Can You Use a Keyboard and Mouse on a Tablet? Learn How!

Tablets are some of the best mobile devices we have in today’s modern world because of how they basically give us the best of both worlds. These devices are mobile enough for you to carry them wherever you go. But, at the same time, they also have sizes that are nearly similar to laptops. So, if you want your tablet to be as close to a laptop as possible, can you use a keyboard and mouse on a tablet?

Tablets are now designed to be compatible with keyboards and mice so that you can actually use them in a way that is similar to how you would use a laptop. And, in most cases, modern tablets are made to function with keyboard and mouse attachments via their Bluetooth capabilities.

The world we live in today is becoming more mobile, and that has allowed us to use our mobile devices as mini-computers or laptops where we can do a lot of our different regular tasks such as simple word or spreadsheet processing. So, if you want a more mobile version of a laptop, you can use a keyboard and mouse on your laptop. Find out how by reading the rest of this article.

ipad with keyboard and touch pad

Can you use a keyboard and mouse on a tablet?

Modern technology has taken a huge step from where it was just a decade ago. Today, smartphones and other mobile devices such as tablets are making waves as some of the more important and handy gadgets any person can have. Of course, tablets are becoming pretty popular as well thanks to how mobile they are and how they combine the capabilities of a usual smartphone with the size of a laptop. This allows people to have a good and handy computer-like device in their hands while they are on the go.

The truth is that tablets still are not at the level of a laptop in terms of what the latter is capable of doing from an all-around aspect. However, the power and capabilities of today’s modern tablets are quickly catching up to what most laptops are capable of doing. That’s why more and more people are using tablets that are powerful enough to be able to handle modern computing needs. And because tablets are lighter and slimmer than the already portable and convenient laptop, they allow people to use a computer on the go while packing as lightly as possible.

That said, the problem with a tablet when it comes to regular and daily computing needs is that they are not as easy to use as laptops if you want to type a word document or process your spreadsheets for work. This means that it will be a lot slower for a regular person to do his job if he were to rely merely on the touchscreen keyboard of a tablet.

In that case, can you actually use a keyboard and mouse on a tablet to make things easier for you and to bridge the performance gap between a tablet and a laptop?

The good news is that most tablets in today’s modern world are now capable of connecting with keyboards and mice so that you can actually use them and transform your tablet into a device that closely mimics what the laptop can do as far as convenience and overall functionality are concerned.

Of course, it also goes both ways because there are now plenty of other keyboards and mice that will allow you to actually connect to a tablet or even a smartphone. In that regard, tablet manufacturers are not the only ones thinking about connecting your tablet to a keyboard or mouse because keyboard and mice manufacturers also believe that they can benefit from making their products compatible with mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

After all, we are now in an age where everyone has a smart device. So, in that case, it is better for different companies to develop keyboards and mice that actually work not only with computers but also with mobile smart devices such as phones and tablets, which are becoming the standard in portable computing in today’s fast-paced world. This is why it isn’t rare for people to see tablet owners using their compact tablets together with keyboards in coffee shops or even in offices instead of using laptops that are larger and heavier than most tablets.

surface pro powered on with type cover from the side

What are the advantages of using a keyboard and mouse on a tablet?

If you aren’t convinced that you should buy a keyboard or mouse for your tablet, let’s look at some of the benefits of doing so.

  1. Tablets are usually more affordable than laptops

If you look at mere practicality alone, you will see how tablets can be much more practical than laptops if you were to use tablets as laptop alternatives instead. While there are still a lot more things you can do with a laptop because they have better operating systems, specs, and storage capabilities, tablets can be good enough if you are only looking to use them for productivity.

So, that said, you can get a good tablet for somewhere between $400 and $500. You can add maybe $20 to $50 for an equally good keyboard and mouse package for your tablet and you will still end up saving a lot of money had you decided to purchase a low-end laptop, which will cost you over $500. As such, using a keyboard and mouse on your tablet will allow you to save money if you are only using your computer or tablet for productivity and video playback or streaming.

  1. Improves productivity

There is no doubt that tablets are quickly becoming laptop alternatives or even replacements for a lot of people who only use them for work. But, again, the problem with tablets is that it won’t be as easy for you to type or process word and spreadsheet documents on a touchscreen keyboard. This means that productivity on a tablet without a keyboard and mouse tends to be slower compared to when you are using a laptop.

So, if you were to use a keyboard and mouse on your tablet, you will be able to improve your productivity because of how your tablet is now mimicking what a laptop can do. You can now type and scan through documents just as easily as you would with a laptop by using your tablet as long as you have a good keyboard and mouse for it.

  1. Convenience

Even though we still believe that laptops are very portable and convenient to carry around, there are some people who still prefer to use something smaller and lighter than a laptop, which is rarely under 13 inches. On the other hand, tablets are a lot smaller and lighter than most laptops today as we rarely see tablets that go over 13 inches. This will allow you to pack light while carrying a tablet in a small purse or backpack.

Factoring in a keyboard and mouse into the equation, you will still find that using a tablet will still be just as convenient because of how most keyboards and mice that you can use for tablets are pretty portable and handy to carry around. This will allow you to easily travel while packing light when you opt to use a tablet with a keyboard and mouse.

  1. More options

Having a tablet that you can use as a laptop by making use of a keyboard and mouse combo will provide you with more options depending on your personal preferences or on which between a laptop or a tablet is more convenient for you to use during a certain moment. That’s because you can basically choose from a range of different options as long as you can easily switch your files between your laptop and your tablet through the use of cloud computing.

For example, if you are not willing to bring a bigger backpack or laptop bag with you, having a light and slim tablet with an equally light keyboard can be a good way for you to pack light while staying productive. It just simply allows you to have more options when it comes to how productive you want to be when you are not at home or in the office.

three ipads next to each other

How do you use a keyboard and mouse on a tablet?

Now that you are convinced that you might want to use a keyboard and mouse for your tablet, here is how you can do so:


The first thing you need to make sure of is that you buy a keyboard that is actually compatible with tablet devices. If you are in the store, asking the sales representative or checking the label of the keyboard will allow you to tell if it is compatible with either Android or Apple tablets or smartphones. This will allow you to save money knowing that you are buying a product that is actually compatible with your tablet. You can also buy the proprietary keyboard attachment for your tablet such as the Magic Keyboard that you can use for Apple tablets.

And you don’t have to worry about your tablet as well because most tablets are designed to be compatible with keyboards.

That said, when you want to connect your keyboard to your tablet, it is best to use a Bluetooth keyboard because it instantly allows you to use it with your tablet without any wires or any other inputs needed. All you need to do is to follow the pairing instructions on the Bluetooth keyboard so that you can now connect it with your tablet and use it as a laptop.

Meanwhile, for proprietary keyboard attachments such as Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio, all you need to do is to attach it to an iPad that is compatible with it without relying on Bluetooth to pair the two devices.

However, for those who are using keyboards that require a USB connection, you can try to use a USB hub that can connect to the tablet’s port. The hub will depend entirely on what port your tablet is using. But as long as the wired keyboard you have is compatible with tablets, you shouldn’t have any problems regarding the connectivity.


Meanwhile, if you want to connect a mouse with your tablet, the process is pretty straightforward and easy as well. All you need to do is to buy a Bluetooth mouse that is designed to be compatible with tablet devices. Again, you can look online for a Bluetooth mouse that is compatible with your tablet or you can ask the sales representative whether or not a certain Bluetooth mouse can be used for your tablet.

It is better, in our books, to use a Bluetooth mouse that no longer comes with a dongle so that you will be dispensing the need to use a USB dock on your tablet. They can be more expensive than other mice but they are worth it when it comes to overall convenience and portability. After all, using a USB and a dongle defeats the purpose of using a portable device such as a tablet.

As soon as you have paired your laptop with the mouse, it becomes pretty straightforward for you to use it. Just follow the pairing instructions that come with your Bluetooth mouse to know how to properly pair the two. And you will find that using a mouse on a tablet is similar to using a mouse on any other computer.

For iPads, however, you would have to go to the AssistiveTouch option for you to properly use a mouse. But, after doing that, you will be able to use Bluetooth or a wired USB mouse without any problems.

ipad with keyboard and touch pad side view

Are there any downsides to using a keyboard and mouse on a tablet?

As useful as keyboards and mice are for your tablet, they may still have a few downsides. The first thing that we can think of is that you will have to bring extra accessories such as the keyboard attachment and a mouse just to use your tablet like a laptop. However, if you are using the type of keyboard that is light and slim and can be attached to a tablet and be folded like a case, then you wouldn’t have any problems with it at all.

Another downside we can think of is that most tablets are not as intuitive as laptops are when you are using a keyboard or mouse with them. That means that you might end up with a few performance issues such as a slight lag between inputs. This can be a problem for those who want to finish their work as quickly as possible but it shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

Overall, there aren’t plenty of drawbacks to using a keyboard and mouse for your tablet especially if you are only using the tablet for work-related tasks or for business. But, if you are looking for performance, you’d have to spend extra for a high-end tablet or just stick with your laptop. Still, those who use tablets aren’t really after the performance but are more likely to use them for convenience and portability.


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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