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View Full Version : Bluetooth Keyboards

07-24-2004, 12:42 AM
Well, now they have finally come out, what many have waited for--folding keyboards for PDAs that connect via Bluetooth, rather than IR or the docking connector. For those with a Bluetooth PDA (like my IPAQ 2210), seems like a good idea.

Has anyone reading used these? Any comparative reviews yet? I've read about the Stowaway. Doesn't seem like a good design to me, with no row for numbers, have to use Function key to get numbers. (That's fine for a thumb keyboard, but IMO not for what should be a full-sized keyboard, when unfolded.)

There was an article here that HP was coming out with a design. Has that come out yet?

I saw in the MobilePlanet catalog one by Belkin. Anyone tried that yet?

Should such a keyboard also work on any Bluetooth phones? (I don't have one now, but have decided that my next phone will have BT. It would be nice for the kb to work with the phone too.)

Sven Johannsen
07-24-2004, 01:39 AM
I don't think any of these are actually, really, have shipped retail...out. The reviews are all on pre-production it seems, and the sites all seem to have pre-orders. Folks with those orders seem to be saying ship dates are moving, and not closer.

Just because it's in MobilePlanet's catalog doesn't mean they have it. They had the Ibiz laser one four months ago ;) They don't have the Belkin BT on-line BTW.

I am most interested about the support each one provides. The ThinkOutside one seems to have a very impressive list of items it supports, including Phones and PCs. We don't know much about the Belkin, and little about the Dell and HP models. The Belkin says 'works with most Bluetooth PDAs'.The later two could very well be restricted to brand. HP did that in the past with their CF and SD cameras, making them almost impossible to use on other hardware. Even though Dell is reportedly reselling one of the others, with Dell stamped on it, it doesn't preclude them from messing with the driver software.

While BT should be BT, there is no PPC today with a HID profile. That means the keyboard maker must provide the ability for the PPC to use it. Is there incentive for HP and Dell to provide the option to use their keyboard on other models? Certainly it is in Belkin's and ThinkOutside's best interest to provide broad support. One of the holy grails of BT (and IR) is not having to get a new keyboard with every new PPC.

I am certainly waiting till the Belkin one is really out and the specs published. Dell and HP haven't got a shot at my money unless they support universal application.

07-24-2004, 08:33 PM
i've seen a BT keyboard for one hand only operation, but i cant seem to find anywhere now. does anybody remember this?