Keyboard for BlackBerry PlayBook: first impressions

by Volker Weber

If there is one complaint I have about the PlayBook, then it's the keyboard. I can't get up to speed as much as on my iPad. So when RIM offered to send one of their PlayBook keyboards, I was all ears. Got it this morning, and I am not very thrilled yet.

First problem: there is no German keyboard layout. Not on this one, but there also does not seem to be any plans to release one. Possibly because the PlayBook never was a particular hit in Germany, but there also appear to be issues in the PlayBook software related to keyboard mapping.

Another small issue: the on/off switch is directly behind the elastic band that holds it in place. And you can't easily see whether the keyboard is on or not.

The package is solid, but quite heavy. The case and the keyboard weigh more than the PlayBook itself. You can prop up the PlayBook in a fixed angle that seems to be quite right.

When it lies flat on the table it's not very useful. So you do need the stand the case provides. Now I need to give it some exercise, since the keyboard is rather small. So far I am not hitting the right keys. Unlike my beloved Belkin keyboard I use while traveling with my iPad. Size is only one issue, the placement of the keys is the other. The BlackBerry keyboard provides a tiny trackpad for use with the Citrix Receiver and I shall see how useful that is.

Pairing was rather simple. Hold down the control key, switch on, and it becomes discoverable. Add to your PlayBook devices, enter a key that the PlayBook generates. Done.

With connectivity through a BlackBerry we are now beyond 1 kg and in notebook territory.

Comments

Mensch Volker,
Du bist ja so 1900 ..... Das ist ja noch das alte Belkin Keyboard.
Lass Dir mal das neue für iPad3 (und earlier) schicken!

Karsten Kunert, 2012-05-02

have you seen this for the ipad? can't wait for it ..

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/552506690/brydge-ipad-do-more?ref=users

John Head, 2012-05-03

I have seen it. But I am not excited.

Volker Weber, 2012-05-03

This might be worth a look.

Jan Lauer, 2012-05-04

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