Comments on: More on the Belkin Folding Keyboard

Last week, Belkin Components announced that they would begin shipping the Belkin Universal Portable PDA Keyboard at the beginning of July. This is a folding keyboard clearly intended to compete with the Think Outside Stowaway. More information on this keyboard is now available. When closed, it is 5.375 by 3.875 by 1 inch. It opens to be 11.25 by 3.875 by less than .5 inches. It weighs less than half a pound.
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The handheld interface is too far over to the left side. nm

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 1:33:39 PM #

RE: The handheld interface is too far over to the left side. nm
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 1:55:15 PM #
Yes, the fatal flaw in this contraption is quite obvious, isn't it?

RE: The handheld interface is too far over to the left side.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 1:58:36 PM #
I wouldn't consider that a "fatal" flaw. I propped my n710c on my PC keyboard at the same spot and didn't have any trouble reading the screen. If it doesn't have the PPK's "fatal" flaw and can be used on a less than perfectly flat surface, I think this will do quite well. If it is tougher than the PPK, that would be good, too. It seems to only fold once so I think it will be.

And 20% cheaper doesn't suck.

RE: The handheld interface is too far over to the left side. nm
Raishe_werk @ 6/29/2001 4:49:50 PM #
just a thought, it would be slightly inconvinient, but i doubt fatal. i would consider the handheld facing away from the keyboard fatal. this is cheap and works with most palms. how nice is that.

"Monster Pig kills Jesus
More at 11"
RE: The handheld interface is too far over to the left side. nm
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 12:05:27 AM #
Actually, having the palm shifted to the left is an advantage to lefties. It makes it easier to type with my right hand, and use the stylus with my left.

RE: The handheld interface is too far over to the left side. nm
red_vette @ 6/30/2001 1:19:09 AM #
O.K., O.K., semantics, already. It may not be "fatal," but I would like to interview someone after prolonged use to see how that crick in their neck feels.

Hey, and I wonder if it will cause an imbalance in synaptic firings? Maybe we can get a government grant to research this. ;-)

RE: The handheld interface is too far over to the left side. nm
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2001 2:51:32 PM #
'crick in their neck'?!?!?! buddy, the keyboard is 11" wide when open, try turning your eyes 'slightly' to the left. No need to actually turn your head, unless you type with your face an inch from the keyboard, or your eyes are permenantly fixed forward.

sounds like you're just fishing for reasons to not like this thing, and it's not even out yet!! try it first.

Yay for design...not

Coyote67 @ 6/29/2001 2:01:32 PM #
Is it me, or is this thing horribly ugly? Looks like a cheap nock off to me. I do like the idea though. Many moons I wished that think outside would have made it possible to switch ports on the keyboard so I can freely switch between handhelds. But alas, its less profit for them. Maybe what someone needs to do is making adapters for the stowaway instead of a crappy product to compete with it.

OH my god...becky, look at her....Prism.
RE: Yay for design...not
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 2:24:08 PM #
I think the design for this keyboard is fine. All I want to have is a "cheap" keyboard for my 710. It is too expensive for stowaway keyboard($99). This one costs $80, and the price is too high. I wish there will be a keyboard for my 710 that under 50 bulks.

RE: Yay for design...not
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2001 11:27:40 AM #
Oh please. You blew $499 on the most expensive Palm device you can buy, and you won't spent $80 or $100 on an add-on that lets it replace many of the functions of a full-blown laptop?

Get a clue.

RE: Yay for design...not
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2001 12:24:28 AM #
Get this, some people need a keyboard less than others. Wow, that's such a difficult thing to imagine.

But will it work in your lap?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 3:44:31 PM #
One major drawback with the Think Outside design is that it just doesn't work in your lap without an aid. Does anyone know if this one will?

RE: But will it work in your lap?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 4:59:06 PM #
the new versions of the think outside work on your lap, without an aid. works just fine.

RE: But will it work in your lap?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 5:44:40 PM #
how does it differ than previous versions to allow it to work on your lap without folding up with uneven pressure???

RE: But will it work in your lap?
red_vette @ 6/30/2001 1:17:03 AM #
My Stowaway works just fine in a lap. With no aid.

RE: But will it work in your lap?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 9:43:42 AM #
Not me. Whenever I hit a key near the center the Stowaway bends in the middle, then pops back up again. As I type, the keyboard starts to do this all the time. This makes it hard to type and I'm afraid the center joint will break or something.

I wouldn't call this is a fatal flaw, either. I just put a book or magazine in my lap first and that works fine.

RE: But will it work in your lap?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 2:02:40 PM #
Okay, What new version of the Stowaway are we talking about here? That I'd like to see.

RE: But will it work in your lap?
Ed @ 6/30/2001 5:08:44 PM #
There's a new one out for the m500. It has been made slightly more rugged than previous models.

Read more about it:

News Editor
Palm Infocenter

RE: But will it work in your lap?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2001 10:47:46 PM #
Hmm ... and the review says, "One of the few drawbacks of the PPK is that it absolutely requires a flat surface to use. It simply isn't possible to use it in your lap."

Actually, this Belkin one looks like it might just work in your lap.

RE: But will it work in your lap?
Ed @ 7/2/2001 12:34:49 AM #
I may have exaggerated a bit. It is actually physically possible to use it in your lap. It just isn't easy and, as the person above pointed out, seems likely to break the keyboard.

I hope the keyboard from Belkin catches on. As good as the Stowaway is, a little competition never hurt anyone.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter

3.5", not 4.5"

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 6:32:41 PM #
There's a typo in the description of the Stowaway keyboard: you said that it's "5.1 by 4.5 by .80 inches when closed," but I just measured mine with a ruler, and the second dimension is 3.5 inches, not 4.5 inches. So the Stowaway is noticeably smaller in every dimension than the new Belkin.

RE: 3.5
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 10:54:25 PM #
Hey, Wal-mart is that way ----> Please, go get a life!

Let the price wars begin!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 3:53:41 AM #
Woo hoo. We will win !!! It wont be long before we could see a 8mg pda retail for $100. Maybe if belkin, stowaway keep battling away we would see a $50 full size keyboard for the palm.

RE: Let the price wars begin!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 1:41:34 PM #
I just keep hoping


I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2001 8:34:36 AM #
I am typing on a Belkin USB black keyboard right now. It is a piece of junk. The spacebar squeaks when I press it. And often times it misses keys that I type. I like Belking for Cat5 cabling and for their USB-bi-directional printer adapter, but this keyboard is an utter disaster. I hope their portable keyboard isn't like this.

RE: Belkin
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2001 7:13:55 PM #
I've had a Stowaway for about six months. It sometimes will not type a "u" and if I push the "u" again it will leave the program and try to Sync up.
This burns me up, and Oh yes this is on a flat hard surface.
So I want to see the reviews on the Belkin product. Yes I know the reviews are good on the stowaway or I would not have purchased the thing. But I never go back to the well again after paying $99 dollars the first time. So let the price war begin! At a lower price I may not get so angry if a key fades.
Note: I upgraded to the latest software from Palm "Version 1.5" and it did not help.

RE: Belkin
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2001 2:39:52 PM #
If your Stowaway keyboard isn't working properly and is still under warranty, I strongly recommend returning it and getting it replaced. The first one I got tended to stop responding to the Q, W, and E keys regularly; I returned it and got a replacement that works perfectly.

RE: Belkin
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2001 10:16:36 PM #
Definitely return your not-quite-functioning properly stowaway. Especially if it was one of the first ones, this problem is not uncommon---I'm sure you won't be asked any questions. They fixed this known problem some time ago, so a new one should be fine.

Get a Life

Soul Care @ 7/2/2001 12:46:43 PM #
Relax and use the one that lets you get the job done that you need to do. It is wonderful that we have choics and that there are fokes risking and thinking outside of the box. "Why cant You"?

O just stop

RE: Get a Life
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2001 5:11:17 PM #
That person will get a life, while you need to get a book on spelling and grammar. I don't think you need a portable keyboard just to make a whole lot of poorly written letters. Anyways, the Stowaway isn't perfect, but it still looks like the smallest and easiest to use. The Belkin sets the PDA off too far to the left, while the Stowaway sets it almost in the middle. Think Outside's Stowaway even has a place in an art museum. You don't win design awards for nothing you know.

go-type like small keys?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2001 10:18:41 PM #
It's a bit hard to tell from the photo, but it sure looks like the keys are not square---like the GoType, longer in width that in depth. I don't like that about the go-type....which makes it difficult to touch-type. The Stowaway is great because it is full size and has great feel for touch typing.

Let's see what kind of keys and feel the Belkin has...

Stowaway Adapter

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2001 10:17:18 AM #
Will there be an adapter that allows older Stowaway keyboards to be used on the Palm m505?
I have a keyboard for my Palm V, and don't want to buy a new one when I upgrade to m505.


tree @ 7/5/2001 12:42:18 PM #
i've used my stow for my visor since the wk it came out & it works great BUT it has no adaptor for a new pda
I wili try Belkin for economy to avoid a new stow for my edge-etc


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