219 of 224 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2005
This is my third keyboard that I've purchased for my PDA (Axim X50v) and I'm thrilled with the quality and performance of this keyboard. I highly recommend this product to anyone considering a keyboard.
I first bought a Belkin IR keyboard from Office Dept and it sucked. It felt cheap. The keys were poorly spaced and I couldn't get it to work with my Axim X50v. But in reality the biggest problem was the cheapness of the keyboard. I paid $60 for the keyboard and felt that I should have paid $20. Piece of crap. Decided to return it within 5 minutes of opening the box.
The second keyboard I bought was the "Dell Axim X50V Portable / Foldable / Full Size Bluetooth Keyboard" from Suntekstore / Amazon. This keyboard sucked for several reasons. First off, while it may have number keys (unlike this keyboard) the keys are all undersized so I couldn't type with them. Not a good start. Second problem is that the keyboard was made for cell phones, NOT PDA's! I couldn't put my Axim on the stand without it falling over or leaning at an unacceptable level toward the ceiling. Total crap. And the third problem was that I couldn't get it to connect to my PDA. I'm sure i could've figured out the third problem but the keyboard sucked so bad I made the decision to return it after an hour of opening the box.
Then I ordered the Think Outside keyboard...
This keyboard is head over heals better than the other keyboards that I just mentioned. The keys feel nice and they are well spaced. Opening the unit was a little stiff at first, but now slides open and closed easily with a satisfying "click" at either end of the process. The Axim fits PERFECTLY into the cradle that is built into the unit (I use the Axim in landscape position). I was also able to get this keyboard to work in about 30 minutes. Not plug and play, but reasonable. The keyboard sacrificed the number keys to make room for the larger key spacing, but I haven't found that it's a problem to type numbers by holding down the function keys. The best thing about this keyboard however is the quality. I paid $90 for it and I'd do it again in a second.
BTW, for those of you who are trying to figure out if the extra money for bluetooth is worth it, it is! I keep my PDA in its cradle by my computer charging when I'm at my desk. At any time I can flip open my keyboard and start typing notes without ever removing the PDA from its cradle. It's very convenient!
I've owned the keyboard for about a week and I'm very thrilled with the quality and performance it. It's a joy to use and easily doubles the usefulnexx of my PDA
100 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2005
ThinkOutside Stowaway Keyboard
* Near full-size key spacing. Easy to for a touch typist to use accurately with no loss of speed or learning a new keyboard feel
* Unfolds and Folds easily
* Unfolds and locks securely - can be used in a lap without risk of board assuming the characteristic "V" shape of bent HP iPaq and Freedom keyboards.
* Folds to small size
* Removable cradle
* Folds to small lightweight size
* Easy to use software
* Simple power management: powers down upon closing; powers up when opened.
* Protective case included.
* No number/symbol row. Need to use awkward alt-key combinations. Not appropriate for extended numeric data entry or spreadsheets.
* Cradle difficult to remove
* Protective case cheap vinyl
* Does not sit totally flat on a flat surface.
In so many fundamental areas where other mobile Bluetooth keyboards fail, Think Outside got it right.
They are the *only* contender who remembered that a mobile keyboard will be used in mobile situations - read: "on a lap" - and designed the board to sit sturdy without risk of bending when the board's center is hovering in the air between one's legs.
They also remembered that one advantage to using a wireless connection is it gives the user an option to place the handheld to any convenient location within range. The cradle however requires a distressing effort of bending and twisting to remove, which makes the user fear breaking the cradle.
Additionally, this board is designed for use by experienced touch typists, and does not require users to re-calibrate the fingers to type on significantly smaller keys as does the Freedom Keyboard.
Finally, despite its slightly Rube Goldberg appearance, this keyboard is solid, with a refreshing amount of metal in it's construction. It will take some reasonable punishment - the HP iPaq and Freedom keyboards are cheap plastic children's toys by comparison.
Were I able, I would dock the Stowaway ½ star on two points: The lack of a number/symbol row of keys and it's instability on a flat desk.
The absence of a number/symbol row reduces the width of the folded board by only ¾". Given that I could replace my laptop with a handheld and folding keyboard if I had reliable means to enter numbers onto a spreadsheet, I would gladly accept a Stowaway model which is 4.25" wide when folded, instead of the current 3.5".
In all other ways, Think Outside built this board for professional use. They forgot however, those of us who crunch numbers on Excel, requiring use of cumbersome alt-key combinations (which cannot be locked) for numeric entry.
Although very stable when sitting on a desk, the unfolded board sits on a thin base 5.75" long, with two cantilevered "wings" extending 2.25" in the air past the sides of the base.
Thus, if both hands are not simultaneously on the keyboard to balance it, a keypress on either the extreme left or right side will make the board imitate a catapult. A hunt-and-peck, one or two fingered typist will find this frustrating, though a touch typist accustomed to both hands on the home keys will have little, if any, problem.
Compared to the HP iPaq Folding Bluetooth Keyboard or the Freedom Bluetooth Keyboard -- arguably the only other choices for mobile Bluetooth keyboards -- this Stowaway is the only one worth the money you spend for it. Remarkably, it has the lowest retail price of the three on Amazon.
At the time of this writing, the Think Outside Stowaway Keyboard is the clear winner in design, construction, and functionality over all other mobile Bluetooth keyboards. There are simply no other choices for the mobile professional.
100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2005
I purchased this keyboard so that I could start doing some serious word processing on my Treo 650, and I've been absolutely pleased!
First off, the keyboard does not come with the Treo 650 driver --- you must DOWNLOAD THIS DRIVER OFF OF THINK OUTSIDE'S website
However, downloading the driver is easy, and from there, you can sync it to your Treo, or email it, in an attachment, to it
Once the drive is installed, the keyboard is flawless!
My biggest complaint about BlueTooth keyboards is that they lag, as you type ---- but this is not the case with the Stowaway --- every key I pressed showed up INSTANTLY upon my Treo 650
So far, it has worked terrificly with my address book, calendar, and email (VersaMail)
In addition, the keyboard folds together well and is EXTREMELY thin and portable ---- I don't know if you could carry it in a pocket - but a backpack, briefcase, etc will not feel any extra weight with this product
lastly - these keyboards are small --- I wish the delete key was bigger (as I often make typos) but nonetheless, I'm very happy, and certainly, typing on this quicker than the phone's keyboard
HAPPY TYPING! HAPPY BUYING!
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2010
Tested to work on iPhone now with iOS 4.0! It is amazing how that a discontinued 2007 product has suddenly become the perfect keyboard for an iPhone. This keyboard is great, because:
- It is very thin when folded, almost as thin as an iPod Touch.
- It has near full size keys with full laptop-style key travel.
- Touch typists like me, can type at full speed on these.
- It integrates very well with the iPhone.
- I can put the keyboard and iPhone in the same blue jeans pocket, keeping my other pocket free. (iPhone safely in its case, of course)
- It is almost half the thickness of competing products such as Freedom Keyboard.
It has some nice integration touches. Just open the Stowaway keyboard, and the on-screen software keyboard automatically disappears. Close the Stowaway keyboard, and the on-screen software keyboard automatically reappears. On the Stowaway key is the Windows key, but it can be treated like the Apple "Option" key. (Tested on iPhone and iPad)
(The Stowaway windows logo key behaves just like the Option key on the Apple Bluetooth keyboard that also works on the iPhone)
Option+Left/Right: Home/End keys
Option+Up/Down: Jump to Top/Bottom of page
Option+Backspace: Delete current line
Shift+Arrows: Select text for Cut/Copy/Paste
One warning, some keys such as foreign currency symbols, as well as application launching keys, do not work, but this would seem to be a minor quip; considering that the keyboard functions perfectly.
The numbers row is accessed via the blue Fn key, which is not a problem because writing documents and email, only uses numbers occasionally, and it is not too difficult to adapt. The pocket size touch typeability is well worth it.
iGo needs to restart assembly lines to start manufacturing these keyboards again, they should now be able to make a profit not needing to spend expensive resources writing driver software, especially since the keyboard driver is built-in. iOS 4 now supports Bluetooth keyboards on iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3rd Generation, and iPad. In short, this is one of the world's best pocket folding keyboard!
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2006
I'm very unhappy to have to give such a nice piece of hardware such a low rating. I really liked the keyboard. It's compact, has a great feel, and is light.
However, it just doesn't work. The problem is specifically with the software, and not the hardware. The device requires you instal a driver on your PDA, and the current driver for Palm doesn't work (for other devices see below). The shift key is very erratic, such that you end up with strings that LOoKs lIKe THiS. If you are using a Palm TX, do *not* buy this keyboard. Unless you can do with out using the shift key!
The company promised a revised driver in March for Palm, and as I write this we are well into April and there is no driver yet. They have ignored mine and *many* others' requests to know what the status is of the update. It's been a complete and eerie silence.
As far as for other products, as I've been frequenting the company's forum pages often, I have noticed there are other PDAs which are suppose to work but don't. I *strongly* urge you to go to Think Outside home page, then go to the forum. There is a forum dedicated exclusively to discussing this product. Do a search there on your PDA and see if other people are having problems or not. If there's nothing there, and your PDA is suppose to work, then you're probably fine.
Specifically, if you have a palm TX like me, what I would suggest you do, if you have any interest in this keyboard, is to first go to the company home page. Check out the most recent driver for Palm. If they are still on 3.01 which was released in June 2005, don't buy the keyboard. However, if they have a new driver, I would go to the forum page of Think Outside and see if anyone is having problems with it. If not great, if so continue to beware!
I do think other palm devices aside from the TX have been having trouble, but go to to forums and check for yourself regarding the relevant device.
Always check the support forums for any device before you buy! Ah .. if only I had done that before buying this keyboard!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2007
I ordered the Stowaway keyboard from Amazon based upon all previous reviews. I bought it together with a new Nokia N800 (Linux based PDA). I really worried if it would work with my new PDA. Indeed, N800 is not a Windows or Palm machine and there was a probability of some compatability issues.
However, I was able easily to pair both devices and start to type. You need to pair a keyboard and PDA before usage. Do not forget to press Enter key after entering a code on your keyboard. Forgetting this got me some troubles for about 5 minutes until I googled a solution. Now it is time to talk about the product.
It is just optimal. It is sharp, very firm keyboard which is still very portable. It has a better case than my PDA does! The keyboard uses two AAA batteries and they are lasting for long: at least for 1 month of a very agressive usage. The keys are full sized and very comfortable for typing. I do not like a splitted space button however you need to split one for folding the keybord. There are some trade off to make it portable of course (you need to keep a special button to be able to type numbers as an example) but it is still very nice. The mechanical support for PDAs is also very convenient and can be easily removed if unnecessary.
I highly recommend this keyboard for any actively used PDAs. Especially, if you type e-mails, stories, blogs or other documents on go. Comparing to other keyboard as far as I compared, the famous Nokia keyboard is twice more expensive and twice worse. Though, Nokia is a good company and has good engineers.
Warning: I could not get special buttons work properly with my PDA. I have however a root access to the N800 and hopefully will fix it soon.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2010
This will work great with Apple's new iPad. When you open it, you do need to press and hold the cntrl, FN (blue) and FN (green) key to activate the keyboard (with batteries working of course.) Then you get the bluetooth connected with the setup entering the numbers and you are good to go.
Took off the top piece which is easy enough to do. The keyboard is a great match with its small size to the iPad, no speed compromises required.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2006
I bought this keyboard based on many of the reviews on Amazon, though I was a little worried because I own Palm TX. Well, my worries were all for naught. :-)
When I got the keyboard, I downloaded the driver for the TX and was off and running. It is so much easier to use the keyboard than trying to do everything with the stylus. Because getting data into my pda is so much easier, the pda can do at least 80% of what I need a PC for -- Email, basic word processing, basic web surfing, and time management.
There is a bit of a learning curve associated with this keyboard. To keep everything compact most of the keys do double (or even triple) duty. Learning to use the FN keys in combination with another key can be a bit of a pain, but is worth it.
The size is also just short of perfect. It folds up into a nice little rectangle and slips into its case. I could quibble a bit on it being a "full-sized" keyboard. My fingers from time to time hit the wrong keys, because they don't quite match the size of the ones on my computers keyboard. This drawback is to me extremely minor.
So far the keyboard has proven pretty durable. The leather case and metal outside help see to that. I tote it to and from work everyday in a junk laden purse. The kids like it too, and one of them wants one for their own PDA. I expect this thing will still work like a charm at the end of the summer.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2007
Having had the Nokia N800 since April 2007. Of all technology I have purchased over several years has been (at least in my case) one of the most useful items I have ever owned. When Amazon put the Igo Stowaway ultra slim keyboard on the deals section it was irresistible. In the spirit of Amazon arrived in a matter of days. After a couple of hours trying to pair the devices and constant googling I was sad that such a potential addition to the N800 would just not work. I reluctantly went about preparing my new keyboard for a return. Printed out the return slips. One more try I said to myself. Eureka !!
1. Go to Control Panel on the N800
2. Click 'Hardware Keyboard' (OS 2007) or 'Bluetooth keyboard' (OS 2008)
3. Select 'Generic 105-key PC'
4. In control panel click 'Bluetooth' (can click Pair if using OS 2008)
5. Make sure 'Bluetooth' is checked and 'Visible' is Checked
6. Click on Button 'Devices'
7. Click on Button 'New'
8. On the Igo keyboard hold down the left CNTRL KEY, The BLUE fn key and the GREEN fn key at the same time
9. A GREEN LED above the T key will begin to flash.
10. Nokia N800 will display 'Think Outside Keyboard'
11. Highlight the 'Think Outside Keyboard'
12. Click 'OK'
13. 'Pair with Device' dialogue will appear
14. Note the Passcode number
15. Click button 'OK'
16. While holding down the BLUE Fn key (to enter numerics) type the passcode as you noted in step 14. Then hit enter.
17. Hey Presto you now have a full size keyboard for your N800
I gave it a 4 out of 5 because of the hassle of figuring out the above and it does have a few quirks when scrolling pages. Overall it is a worthy addition although even when folded larger than my N800 by an inch or two. Not bad for a full sized keyboard though !!
Hope you find this helpful
BTW the sticky stuff on the keyboard is a a real pain to get off !!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2006
I have an awesome laptop. The screen size is perfect, it's not too heavy, it's got lots of RAM, etc. But when I travel, I hate being a laptop (L)user. I carry-on. Which means 1 bag and 1 personal item (e.g., laptop case). And you have to take it out of the bag to go thru airport security which is just a nuisance. Not to mention the glares you get from the people in line behind you. It's the modern day equivalent of check writers at the grocery store!
Anyway, I bet you're wondering why I'm talking about laptops and airport security in a review about a wireless keyboard. For all of you who travel frequently and bring your laptop for sending email or showing a powerpoint or just because "your life is in there:" consider a PocketPC with Think Outside's Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard. I have the Dell Axim X51v. This baby is the perfect companion! Initially I thought it was lame to carry around a keyboard and PDA. But try tapping out few URLs or use Mobile Word with your stylus and you'll think again. A usable keyboard actually turns a PDA into a real-world useful machine instead of just a neat gadget. Originally I bought an IR keyboard that Dell sells. What a piece of crap. Download this, line up the PDA like that, blah blah blah, inferior keys. What a pain! I sent it back.
I ordered this one from Amazon and everything worked famously. I visited Think Outside's website from my Axim and it automagically downloaded the latest drivers. Don't be fooled by the pictures though -- putting the Axim upright downsn't fly. But position it horizontally and WOW you've got a super portable, cool device that you don't have to take out of your bag to get thru airport security. The keyboard locks into place for lap-typing, the keys are big and easy to type with, it's small and has its own zippered pouch for protection. It also synced with my BT-enabled cell phone, so I could type really long text messages - but that's just getting carried away. The keyboard is really worthwhile in usefulness and is sturdy enough I don't expect any problems.