Recently, I joined the modern world and purchased and iPhone. Over time, I have manged to get the device to do most of the things I want, including synch up with my Outlook files on my computer. However, one deficiency I could not overcome was the ridiculous touch-screen keyboard. Now, I have used Blackberry phones for years, so I am no stranger to small keyboards on mobile devices. However, the keyboard on the iPhone is just too small, has unusual keystrokes, and provides no tactile feedback. I am a touch typist, thanks to Catholic schools, and do not look at the keyboard as I type. When using the iPhone, I was continuously making mistakes and fighting the “suggestions” provided by the phone. I know I am not the only person with this problem since I receive e-mails with a preamble begging forgiveness for mistakes since they were typed on the iPhone (or other smart phones).
To remedy this problem, I began a search for keyboards. I looked at small keyboards (some with integrated iPhone cases), folding keyboards, roll-up keyboards, and everything else I could find. In the end, I selected a Logitech Tablet Keyboard that is depicted in the photo. It is normally about $70, but Logitech sent me a 50% off coupon, which made it only $35 (currently available on Amazon for $54).
This keyboard is similar in size to the Apple bluetooth keyboard, but feels more solid and has a better feel to the keys. Features I like about the Logitech keyboard are:
- It has a standard QUERTY keyboard with all the numbers and punctuation in familiar locations.. Unlike the iPhone screen keyboard that requires you to press a key to enter numbers and punctuation.
- Standard keys for caps lock, CTRL, ALT, delete, and cursor movement facilitate the entry of text into e-mails, notes, and other items. I can even create and edit my posts from the iPhone – this one was drafted completely on the iPhone.
- Special keys allow navigation of the iPhone. They include home, search, display photos, display iPhone keyboard, and iPod controls
- Synchs instantly when turned on.
- Can be used even when other bluetooth devices, such as headsets and speakers, are in use.
Of course, like any other item, there are some features I do not like:
- The keyboard uses batteries and is not rechargeable. This can be overcome by using rechargeable batteries. So far, I am on my first set of batteries, so I don’t know how long the batteries will last.
- It is significantly larger than my iPhone, so I don’t always carry it with me. Of course, the Logitech keyboard was designed for the iPad, but it works great with the iPhone.
I constantly get teased by the size of my keyboard as compared to the phone, but it has made my iPhone into a truly useful tool for me. I hardly ever carry my laptop with me, since I can do most of my basic business functions from the iPhone. For this reason, I have named the Logitech Tablet Keyboard as my #2 Cool Gadget (#1 is the Livescribe Pulse Pen).
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or other smart phone or tablet, please let me know your experience with keyboards by leaving a comment below.