Belkin SnapNType series of thumb keyboards is available for a variety of PDAs, including iPaq, Toshiba, Palm and Handspring Visors. In this review we check the model available for the iPaq H37xx, H38xx, H39xx and H54xx series.
The Belkin SnapNType PDA keyboard simply snaps into place on the bottom of your handheld. Its attractive design and colour are easy on the eyes. The keys are large with a semi-rubber feel and a nice tactil feedback while typing.
It's very well thought, including a power connection on the bottom. This way users can keep on typing long articles, while still being able to recharge the Pocket PC attached.
The user will have access to a standard QWERTY keyboard, with a SYMB key. When pressed this key will give access to characters printed in orange on top of the usual characters. These include navigational keys (up, down, left, right arrows) and special symbols. The SYMB can be used for a single character entry, or if pressed twice it'll lock into the symbol mode. A little icone will show up indicating this.
As part of functionality there are the standard keys to access the Pocket PC applications like Pocket Oulook Calendar, Contacts, e-mail and the Task Manager. The central key is the same as the Windows key in normal keyboards, giving the user access to the Start Menu. From there just scroll up and down with the arrows and select items with the return key.
There's Page Up and Page Down keys, and a special :-) key, which brings a template to the screen. This is called FaceBoard (as seen on the image below on the left). The user can enter the characters on this template by tapping the screen, or pressing the key code (in this example pressing G will enter }). The fun thing is that emoticons are included: very handy for e-mail and SMS users .
This keyboard comes with a driver, and a Control Panel style configuration program. Users can select repeat rate, start, audible feedback, and the option to hide the on-screen SIP when start using the keyboard.
After using this keyboard I'd recommend it for users who need a portable solution for writing. Its convenience, size and weight, with the affordable price (around US$ 25 or NZ$55) make this a nice addition to any handheld .