Pity the poor keychain — neglected, ignored and unloved. But what is a keychain today other than just a mechanism designed to scratch the smartphone sharing the same pocket? So that’s where the Keyport Slide 2.0 differs: it’s a modern means for carrying and accessing keys as well as 21st Century mobile enhancing devices.
The Keyport Slide I was sent had an ‘ice” color — meaning it combined black trim with a semi-translucent body. One end had a free-rotating ring, the other six slots. Each of the slots could accommodate either a key or one of the multi-tool devices offered as accessories. But before anything else, I had to make the keys that I planned to use with it. I decided on two keys (front door and lobby door). Standard keys can’t be used, so I had to place these two keys on a printed-out template and then photograph them as they lay both front and back. I then sent this to Keyport via the Internet who, besides evaluating that these two keys could be duplicated for use, then provided me with two blanks for a locksmith to use in duplicating them from the originals. I then had this done at a local locksmith.
I pried off the end of the Keyport Slide (first depressing a small inset) and then took one of the now-made keys and inserted it into the opened end with the “skull” end (the blade head) facing out. Once it cleared where the end cap would go, I inserted a node (small button) into the slot at the backside and pushed it in to position. I did the same to the other key. This done, I could now put the end back on, but since I had other plans, I didn’t. I now was going to insert 3 optional accessories; a LED flashlight, a flash drive and perhaps most important of all — a bottle opener. Each required first attaching a node in the same manner as the keys after they had been slid and locked into the Keyport.
With the end placed back on, I examined my new “keychain.” On one side were the two keys and the flashlight; each pushed out by pressing the node and then moving it forward until it locked into place (reversing this returned them into the Keyport). On the other side was the pen (not a stylus, an actual ink-driven writing tool), the metal bottle opener and the 4 GB flash drive, which scan be slid out far enough to go into a USB socket with ease — however, it does need to be used with a cable so that the Keyport Slide won’t put any strain on it while inserted. The exception to this sliding out procedure was the flashlight which, using internal power to light up whatever the Keyport is aimed at, has its “on” switch activated by a quarter push forward, and turned off when retracted.
I now had every slot taken up, although I could have removed one of the accessories to replace it with the barcode/transponder insert if there had been a need. But I doubted I would need this on any regular basis, unlike the flash drive which was convenient to now have following me along and the bottle opener, which got a good play pretty much every day as now I didn’t have to hunt for one in a kitchen drawer. Using the keys did take a bit of getting used to, but the convenience of having them near-instantly available was worth the slight adjustment. And since there’s little light on the lock of the outdoor entrance way I use to enter my building — having the flashlight accessory right there was brilliant (pun intended) since it made finding the keyhole a snap.
Bottom line: The Keyport Slide is truly the swiss army blade of “keychains” — although calling it that is a disservice since it takes up less space and does so much more. $29.00 gets you started with the Slide itself, the standard key blades being $2.99 each (house, office, auto, etc.) and with the accessories ranging in price from $3.99-$39.99.
Proprietary keyheads, Serial number for Lost and Found service
Compromise between number of keys and accessories used
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.