keyboard hits all the right notes

This K-Board keyboard may be small, but you can make beautiful music with it even when traveling

Apps with virtual pianos for composing music on mobile devices just don’t feel the same as the real thing.

The folks at Keith McMillen Instruments have created an ultra-portable 13-inch USB MIDI keyboard compatible with all USB tablets and laptops. (An Apple USB Connection Kit is required for iPads and other iOS devices and is not included.)

The plug-and-play 13-by-3.3-by-.43-inch K-Board has an LED-backlighted keyboard and touch-sensitive sensors embedded in the fabric under each of the 25 playable keys.

You can shift octaves with the touch of a button. The K-Board can be used in collaboration with popular music-making apps and software, such as Apple Garage Band, Ableton Live, Animoog and NI Komplete, and is built tough for rough rides in a backpack or other rugged treatment.

The K-Board, which weighs less than a pound, draws its power from the device to which it is connected.

Info: The KMI 13-inch USB MIDI K-Board Keyboard costs $99. 

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