Review: Think Outside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard

The Think Outside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth keyboard is a very cool addition to any Windows Mobile PDA or Symbian smart phone with Bluetooth capabilities. Using this the last couple of days has spoiled me, I doubt I could go back to tapping a long message out on the PDA screen again. The keys feel solid, better than most laptops I have used, they are firm yet easy to press. The space bar can take a bit of getting used to, its split up into two parts, having the tendency to tap in between them can be easily overcome with practice.

Installing the device is fairly straight forward. After running the installer on your PC, it copies the software over to ActiveSync for your next connection. When you flip out the keyboard, you press Left + CTRL, Left + FN and Right +FN at the same time to power it up (It feels the same as pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL), the software will scan for your Bluetooth keyboard. Closing it may take a bit of practice for some users, a small switch is located above the plus and minus keys that will allow you to collapse it, once you close it up it will automatically turn off.

The unit runs on 2 AAA batteries and has a full QWERTY 4 row layout, the numbers can be accessed from the top row by combining with a function button. There’s several shortcuts built on to the keypad, to access them you hit the function key and then Calendar, Contacts, inbox, Tasks, Settings or Programs, you can also assign your own custom shortcuts in the software settings.

The hinges and brackets make it collapse smoothly so it can be stowed away in a case not much larger than your PDA. It weighs 6 ounces and will measure 5.5 x 3.9 x 0.5 inches when closed, short and slim! I only wish they had made the case slightly larger so you could put both your PDA and keyboard in one, instead of having two cases. Being connected to the net with your PDA using both Wi-Fi and the Bluetooth keyboard is an awesome experience, you are truly mobile.

The Stowaway Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard will run you about $150 USD, it is available now from most retailers online.

Good: Stylish and compact silver/grey design, comfortable size keys for fast typing.

Bad:
A little pricey for some, no Palm support until December 2004, bigger case.

Main Purpose:
An easier way to enter data on any Bluetooth-enabled Pocket PC, Windows Mobile or Symbian Series 60 device.

Target Market: The road warrier, mobile professionals and anyone else that would like to increase their typing speed on their Bluetooth-enabled PDA or Smartphone.

Verdict:
This is the perfect portable keyboard for mobile professionals, it’s small and light enough to bring with you anywhere.


Compatibility

Works with most Bluetooth PDAs and smart phones

Pocket PC Devices with integrated Bluetooth:
iPAQ 1940, 1945, 2210, 2215, 4150, 4155, 4350 and 4355 series models, Series 3900 & 5000 are being tested;

Dell Axim X series models;

ASUS MyPal A620;

Any Pocket PC 2002 or Windows Mobile 2003 device with a Socket Bluetooth SDIO or CF card;

Smart Phones:
Pocket PC 2003 or Symbian devices such as Orange, T-Mobile or O2, XDA II;

Nokia Series 60 Devices 3650, 3660, 6600 and N-Gage; 3600, 3620 & 6620 are being tested;

Siemens SX1;

Sony Ericsson P800 and P900;

Qtek 2020

(Note that Smart Phones may require a software download and/or a Socket Bluetooth SDIO card.)
Computers:

Most tablet, notebook or desktop computers running XP SP1 or Mac OS X with Bluetooth communications.

Works with Microsoft and Logitech Bluetooth keyboard systems.

Also compatible with Bluetooth software stacks from Widcomm for Windows version 1.4 or greater and Drakar (Socket) Bluetooth Stack version 1.4.3 or greater and Microsoft Bluetooth Stack.

Specifications

18mm key spacing (horizontally and vertically)
3mm key travel – same as the best notebook computers
English QWERTY layout (4 rows of keys)
Powered by 2 AA batteries

Dimensions

Closed: 5.5”H x 3.9”W x .5”D (139 mm x 99 mm x 13 mm)
Open: 9.9” x 5.8” x 0.5” (251 mm x 148 mm x 13 mm)
Weight: 5.6 oz. (160 grams)


Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment