iGo Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard for Blackberry and other PDA/ Handhelds
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- Foldable, full-size QWERTY keyboard wirelessly connects to Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and PDAs
- Weighs less than 6 ounces; folds to 5.5 x 3.9 x 0.5 inches
- User-programmable shortcut and command keys for fast access to other applications
- Download drivers automatically from your smartphone/PDA--no PC needed
- Includes carrying case and detachable PDA/phone stand
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The Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard is the perfect productivity companion to your smart phone, PDA, Tablet, Media Center PC or notebook &8211; almost any device that has Bluetooth supports this hot new product! With its genuine full-size 18 mm spacing between keys, the Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard allows you to quickly type email, memos, or surf the web in optimum comfort. The sleek, award winning, patented folding design is featured in the Design Collection at Museum of Modern Art in New York. Its unique design allows it to easily fit in a pocket or purse, so you can take it everywhere, yet opens to a full size keyboard when you need it. A lap-lock is included that allows the keyboard to be used on a lap &8211; perfect for airports and other tight spaces! Symbols, and international characters are also supported making this the perfect on-the-go keyboard! Compatible with Pocket PC devices with integrated Bluetooth iPAQ 1945, 2215, 4155, 4355, 5100, 5150, 5450, 5455, 5550 and 5555 series models; Dell Axim x3 series models; Any Pocket PC devices with a Socket Bluetooth SD or CF card.
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Quick background: I was a journalism major and can type approx 90-100 wpm.
Over a decade ago I had a Targus Stowaway keyboard that worked with my Palm-based Treo. I still have it, though (unfortunately, it was built before bluetooth even existed, and I can't use it with anything. But it is a fold-out full-size keyboard as good as that on ANY laptop (with the exception of Thinkpads, which have legendary keyboards).
At any rate, I tried the iWerkz keyboard. The key placement sucked because of the "fold" down the middle. It forces an awkward placement of the "b" and "n" keys. So I sent it back and bought the iGo Stowayay.
In a word ... awesome.
* GREAT tactile response. I can probably type close to 80 wpm on it. I figure about 15% slower than on my Thinkpad, and faster than any HP, Sony, Dell, Toshiba and other inferior laptops I've owned.
* Folds up really small - It's even smaller than my Galaxy Note 2. Probably about the same size as an S3.
* The "shift", backspace and other keys are well placed.
* The stand - holds my phone in a horizontal or vertical position well.
* Can use in your lap - like a laptop. This is big. Those "fold in the middle" portable keyboards can't do this.
* Bluetooth is sort of a pain - no more so than any other bluetooth device. But you do you have to take a moment to set this up. So it's not as fast as "open up a doc and start typing". You have to sometimes pair it up before it starts working.
* Doesn't have a numbers row - You have to use the Fn function to access the numbers and symbols. I'd rather that they have simply added an extra row of keys. Wouldn't have added much more space and would have reduced an extra step for typing numbers and symbols.
* Can't do standard formatting shortcuts - I can't do Cntrl + x, etc., for doing cut, paste, formatting, etc. If there are Android drivers out there to accomplish this, that would help a LOT.
In sum - if you mainly want to do a lot of text writing on your phone or tablet - and want to do it with a great keyboard that folds up small - this is the one to get. I just wish they'd re-make the original Targus Stowaway. That was the best portable keyboard ever made.
But you'll be very happy with this one.
Powered by AAA batteries makes it easy to operate. There's no proprietary power source or charging system required. It sips power, too; I find it lasts and lasts on a pair of NiMH rechargeable batteries.
Pairing with a phone or other device is very simple. However, my Symbian phones do not handle this as they should any authorized peripheral. I have to manually connect; I cannot just turn the keyboard on and start to type, in order to get the keyboard and phone to connect. I suspect this a deficiency with the Symbian OS and not with the keyboard.
The folding stand is very useful and fits a variety of devices of roughly phone-size, in either a portrait or landscape configuration.
Even without its zippered case, this keyboard travels very nicely and has a durable aluminum shell.
Why didn't I give this a perfect 5-star rating? The keypad is available, I think, only with the functions of the old Palm OS mapped on to the keys. It doesn't undermine the use of the keyboard with other operating systems, but can sometimes be distracting that the keys are printed with functions either not available on your phone's operating system or the keys cannot actually perform that function.
I find it very unfortunate that most so-called "smart phones" do not support mapping special functions on to Bluetooth keyboards. Admittedly, this is not a shortcoming of the keyboard itself. Phone manufacturers are simply more interested in equipping their systems with eye-candy and games, rather than the kinds of productivity enhancements which might make their devices more useful to those of us who try to rely upon them to aid is in our work and home lives.
It is astonishing to me that this keyboard isn't more popular and being emulated by other manufacturers. It would be terrific if it were to ship with software that could enable iOS, Android, and Symbian devices to map functions to its keys.
I highly recommend this keyboard, if you are looking for a durable, reliable, and comfortable folding Bluetooth keyboard for your handheld device.