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Comments on: Palm Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard Review

Palm Wireless Keyboard AccessoryA few days prior to the big announcement of the Foleo, Palm trotted out brief a press release announcing the availability of the latest in a long line of Palm-branded accessory keyboards. Despite bearing a generic mouthful of a title: the Palm Wireless Keyboard with Bluetooth Wireless Technology, this new keyboard is a surprisingly strong entry into a field thatís far less crowded than it was a few years ago.
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That keyboard is simply PALM-branded

SeldomVisitor @ 6/5/2007 4:11:45 PM # Q
Someone somewhere already posted a link to the third-party manufactured keyboard - unfortunately, I forget where (TreoCentral?)...one moment while I google everywhere...found it!

-- http://www.darfon.com.tw/2005_HTM/HID/Portable_G950.htm

That is to say, PALM didn't a home run, they didn't even hit the ball; they used a pinch-hitter.


RE: That keyboard is simply PALM-branded
Ryan @ 6/5/2007 4:30:45 PM # Q
Seldy, a very large majority of Palm's accessories are rebranded devices or special palm exclusive packages.
RE: That keyboard is simply PALM-branded
SeldomVisitor @ 6/5/2007 6:33:02 PM # Q
Oh, of course..

But saying =PALM= hit a home run and "the Zen of PALM is still alive and kicking with this simple yet elegantly designed accessory. " is a little too much credit in the wrong place, no?

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Standard on the Foleo

LiveFaith @ 6/5/2007 4:34:39 PM # Q
Hey this comes standard on the Foleo. Just wait till "summer" and all the hype, camping, and standing in line will pay off. :-D

Pat Horne
RE: Standard on the Foleo
analogue wings @ 6/5/2007 10:32:35 PM # Q
You know what would be really evil? If someone like Engadget did parallel compare/contrast coverage of iPhone launch day vs Foleo launch day with live in-store blogging, video etc...

IIIc -> M105 -> Zire 21 -> Tungsten T2 -> Treo 650
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power scissors

cervezas @ 6/5/2007 4:59:12 PM # Q
Thanks for the B&D Power Scissors tip, Kris. Those do sound like they could save on blister-package-induced emergency room trips!

I don't understand why the Shift and "?" keys have such odd placement on this keyboard.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: power scissors
hkklife @ 6/5/2007 5:26:07 PM # Q
David;

Yup, they are great little gadgets. I've used to slice through so many types of packaging (I used to use either a Swiss Army Knife or any number of deadly kitchen/steak knives) that this thing has become the handiest gadget in the house.

I also had trouble with the placement of those keys (plus a few others).

Depending on the lighting situation, the keyboard lettering can be really hard to see...sort of a light sky blue for some characters and a faint peachy-tan color for alternate symbols. But it's all (mostly) mitigated by the stable driver, versatile easel positioning and the small touches like the onscreen battery indicator and the ton of keyboard shortcuts & functions.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

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Useful?

Gekko @ 6/5/2007 5:32:53 PM # Q

does anyone really need this product? i have to bang out a lot of emails and i've always felt that these keyboard contraptions seem silly and cumbersome. maybe useful if you're a professional writer but then why not just carry a mini-latop?

where/why/in what do you guys carry all these junk accessories?


RE: Useful?
Gazpacho @ 6/5/2007 5:39:40 PM # Q
Only with the advent of new BT versions on Palm's new products, a BT keyboard is useful. It's not really smart to have the only BT channel on your Palm blocked by a keyboard, effectively locking out other BT accessoires.

RE: Useful?
LiveFaith @ 6/5/2007 5:45:25 PM # Q
Lizard Boy,

As always, I agree with you. The last Palm BT keyboard I had with my T3. After all the little settings and tinkering needed each time I set it up, I decided it was not worth it. Docs2Go was an absolute joke and the all the special shifts and functions to get that guy operating right was too much, especially with non-standard chars. Once I hacked through all the little cumbersome issues, I could type great. Eventually I realized that my G2 speed was much faster beginning to end.

It felt like spending $100 on 1 cheap screen printed shirt. $95 and an hour for setup of the screen, then and $5 and 17 seconds for the shirt. Didn't make sense for me. eBayed it and never looked back.

I could see it for long articles or authors with a lot of standard text. But as you say, laptop (or of course Foleo) is much much better.

JMHO

Pat Horne

RE: Useful?
LiveFaith @ 6/5/2007 5:46:51 PM # Q
A Palms use BT 2.0 for multi connex, now right? Afterall it is 2007.

Geeeeesh, how sad!

Pat Horne

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Just add a fold out screen...

analogue wings @ 6/5/2007 6:37:12 PM # Q
Presto! Generation 2 Foleo!

Now with 80% less laughable...

IIIc -> M105 -> Zire 21 -> Tungsten T2 -> Treo 650

RE: Just add a fold out screen...
joad @ 6/6/2007 12:55:49 AM # Q
Treo + Fooleo: $600 (-$100) = $500 for "larger screen" and "full sized keyboard"

Treo + BT "full sized keyboard" = $100 plus magnification glasses $15 = $115

Now if the drivers don't lock up the device like most of the previous ones.... (and WTF didn't they go BT 2.0 anyway?)


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A smart product.

VampireLestat @ 6/5/2007 8:22:37 PM # Q
I think this BT keyb is a smart product.
The general rule is you don't lug around a keyb unless you plan on going someplace and you want to get a lot of typing work done. This keyb folds and you can throw it anywhere.

It is specialized and useful for those times you need a full keyb. Much smarter and more flexible/compact/light than a dumb Foleo.

As for the screen, they simply need to make a new handheld that uses near 100% of the area for the screen, put the buttons on the side and throw in a cell chip for voice.

The first good news from the new PalmApple team about making a decent handheld and I plan to buy the above keyb. Right now, Im using my TX while I have Palm on probation.

RE: A smart product.
VampireLestat @ 6/5/2007 8:24:27 PM # Q
And put a 640x480 screen. Hires lessens eye strain and allows people to see very small letters and graphics. A smart way to improve the visual experience and promote mobile computing.

RE: A smart product.
VampireLestat @ 6/5/2007 8:25:54 PM # Q
hmm wait a sec... (480x320) times 2 = 960x640
Might required a dedicated video graphics chip. Which is way overdue by the way.

RE: A smart product.
VampireLestat @ 6/5/2007 8:28:07 PM # Q
By the way, I dont all keybs should be white/beige. Its boosts visibility and useability in dim light conditions.

Success is found in little details like that.

RE: A smart product.
VampireLestat @ 6/5/2007 8:35:03 PM # Q
and having a keyb seperate allows you to buy a new one if it breaks.

If you have a Foleo, you have to return it to Palm for repair and there is downtime and concerns about getting back a bad refurb.

A separate keyb empowers a consumer. It allows you to choose among different brands, colors, shapes, technologies and prices.

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Hawkins

VampireLestat @ 6/5/2007 9:19:08 PM # Q
On a sidenote,

Does anyone else feel sad/guilty for the things they said about Hawkins and his Foleo?

Hawkins brought us the pilot and he counted the taps in the Palm OS PIM, which I still depend on today. As useless as I feel the Foleo is, I really feel bad talking bad about Hawins :( he really seems to have his heart into it.

Anyways, I hope it succeeds and he proves many of us wrong, but I doubt it.

RE: Hawkins
Gekko @ 6/5/2007 9:30:49 PM # Q

Jeff Hawkins made $100+ Million - he don't care about you, why care about him?


RE: Hawkins
awawa212 @ 6/6/2007 12:33:30 AM # Q
Gekko,

Hawkins made $100 million because he cares enough to give enough people enough stuff they're willing to buy from him to the point that he earned $100 million. His stuff isn't the best (rueful chuckle), but it's good enough that I've found it worth buying and you probably have too since you're reading this.

Does this keyboard support useful keystrokes like Ctrl-left/right arrow (or whatever) to skip through text by words, instead of characters or to the end of lines? My ThinkOutside BT keyboard doesn't, now; I assume it's the driver's fault, but no version of their driver ever gave me such support in DTG8, although earlier versions worked in WordSmith (but not now).

My old direct connection Palm folding keyboard for my T2, however, always worked flawlessly: good keyboard, no need for batteries, functional keystroke combinations in most applications, no dropped BT connections. If only the T2 had had WiFi and a big memory slab.

RE: Hawkins
joad @ 6/6/2007 2:01:54 AM # Q
Maybe Palm should just change their name to "If Only."

RE: Hawkins
BaalthazaaR @ 6/6/2007 10:06:08 AM # Q
"Hawkins made $100 million because he cares enough to give enough people enough stuff they're willing to buy from him to the point that he earned $100 million."

Get it right, he used to care when they were starting out. If he did care, we wouldn't be losing features when upgrading to a newer model.

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Just a reminder about keybs

VampireLestat @ 6/6/2007 2:06:27 AM # Q
Everyone seems to forget about software keyboard solutions.

I personally feel that the keyb on a Treo is a waste of space. Its has some convenience but believe that a program like

WordLogic (www.wordlogic.com)

is by far the fastest and error free way to enter text on a PDA/Smartphone.

Unfortunately I have not yet been able to convince the makers of WordLogic to make a Palm OS version of the PPC version.

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Key placement a significant 'con'

twrock @ 6/6/2007 3:00:14 AM # Q
Kris, thanks for the write up.

David asked about key placement above, and I think you are being way to nice to Palm about this. Maybe you don't often type a question mark, but I guess I must do it too often. The placement of the up arrow and question mark keys is frustrating beyond acceptable to me. I've written about it elsewhere, and people should be warned about this before they buy this keyboard and the IR Universal Keyboard from Palm.

Here's the sequence that just drives me nuts:
I'm typing a question.
I get ready to hit the question mark key for punctuation and instead hold down the shift and hit the up arrow key.
Now I have marked all of the text from the end of my sentence up to the previous line of text.
I hit the space bar to begin typing my next sentence and all of that marked text gets deleted.
Because I don't necessarily look at my screen when I type (why should I, particularly when I am taking notes in a meeting), I don't even notice what has happened until much later.

Honestly I think it is just a dumb idea. There is much less standardization of the arrow key placement on keyboards than the question mark key. If I am going to hit an arrow key, I am much more likely to go looking for those keys before I hit them. I don't naturally go looking for a question mark key because its placement has been standard "forever".

Ok, I'm done ranting. But I do think people should be warned to look specifically at that issue before they plunk down $100 for a keyboard. Maybe they won't think it is a big deal, but maybe they will.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: Key placement a significant 'con'
hkklife @ 6/6/2007 10:36:23 AM # Q
Wow, PIC is a tough crowd to please.....a few days ago I was slagged by Dr. O for being overly harsh and a Palm-pessimist. Now I'm getting scolded by Ron for being TOO nice to Palm. I think my past posts will shows that I am anything BUT a Palm apologist/astroturfer. But I see your point and certainly realize that different people will have their own likes,dislikes and quirks when using certain products. Thanks for the comments and questions, everyone.

In all fairness, I've been impressed by three of Palm's rebranded/repackaged accessory offerings (the Pan Stylus, the GPS Navigator Smartphone kit, the BT keyboard) than any of their handhelds or smartphones of the past few years. That's just how I see it---more value and quality for the relative askng price for certain Palm accessories than the actual Palm devices themselves. This is probably due in no small part to Palm NOT having a large role in the design or construction of these "dumb" devices.

Also, I guess I should preface everything with a statement that I applaud the new Palm keyboard based on its performance relative to other portable, "almost full sized" travel keyboards. If I were to compare it to the Microsoft Natural 4000 Ergo keyboard (2nd best keyboard I've ever used behind the original beige MS Natural) I'm typing on right now the Palm BT 'board would get a 0/5. But as Einstein said, everything's relative and I feel the new Palm BT 'board has the best combination of driver/software support, size, build quality, features, and typing response. 'Nuff said.

Granted, I only had a week with it while conducting my review and did not take it on any extended trips or anything. And it's no great secret that I simply type slower and more carefully on portable keyboards than I do on my desktop's full-size keyboard or even my laptop. So I just slow things down and try to type more deliberately to avouid the sorts of mishaps Ron mentions. Since I'm such an opinionated sort, I guess I don't type question marks nearly as often as other punctuation marks, huh? ;-) And I still take notes during meetings with pen & pad (to minimize the distraction factor).



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Key placement a significant 'con'
twrock @ 6/6/2007 11:04:03 AM # Q
Now I'm getting scolded by Ron for being TOO nice to Palm.

Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh. But my "scolding" honestly was aimed at Palm, not you. You do a great job with all your contributions to this site.

So I just slow things down and try to type more deliberately to avouid the sorts of mishaps Ron mentions.

Now that is a priceless typo! Were you typing on that new Palm BT keyboard? :-)


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: Key placement a significant 'con'
hkklife @ 6/6/2007 11:15:15 AM # Q
;-)

No, on the Microsoft Ergo Keyboard 4000

I don't normaly wave the flag for M$ products, but this is simply the FINEST keyboard on the market at ANY price, regardless of manufacturer. The only thing that could make it truly perfect would be if it came in a cordless version.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

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755p

rockymtnpilot @ 6/12/2007 7:22:12 PM # Q
This keyboard does not work well with the 755p. Left and Right Arrows do not work for navigating at all. Depressing some keys individually or in combination e.g. DEL will cause a reboot causing you to have to reconnect Bluetooth. Barely works with Docs2Go. It needs its own driver - until then its a boat anchor.

Palm 755p User
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Constant Reboot Pain with Doc2Go Ver 8.003

ssouter @ 4/11/2008 1:38:51 PM # Q
Hi,

I really like to use a keyboard with my TX; I find it very helpful for meetings. I originally used the IR keyboard from Palm, but it didn't last much more than a year before I started losing keys. I like the look and feel for the Bluetooth version much better. However (a big however) I have lost a great deal of info because of a reboot problem that has been plaguing me when using this keyboard with Docs2Go. I always disable my WiFi radio first and that helps some, but can anyone else offer to more tips to overcome this issue? It only occurs with the keyboard connected.

Thx!
Scott


RE: Constant Reboot Pain with Doc2Go Ver 8.003
hkklife @ 4/11/2008 4:17:44 PM # Q
Sounds like you're using up all of your TX's heap/cache memory. Try either resetting the device (I know it's a pain, but...) every so often when it's convenient to see if this reduces the frequency of unwanted resets.
Here's another good app to try:
http://www.1src.com/freeware/fileinfo.php?id=1526

Also, are you using the TX in portrait or landscape mode when using the keyboard? I've generally experienced more wackiness with certain Palm devices (T3, TX, LifeDrive) when in landscape mode vs. the "native" portrait mode. Also, are all of your keyboard's driver settings at the defaults or have you altered anything drastically?

Finally, make sure you don't have any remnants of older BT keyboard drivers, such as the old ThinkOutside BT keyboard or an old Palm IR keyboard driver (which you indicated you previously used) or anything like that.

If all else fails, it might be helpful to just do a hard reset and restore all of your PIM data and then reload the newest versions of all of your apps one by one one to make sure there are no other apps guilty of causing the resets.



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

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Palm Bluetooth Keyboard - PS3 compatible?

Bagnall @ 12/16/2008 9:17:44 AM # Q
Hi,

Do you know if this keyboard would also work with the PS3?

Best Regards,

Richard

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