In the early years all PDA users felt the need for a full fledged QWERTY keyboard. They were not satisfied with the stylus or the unreliable handwriting recognition software. So the two big players in the market came up with their own keyboards as additional accessories. Palm introduced its Palm Universal Keyboard while HP launched its Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard. Both these keyboards are “wireless” and the user does not have to struggle with wires.
The HP Foldable Bluetooth keyboard sports a silver-black look. The keyboard which measures 5.7 x 3.9 x 0.8 inches and weighs 6.5 ounces is easy to carry. It is compatible with all the Bluetooth-enabled iPaqs, ranging from the H1900 series to the hx2000 series, and can be bought for $129.99.
As the name implies, Bluetooth is used to connect the keyboard to the PDA. This gives the user a clear line-of-sight. The keyboard is designed like a book, and can be opened at the fold. A PDA stand is provided to hold the PDA in place. The PDA can be placed in either portrait or landscape form. Further, to prevent the keyboard from sliding a rubber-based bottom is fixed at the base.
The user needs to download the drives from the website to install the keyboard. The installation process is pretty quick and once installed the keyboard becomes very responsive. It has 10 hot keys, which are sufficient to meet the needs of all users. A short cut key is assigned for checking the battery strength. Dedicated numeral keys make most data entry a breeze. The keyboard is powered by two AAA batteries which are generally included in the pack.
This is not the only keyboard that iPAQ has introduced. For its iPAQ H5400 series, HP has introduced a thumb keyboard which also works with H3800 and H3900 series devices. Most users find this keyboard easy to use. They are especially happy with the pressure points that allow a character to be keyed in easily. An important characteristic of this keyboard is that it is based on the Compaq jacket concept. This means that this can work as part of the whole iPAQ and not as a clip-on only.
Besides HP keyboards, iPAQ users can also use non-iPAQ keyboards. Two models that have found favor with iPAQ users are Targus iPAQ Portable Stowaway Keyboard and GoType! Pro Keyboard.