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  1. nerdydaddyo's Avatar
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    Default BlackBerry PlayBook Bluetooth Mini Keyboard

    Basically, as someone who was already in love with this device right out of the box for quite some time, I cannot emphasize strongly enough that you NEED to get your hands on a BlackBerry PlayBook Bluetooth Mini Keyboard (the official one). Without sounding too corny, it was a spiritual experience; the best way I can explain this is that once you turn it on and VERY EASILY pair it to the PlayBook, and you see that white cursor pop up, then you touch your finger to the touch pad to maneuver it, and when you type your very first letter and notice that the virtual keyboard does NOT cover nearly half the screen...well...it will make you fall in love with your PlayBook harder than before. Whoever designed this setup is an absolute genius. THAT would kill an iPad AND an Android any day of the week. If you get the combo with the portfolio case, chuck that case in the garbage, and get yourself a Ballistic Tough Jacket case. My girlfriend and I both have one on our PlayBooks, and that combination is all you will ever need to truly enjoy your PlayBook. That, and if you have the Rapid Travel Charger like we each have as well, with the kickstand open, the Ballistic Tough Jacket case can accommodate the Rapid Travel Charger magnetic plug and still have a 1/4 inch clearance on a flat surface. I'm telling you, RIM was on to something here; they just didn't know what exactly, but I'm more than glad to bring it all together for them.
  2. Techno-Emigre's Avatar
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    You are making it awfully hard for me to leave my mini keyboard under the Christmas tree! And I appreciate the advise about the case. Hadn't considered it.
    So do you alright typing on on a small keyboard? Can you get up some decent speed?
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    Nicely written but if you mean the case the keyboard comes with, then I have to disagree. It is both nice to the eyes and very practical. My only concern is the strap that connects the stand with the case which seems very cheap.

    I often find myself detaching the keyboard and using only the case. This however caused the problem of having to carry the keyboard around unprotected. And then it struck me....I started using the sleeve that my PB came with to put my keyboard in. What a lovely combo.
  4. kill_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techno-Emigre View Post
    You are making it awfully hard for me to leave my mini keyboard under the Christmas tree! And I appreciate the advise about the case. Hadn't considered it.
    So do you alright typing on on a small keyboard? Can you get up some decent speed?
    While not a touch typist in general, I have been able to achieve roughly 75% of my typing speed using the BlackBerry Bluetooth Mini-Keyboard compared to the full-size Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard that I have for my notebook computer. Since I frequently use my BlackBerry PlayBook for research and writing the BlackBerry Convertible Case and Bluetooth Mini-Keyboard along with my BlackBerry Bold makes for a viable alternative to carrying my notebook computer. I have the Hip Street Leather Case and Bluetooth Keyboard combination which works quite well as an alternative to the BlackBerry Convertible Case and Bluetooth Mini-Keyboard; the key shape and key size is very different between the these keyboards (BlackBerry - square keys, 75% size of standard key; Hip Street - rectangular keys, 45% size of standard key). The BlackBerry Convertible Case and Bluetooth Mini-Keyboard has a bookish appearance while the Hip Street Leather Case and Bluetooth Keyboard is thicker and perhaps for some people not as visually appealing.
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  5. Robinprop's Avatar
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    No, that's not the BlackBerry version, although looks pretty close. I spent ages trying to find one and finally got a lead to Micom Intyrnational through this forum & bought mine in October for £72.55 including P&P & VAT - but they don't seem to be selling any at the moment. Arrived 2 days later. Expensive, but great bit of kit and the case is good quality. I agree that the elastic strap is a bit flimsy, but seems up to the job..for now! Using the keyboard has given me back the whole screen, which was an irritation when using the screen keyboard, which halves the screen if you use it landscape. Would definitely recommend getting the BlackBerry version of this.
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    David in Durham (12-17-2012) 
  6. zorecati's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in Durham View Post
    Looking at this one, the keyboard looks just a touch larger which has been my gripe with the bb unit. The keyboard is just too small for me to use properly.
    Bold 9900 PB 16/32/64
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorecati View Post
    Looking at this one, the keyboard looks just a touch larger which has been my gripe with the bb unit. The keyboard is just too small for me to use properly.
    It's not the official case, and may not provide as much swipe space from the bezel as the official case - and I don't think these after-market keyboard cases seem to have any touch panels.

    That said, I have wondered how well they perform as keyboards and stands compared with the official one.
  8. Motoberg's Avatar
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    The firm rubber surround to hold the PB is superb, the 4 black elastic bands over each corner of the keyboard is cheap and tacky, plus the one near the on/off switch obscures it.
    Why oh why didn't they repeat the PB holder style for the keyboard itself ?
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    I bought my off amazon.com for $75 I believe, and I love it, I am constantly trying to find things to type on it haha There is a little learning curve to it, like what keys are hard to hit and to make sure not to touch the keypad, but you get the hang of it. You can type quite fast, it's great!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motoberg View Post
    The firm rubber surround to hold the PB is superb, the 4 black elastic bands over each corner of the keyboard is cheap and tacky, plus the one near the on/off switch obscures it.
    Why oh why didn't they repeat the PB holder style for the keyboard itself ?
    That's what I've never understood. They had the perfect attachment method for the pb and could have easily (well, as an outsider's view) used it again for the keyboard portion of the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by F2 View Post
    That's what I've never understood. They had the perfect attachment method for the pb and could have easily (well, as an outsider's view) used it again for the keyboard portion of the case.
    For me, the PB is held in TOO well. It makes it quite difficult to get out. And in order to use my quick charge stand, it needs to come out. I can charge with the original wall charger, but to do that the case has to be laid down flat so the micro plug can be inserted. Even with a 90deg adapter, that is not a good solution.

    I tried reversing the keyboard & PB, but that doesn't work either. The elastic straps for KB are not too good. They partly cover the ESC & backarrow keys and are kind of weak.Thinking that some two sided tape on back might be a better bet.

    These devices (PB,charger,KB,stand) are individually well made, but someone didn't think the whole thing out.
  12. kill_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robinprop View Post
    No, that's not the BlackBerry version, although looks pretty close. I spent ages trying to find one and finally got a lead to Micom Intyrnational through this forum & bought mine in October for £72.55 including P&P & VAT - but they don't seem to be selling any at the moment. Arrived 2 days later. Expensive, but great bit of kit and the case is good quality. I agree that the elastic strap is a bit flimsy, but seems up to the job..for now! Using the keyboard has given me back the whole screen, which was an irritation when using the screen keyboard, which halves the screen if you use it landscape. Would definitely recommend getting the BlackBerry version of this.
    The elastic strap of the BlackBerry Convertible Case and Bluetooth Mini-Keyboard is definitely not up to years of use. Thus far I have not needed to use the strap and to be honest if I need to keep the case closed, which it seems to do without the strap in terms of the same way a book remains closed, I would likely buy a wide elastic band anyway.
  13. svelt's Avatar
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    I've owned it since launch day. It's quite useful, but there are a lot of glaring problems with it:

    -The case that holds the PB as mentioned above. You need to PRY it open forcefully. It's embarrassing when I try to take it out to show someone by how much force I need to use. Right now I pry it out from the top right corner.

    -Touchpad sensitivity. Two finger scrolling is WAY to sensitive; moving the cursor is way too slow. Would it have killed RIM to have thought out that consumers might want to adjust these speeds? Nope, they just stated in one of their FAQs that research deemed that it was the "best speeds for the average user". Well, when I can move my two fingers a millimetre and have the forum scroll down 5 posts, or if I want to move the mouse cursor across the whole screen I need to lift my finger three times on the trackpad, that isn't exactly an optimal setting. It became so useless and frustrating to use that I just bought a Logitech BT mouse to pair with it and disregard the touchpad.

    -Flimsy, non-adjustable kick-stand. I often need a book or something underneath it for it to be at the angle I am happy with. Another oversight.

    -Occasionally dropping Bluetooth connection. My Logitech mouse almost NEVER drops while I've had the keyboard die on me a few times.

    Otherwise, the keyboard is very good. I can achieve good typing speeds on it and have written up several full documents on airplane rides with it, and the case is quite stylish and looks like a journal/mini portfolio with the elastic to hold it closed. I'm happy with my purchase still and use it quite frequently, but really wish they had the foresight to think about the touchpad sensitivity in particular...
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  14. kill_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwelamnp View Post
    For me, the PB is held in TOO well. It makes it quite difficult to get out.
    This is one aspect of the Hip Street Leather Case and Bluetooth Keyboard where it wins over the BlackBerry Convertible Case and Bluetooth Mini-Keyboard. Convenient tab on the bottom of the holder for the tablet which securely keeps the tablet in-place yet easy enough to untuck the tab and remove the tablet when necessary. I tend not to remove the tablet from the BlackBerry case and use the magnetic rapid charger. On my desk the rapid charger dock is used for my personal-use BlackBerry PlayBook and my other professional-use BlackBerry PlayBook since it is otherwise kept in a BlackBerry Leather Executive Case, day-planner style, with four elastic corner holders.
  15. kill_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motoberg View Post
    The firm rubber surround to hold the PB is superb, the 4 black elastic bands over each corner of the keyboard is cheap and tacky, plus the one near the on/off switch obscures it.
    Why oh why didn't they repeat the PB holder style for the keyboard itself ?
    Agreed. Research In Motion should have used a moulded plastic holder for the keyboard like that used to hold the tablet. The overall thickness would not have changed more than 1-2mm.
  16. Techno-Emigre's Avatar
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    I sure appreciate all the feedback here. You have to wonder if RIM is already working on the next gen keyboard. As they move around the RIM campus holding meetings and travel, you can bet RIM employees are using it. So suggestions would be part of the discussion.
    I am still excited to get mine. Has anyone used the keyboard out of the case from a podium or table plus bridge with phone while their PB is tethered HDMI to a screen? Does the track pad eliminate the need for bridge?

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