By pressing the symbol key (SYMB) you can enter numbers and special characters that are shown in orange text, as well as the silkscreen buttons like Calculator and Find. In addition to the numbers 0 through 9, the following characters are available: @ / ( ) : " ' _ $ ? ! , . -
Pressing Symbol command brings up the Faceboard, an extended keyboard with additional characters and emoticons. These emoticons reflect facial expressions and are commonly used in instant messaging applications. As the SnapNType will no doubt enhance character entry speed, the Faceboard is a nice feature that will come in handy next time I use AIM while on the road. There were facial expressions that I did not even know existed!
The only thing missing from the Faceboard is a way to cancel the popup screen. You must tap an onscreen button and cannot press a hardware button to exit the screen.
The keyboard layout takes getting used to -- don't expect to be banging out term papers at desktop speed right away. I wonder if hunt-and-peck typists would have an easier time with this keyboard, as it takes a while to get used to the placement of the keys. When I performed a speed test with the SnapNType and compared it to my Graffiti abilities using WPM from DDH Software, my Graffiti was pretty weak with an average of 14.3 words per minute (wpm), but typing on the SnapNType was only slightly better at 15.7 wpm. Most of this is due to my having used Graffiti for three years and the SnapNType for only three days. I suspect that continued usage of the SnapNType would see those numbers rise over time.