Portable Midi Keyboard Options

I read through the thread with options for Midi Controllers meant to be used on the desk. Does anyone have any thoughts on portable midi keyboards? I am particularly drawn to the Yamaha Reface CP (As I trained pianist, I am a bit hesitant with the mini keys - not sure how I would adjust, so if you have any thoughts that would be helpful). Maybe a cheap Casio keyboard would do the trick? But I would rather spend a bit more and get a good touch and dependable/durable rig.

My big needs would be: battery powered option, at least 37 keys (seems like a good compromise), usable internal sounds - at least a decent piano or Rhodes, built in speakers would be nice as would Bluetooth, but I could do USB or Midi connection.

My use case would be to pack my laptop, keyboard and head outside and compose/notate away from my desk and studio. The major stuff can be done back at home. But we have some extended travel days coming up and I don’t want to haul my big 80lb keyboard with us.

Anyone else work this way and have any thoughts?

I use a cheap Korg mini keyboard when I travel. Those Yamahas look pretty cool, but they aren’t very small and they are fairly heavy. If you are taking a laptop, why do you need internal sounds and speakers? Speakers are going to add a lot of size and weight which may be unnecessary if you are hooked up to your laptop anyway.

You might like something like the CME Xkey37. You get 37 full size keys while only gaining less than an inch in length when compared to the Yamaha, and it is an inch and a half less deep, and only 0.62" high in comparison to 2 3/8" for the Yamaha. The CME is also less than half the weight. As a pianist, you may prefer the full size keys of the CME if you are going to be plugged in to your laptop anyway, and it’s definitely lighter and easier to travel with.

EDIT: The CME isn’t battery powered only USB. If you anticipate writing away from your laptop then it won’t work, but if you’ll always have a laptop with you it seems like some of the features of the Yamaha may be unnecessary.

1 Like

Hi kclements.
I would go and buy a Korg Microkey Air. (I have a Microkey 37 version 1 - needs a power hub to connect with an iPad or iPhone - so I’ve bought a Microkey Air 49 - gets power from iPhone or Ipad, has bluetooth and usb convection and a sustain pedal input). I am a pianist too and got used to the mini keys.
It doesn’t have speakers and internal sounds but I can plug it into my iPhone or Ipad - so no big deal.
And the price is around US$ 220. I think it is worth it.

1 Like

Thanks for your thoughts.

My thinking is having some internal sounds and speakers - though adding to the size and weight - might be useful for just playing around while away from the laptop. Since I am investing in a keyboard, might be nice to use it like a guitar, where I could just sit with it and doodle for fun.

But the options presented do make sense. I will look into these as well.