Wednesday, December 1, 2004
Freedom Bluetooth Keyboard: Extra Row, Less Money
Posted by Pat Logsdon in "HARDWARE" @ 10:30 AM
Product Category: Bluetooth Accessories - Keyboard
Manufacturer: Freedom Input, Inc.
Where to Buy: Digital Dream
System Requirements: The freedom keyboard is certified for the iPAQ 194x, 221x, 415x, 435x, 55xx, 50xx, 39xx, Axim “X” series, ASUS A620 and P505 and O2 XDA II (it should work with any Pocket PC with Bluetooth and the Widcomm stack). The keyboard also works with most Palm devices, including most of the recent Sony Clie line, most recent Symbian phones and Microsoft Smartphone 2003 devices including the O2 X phone, iMate Smartphone 2 and Orange SPV e200. The driver uses 72k of memory, and should be installed in main memory.
Specifications: Closed dimensions: 140mm x 94mm x 22mm. Open dimensions: 279mm x 94mm x 12mm. Weight: 202g (7.1 oz).
- Bluetooth! Can be used with almost anything that has a Bluetooth radio;
- Includes all five rows, including numbers;
- Small “folded” size;
- Decent key size and travel;
- Good build quality.
- Keys may be slightly too small for some;
- Sliders and switches can be difficult to use at first.
I’ve been using folding keyboards for my PDAs for years now. I was one of the very few people to have a Cassiopeia-compatible Original Stowaway keyboard, and I’ve had a keyboard for every Pocket PC I’ve purchased since then. Of course, commerce being what it is, this has meant that I need to purchase a new keyboard for every Pocket PC, as the connectors are all different. Fortunately, the rise of Bluetooth keyboards may put this practice to an end, as owners of these devices can use them with any device that has a Bluetooth radio.
But how does the keyboard stack up against the serial and IR competitors? Are the ergonomics acceptable? Read on and find out!<!>