1. virtuouskate's Avatar
    I use my PB mainly for reading, games, and the occasional quick email or web search. It would be a lot more useful to me if it had a physical keyboard--I find the touchscreen awkward to type on and using my phone hurts my hand after awhile. (Plus, I text all day long, which not only wears my hand out but also runs my battery down. When I use my phone as a remote keyboard I have to charge it multiple times a day, which defeats the purpose of wireless-ness.)

    For those of you who use a physical keyboard, which one do you use? I like the design of the BlackBerry mini keyboard, especially the touchpad right on the keyboard, but I've seen reviews saying it's hard to type on. Ideally, I'd like one that was large enough to touch type but still small enough to be easily portable. Right now I keep my PB in the convertible case and toss it in my purse or overnight bag when I go out. None of the electronics stores in my area carry any keyboards for 7-inch tablets that I can try out, and the whole reason I got a PB in the first place was the size--I don't want to cart around a separate 10-inch keyboard in a protective case big enough for an iPad.

    Also, does using a bluetooth keyboard interfere with tethering? I work in direct care, in a private home, so my phone's data plan is my only source of Internet for up to 32 hours at a time, but sometimes I have to move away from windows (my laptop picks up several wireless networks in the neighborhood even though my phone and tablet don't) and other cell phones to get online on my PB. Of course, I live in a rural area and service isn't always reliable out here, but that's partly my point--I need a keyboard that won't keep me from using Bluetooth to tether my PB to my phone.

    Thanks for your help!
    06-23-12 05:50 PM
  2. Mr_Bunny's Avatar
    The BlackBerry mini keyboard is great, it didn't improve my typing I still use 2 fingers but I had my wife try it, she types all day, and she goes like h*ll on it, it's disgusting how fast she can type, from what I've heard on the forum here 2 bluetooth connections should not be a problem, but I'm not sure if it could handle more.
    The BB keyboard is well worth the little extra bulk, I'm still on my fist charge nearly a month.
    virtuouskate likes this.
    06-23-12 06:54 PM
  3. FF22's Avatar
    There are some older threads on the various keyboards folks have adopted before the official rim keyboard was available. I'm sorry I don't have any links. I have a feeling that most folks probably has a preference for the larger keyboards. The RECTILINEAR (just a grid) nature of the rim board is a bit awkward - you know, no slightly diagnonal offset between rows. I have not used it extensively so others might have a more studied opinion.
    virtuouskate likes this.
    06-23-12 08:08 PM
  4. taz68's Avatar
    I have the PlayBook mini keyboard and I love it. I am not a typist but I get by with it just fine. I can use it while also paired to BB with no problems. I have had mine since 1 1/2 months from launch even though I pre ordered it. Had to wait due to stock shortage. I did get it at a discount but would pay full price. It's great because it also serves as a case so it is easy to bring along. It adds a little weight but not too much to be an issue. You can still use all swipe functions and the touch pad is a nice feature.
    virtuouskate likes this.
    06-23-12 09:10 PM
  5. virtuouskate's Avatar
    There are some older threads on the various keyboards folks have adopted before the official rim keyboard was available. I'm sorry I don't have any links. I have a feeling that most folks probably has a preference for the larger keyboards. The RECTILINEAR (just a grid) nature of the rim board is a bit awkward - you know, no slightly diagnonal offset between rows. I have not used it extensively so others might have a more studied opinion.
    In most of the threads I've found the majority of the users say something to the effect that they just use their phones if they need a keyboard. I tried using a phone remote app back when I first got my PB but didn't find it any more comfortable than the touchscreen. I know a larger keyboard would probably be easier to type on, but it would also be harder to carry around. I tried touch-typing on the touchscreen, and it's a little cramped, but in the videos it looks like the mini keyboard is about an inch wider. I hadn't thought about the shape of the keys, but I can see where that would be awkward.

    Thanks to taz68 and Mr_bunny. That's exactly what I wanted to know. Two bluetooth connections should be plenty, one for the keyboard and one for the Internet. I never use it for anything else anyway. I'm not much of a typist, either. Mainly I want it for answering emails and posting on forums, that kind of thing. I don't think the PB is going to replace my computer any time soon, but as many hours as I spend away from home, I'd like it to be as functional and portable as possible.

    So what does everyone else think? Has anyone tried a keyboard other than the BB one? Anyone had any problems with the BB keyboard? Does anyone know where to find it at a discount or find a coupon code? I've searched repeatedly and haven't even seen it except here on Crackberry and on BlackBerry's own shopping website.
    06-23-12 10:22 PM
  6. FF22's Avatar
    I purchased it here on Crackberry when they had some sale so I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $94.00. It did take a while since it was backordered. I don't know if they are caught up with shipping now. I see it is still out-of-stock.

    Here's a link to it and others:

    http://shop.crackberry.com/blackberr...medium=content
    virtuouskate likes this.
    06-23-12 10:48 PM
  7. Shira3's Avatar
    I, too, am a 10-fingered touch typist, and I find the BB mini-keyboard/case too small to use (but my brother has one, types two fingers and loves it). If it works for you, however, it is great -- especially nice to have the swipe functions and mousepad. I use a bluetooth Microsoft keyboard ("Comfort Curve 6000") that I bought on sale, and love it. However, like you, I wish it was smaller for carrying purposes. I keep eyeing the foldable keyboards that I see on line, but am reluctant to buy without trying the responsiveness of the keys (and not all foldables are created equally -- some are missing the right shift keys -- what were they thinking of???).

    About where to buy the BB mini-keyboard, it's also sold at Staples, the Source and Future Shop. I haven't checked Best Buy, but since they are affiliated with Staples, I expect that they will carry it also.
    virtuouskate likes this.
    06-24-12 10:39 AM
  8. axllebeer's Avatar
    My solution for maximizing portability was to just buy an external battery and charger for my 9930 and use that keyboard for my PlayBook and no worries about killing my Bold. It was a lot cheaper than any other solution and I'm very happy with it this way.

    (By the way, I'm in the same boat as you working Direct Care with individuals with disabilities and when everyone is in bed, my overnights are filled with PlayBook time )

    But if you are having issues with typing comfort, you mind as well upgrade to the best keyboard in the land, the 99xx.
    Last edited by axllebeer; 06-24-12 at 10:57 PM.
    virtuouskate likes this.
    06-24-12 10:53 PM
  9. kill_9's Avatar
    So what does everyone else think? Has anyone tried a keyboard other than the BB one?
    I use the Hipstreet Playbook Portfolio Case with Bluetooth Keyboard which has been reduced in price since I bought it several months ago. Apart from the poor quality Chinese-origin documentation sheet this keyboard works fairly well. My only two criticisms of the keyboard itself are (1) the auto-sleep mode that seems to engage more frequently than I like; and (2) the battery is not replaceable. In fairness the auto-sleep mode might be triggered by the BlackBerry PlayBook. As for the non-replaceable battery the blame falls directly on Hipstreet. The disposable goods society troubles me.

    Reading the forum messages there is a distinct possibility that the BlackBerry OEM keyboard has better battery life in standby mode than the Hipstreet keyboard.
    virtuouskate likes this.
    06-25-12 12:41 AM
  10. jwn66's Avatar
    Only tried and use the Official.
    06-25-12 01:51 AM
  11. virtuouskate's Avatar
    I, too, am a 10-fingered touch typist, and I find the BB mini-keyboard/case too small to use (but my brother has one, types two fingers and loves it). If it works for you, however, it is great -- especially nice to have the swipe functions and mousepad. I use a bluetooth Microsoft keyboard ("Comfort Curve 6000") that I bought on sale, and love it. However, like you, I wish it was smaller for carrying purposes. I keep eyeing the foldable keyboards that I see on line, but am reluctant to buy without trying the responsiveness of the keys (and not all foldables are created equally -- some are missing the right shift keys -- what were they thinking of???).

    About where to buy the BB mini-keyboard, it's also sold at Staples, the Source and Future Shop. I haven't checked Best Buy, but since they are affiliated with Staples, I expect that they will carry it also.
    I've looked at the foldable, too, but I wonder how sturdy they are in the long run and I've decided I really do want one with a mousepad, so I guess I'll get the BlackBerry one from somewhere with a solid return policy and see how it works. If it doesn't, I'll look into one of the larger ones that have been suggested. As far as buying one, though, the options are pretty limited. Someone in another topic posted the part number, which I had looked for and not found on Crackberry or the BlackBerry website, so I Google and finally found some stores (the reason I couldn't find it at Best Buy was because it's sold in their "business solutions" section), but the only one that claims not to be sold out is BlackBerry's own website. So I guess I'll be ordering from them and find out if it's really available, or else join a waiting list.

    @axllebeer: That's exactly what I do! It's funny, but when I first got my newest phone 2 years ago my coworkers kept asking about it and now half the agency have the exact same phone. Now, my boss is asking my sister about my "little baby computer that connects to my Blackberry." who knows, maybe eventually everyone in direct care will end up with a Blackberry-Playbook combo! I've been thinking about upgrading my phone, too. My Curve is, shall we say, well-used, and I think that's a big part of my connectivity problem as well. But I also want a bigger PB. When I first got it I thought surely 16 gigabytes would be plenty, what with my phone and cloud computing and everything, but now that I'm using it more, it's filling up pretty fast.

    @F2: Thanks for the link. It looks like that's where I'm going to get mine, too. I just hope they have a good return policy just in case it doesn't work. (I'm not concerned about quality, of course, just whether it fits my needs.)

    @BB9700CA: Thanks for the tip. If the BB keyboard doesn't work out i'll definitely check out the other suggestions. Actually, I'm copying this whole topic to a Word document on my laptop for quick reference.

    Thanks again to everyone for all your help. I really appreciate it.
    06-27-12 07:57 PM
  12. BBplaybookJS's Avatar
    The virtual keyboard is not really feasible for extended periods of typing. The BBC mini keyboard and case have worked just fine for me. It seems plenty big and the layout doesn't bother me, (I'm not a formally trained typist) Battery life is outstanding I usually plug it in for a couple of hours every week or two. It would be nice if the keys were self illuminating
    06-27-12 09:05 PM
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