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Verdict: Pros: Cons: URL: Stowaway Shasta Bluetooth Keyboard to review. Price: $99 Overall Rating: The ... Smartphone Reviews forum

  1. #1
    eli's Avatar
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    Post Review: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

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    Verdict:
    Pros:
    Cons:
    URL: Stowaway Shasta Bluetooth Keyboard to review.
    Price: $99
    Overall Rating:

    The nice people at Think Outside just sent me a Stowaway Shasta Bluetooth Keyboard to review.

    First impressions: It took a couple of tries to figure out how to set it up (the 6 page manual is a bit terse), but it seems to be working fine now.

    When folded up the keyboard feels pretty solid, but some pieces (like the switch that locks the thing open and the fold-out BB holder) seem very flimsy. I'm not sure how long this thing would survive being tossed around and banged on.

    Speaking of the BlackBerry holder, it doesn't really fit my 7100. It was clearly designed for wider models. Also, I'm not sure

    There's only a slight lag between when I push a button and when it appears on screen--maybe half a second.

    MSRP: $99 - yikes, a bit pricey, but I guess it is Bluetooth. I think the company also makes a cheaper USB version of the keyboard. Really, I'm not sure why this thing is Bluetooth, since you going to have to put your BlackBerry in front of you when using it anyway.

    I'm withholding judgment until I have more of a chance to play with it.

    I'll update this post with a full review later. Feel free to ask any questions (or make an offer to buy mine )




    eli
    Last edited by EricaJ1073; 06-06-2006 at 08:36 PM.

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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    Great review! Now that I'm using IM+ and Idokorro Mobile SSH daily for the last few days. I can see how this would increase productivity without having to take a laptop everywhere.

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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    I still think it's a bit over kill. A QWERTY keyboard built in and a fold out keyboard to lug around?

    Even with the idea of using your BB for IM and SSH apps, I still like holding the device ad letting my thumbs do the walking.

    How does the keyboard handle navigation, trackwheel functions and the like?


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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by twheeler
    I still think it's a bit over kill. A QWERTY keyboard built in and a fold out keyboard to lug around?

    Even with the idea of using your BB for IM and SSH apps, I still like holding the device ad letting my thumbs do the walking.

    How does the keyboard handle navigation, trackwheel functions and the like?
    Agreed. It makes more sense for the 7100s and other non-QWERTY blackberries.

    It's got buttons for Escape and Menu, and arrow buttons like on a PC keyboard. The arrow keys work, but they really should have found a way to incorporate some kind of scroll wheel.

    Really though, they keyboard works just fine and I can type very quickly on it. My only real complaint is that this thing feels cheap. I'm pretty sure I would snap it in half after a few weeks of serious use. If it were $30 or even $50 that might be OK, but for $100? I would feel ripped off if I paid for this. FWIW, the official Palm fold-out keyboard is much nicer and I think about the same price.

    According to the press materials, the company is the biggest PDA keyboard maker with 60% of all third-party keyboards. *shrug*

    Eli

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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    I would also like to add that the period and comma keys are in the wrong place.

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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    I agree with Twheeler. It seems redundant, a qwerty on top of a qwerty. However, it's a neat idea to put a keyboard in place...I guess for people with big fingers?

    On the other hand, great review Eli. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest.
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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    How does one carry the keyboard? On a belt clip? I once had a portable keyboard for my Palm iiie I hated it. It seemd to go against what I got the device for in the first place.
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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by tweber78
    How does one carry the keyboard? On a belt clip?
    Far too large for a belt clip--or a pocket for that matter. It's about the size of a small paperback novel. Point taken

    Quote Originally Posted by tweber78
    I once had a portable keyboard for my Palm iiie I hated it. It seemd to go against what I got the device for in the first place.
    good point.

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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    I was gonna write a whole long review of this thing, but here's the bottom line: It's a cool idea, and the keyboard works fine, but the hardware feels waaaay to cheap and fragile for my liking.

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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    I saw that exact same keyboard at eaccess.com paired with a 7100g. Here's the link: http://www.eaccess-estore.com/store/...g.asp?item=199 I once had a BT keyboard with a Pocket PC and it worked great until it got crushed (don't ask how cause I don't remember) and the metal was bent back far enough that I couldn't open it fully anymore.
    Last edited by EricaJ1073; 03-30-2006 at 08:48 PM.

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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    External keyboards are very cool for certain things. I've used a few of them with the variety of devices I've owned, including Palms and PPC's. While I just bought my BB, I really like the QWERTY keyboard, even if it's small (and I have Nintendo thumbs now! ). But if I were going to write something a bit longer, like for my weblog or for working on some text for a report, I'd like to have the option of an external keyboard.

    Wireless is not necessary and I'm thinking about finding a converter to try a USB keyboard with my BB. I might not have to take a notebook with me for a lot of trips and that could be very cool.

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    Re: REVIEW: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    I would love to be able to find something like this for school once I go back. I have seen a few I like but they are pricey.

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    Re: Review: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    Anyone know if Stowaway's non-BT product, or other vendor's non-BT keyboards, work without having to edit the application permissions to allow 'Keystroke Injection'? The BT version of the keyboard requires this set to Allow, but this must be done using a policy derived at the BES level, and our BES provider refuses to support anything other than email. I've been on the horn with them, T-Mobile and RIM, in circles, and it seems like the path of least resistance is a keyboard that doesn't require this setting override. As was said above, what's the point of BT keyboard from a proximity standpoint? It's basically just BT because it's a popular interface protocol of the day.

    Anyone have experience with non-BT keyboards?
    Cheers
    thom

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    Re: Review: Stowaway BB BlueTooth Keyboard

    I'll admit I have a portable keyboard for my Palm T|X (which I never use anymore ) but I don't think it's neccessary for a BB. It seems kinda useless if you know how to type anyway.

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