Friday, January 30, 2015

Novel portable keyboard

One of the advantages of the old Blackberries was that they had a physical keyboard – while I find “swyping” to be more effective than those tiny keys, I still prefer touch typing and often use a Bluetooth wireless keyboard with my iPad. But the keyboard is big and a hassle to carry around.

Here’s an option from that they call TextBlade. It’s portable – it folds up into a rectangular carrying configuration about 4” x 1” x ½”. It has full sized keys (see below) and uses the same QWERTY keyboard layout as most (American) keyboards but, when deployed, it's thinner than an iPhone 6.

The keys have multi-touch capabilities, so that the designers could get multiple characters on each key to keep it small. I think this might take some getting used to, but the fact that it’s spaced like a traditional keyboard might mitigate this issue.

The battery is contained in the spacebar module everything snaps together magnetically. The charge lasts about a month on a one hour charge and the it works with any smartphone or tablet that supports Bluetooth 4 (BLE - most newer phones have this.)

Looks like they’ll be available in February and the company is now taking preorders for $99 – a bit pricey, but it looks really effective.

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