Every few weeks we seem to get a flurry of blogs about keyboards. Despite UMPCs being touch-capable devices with handwriting recognition, dialkeys, on screen keyboard and speech input, you still need a keyboard. We all need a keyboard.
Ideally you’ll get a ultra mobile PC which has a packaged keyboard (ASUS R2H for example) but if not (and if you haven’t fallen for the very practical convertible notebook design) you need to decide on a solution. Here’s some info from previous posts and a few new ones that have been floating about over the last week.
Brando workshop make a small keyboard and Thoughtfix went out and bought one…for $25! A bargain.
It’s the perfect size to fit in a ultra mobile PC gadget bag.
If you’re in Europe, its sold under the Keysonic brand as the ACK-3400U for 20,- Euro.
Jezlyn at “Late to the Party” found another option.
jkOnTheRun found another! Info here.
Here’s a couple of folding Bluetooth solutions that look like great partners for a UMPC. Firstly, here’s the Level One BLK-2000 folding Bluetooth keyboard. I ordered one of these.
You might note that the English web page for the device shows compatibility for Palm/ WinCE/ Symbian. Under the compatibility list though, it shows that its also compatible with XP. Its perfect for the Raon Digital Vega that I have. The German web page gives more stats (they love those stats!) which include 90 hour operating time, 160hr standby, uses 2x AAA batteries and has an on/off button. I did an unboxing and first-impressions post but since then I’ve been talking to Level One about the problems I’m having with it. It has a high failure rate (keypresses not registering.) Level One think its a hardware fault so I’ll send it back soon for a replacement.
The other option was the new Bluetooth version of the iGo Stowaway keyboard. I read about it on jkOnTheRun
Its a smaller design when folded and it only uses one AAA battery for the same claimed usage life but at something like Euro100 I think I’d rather spend the extra 40 on something else.
There’s another review if it at ExperienceMobility.
There’s the Brando mini mini ultra mini folding keyboard that was shown on Gizmodo last week.
$56 is a good price but it looks like its got silicon keys. I don’t fancy that myself.
Finally on the wireless keyboard front, there’s a Nokia BT Keyboard.Its the SU-8W and it looks like its $149 in the U.S.
Girlsgonemad have reviewed the G-Tech fabric keyboard which uses the Eleksen technology that I posted about yesterday. They seemed to get on ok with it.
Here’s the Eleksen pouch/keyboard solution this is not in production yet.
Anyone got any more to add to the list?
Steve / Chippy.