Case or Keyboard?
Wed Apr 3, 2002 - 11:57 AM EST
Weight without Edge 3.5 Ounces
Availability Q2 2002
Is this a keyboard or a case? Answer, Both!!
has taken two accessories for the visor and combined them into one. Currently
only available for the Visor Edge (and Palm Vx) the Q-Pad incorporates both a
QWERTY keyboard and number pad inside a leather folding case.
The main advantage with this product is its usability. There is no need for
taking the visor out of the case and attaching a keyboard like some other
products, with Q-Pad the keyboard can be used while inside the case because it
is built in.
The Q-Pad features a QWERTY keyboard with a number pad, arrow keys, and special
punctuation keys. The keyboard is located in the bottom of the case and when
closed covers the front of the Edge. The keyboard is sensitive to the touch and
fairly accurate when typing.
The case itself is
built from leather and is quite durable. The case closes from the bottom (unlike
Slipper Cases from E&B and the
Vaja cases) and uses a Velcro attachment to close. The back side of the case
folds back using a hinge to provide a stand for resting the Visor on a table top
The edge itself slides into a plastic “cradle like” serial attachment built into
the case. This attachment secures the Edge into the case and also makes the
connection between the Edge and the keyboard using the serial port. Meaning, you
can’t sync/charge the Edge and use the case at the same time, you must first
remove the Edge from the case to put it into the cradle.
Using the case is great! It works like all other cases and protects the Edge
like any case should. The keyboard of course is an added benefit, and makes data
input much quicker, especially if you aren’t too familiar with Graffiti.
Sliding the Edge into the serial attachment is simple, the Edge snaps into place
to assure security. I even held the case open, upside down, and shook
vigorously; the Edge stayed in place and didn’t move a bit. Taking the Edge out
is just as easy; all you do is pull with a little force, and it slides out.
Users have easy access to the stylus. However, I would much rather use my finger
to make selections and use the keyboard to type, than use the stylus.
The hinged stand to prop the Edge up when typing defiantly helps when typing
using a flat surface. In fact, I tend to leave my edge in the case propped up in
this position on my desk instead of leaving it in the cradle. This way, I get
better use of the keyboard, and especially the calculator function with the
number pad. The only problem I have with the stand is the strength. The hinge on
my version is a little weak and therefore collapses sometimes when I tap the
screen or press a hotkey. However, I have been told that tDevice realized this
problem and is making the hinge stronger.
Using modules with this case is impossible since the Edge requires the use of
the adapter. There is no way to close the case if the adapter is attached to the
edge. The only time the use of modules would be feasible, is when the case is
open and the stand is down.
the keyboard took a little getting used to, but after a while I can definitely
type faster than I can write using Graffiti. As in past reviews, the main
problem with these small keyboards are key size. It doesn’t matter whether it is
this Q-Pad or the Thumboard from Seiko, the keys are all tiny. This causes you
to hit the wrong key sometimes, or not press the key down enough if you are
being overly cautious. The most common error I made was not pressing the space
key down enough causing thewords tobe connectedtogether.
Most of the keys are quite self-evident such as, “K” or “SHIFT,” but a few
requite some explaining. The “AE up” and “AE down” keys move to the next or
prior field in the document you are working in. The Long Right Arrow to the
right of the number pad is the TAB key. The Left long arrow below it is the
DELETE key. Most of the symbols are found on the number pad and are accessed
using the SHIFT key. For example, SHIFT 2 = @. Other than that, typing with the
keyboard is pretty obvious to the user and doesn’t take long to learn.
The only other function (other than typing) is use of the number pad in the
calculator program. I really like this feature, the number pad is great. I use
my Visor more than my calculator at my desk now because the number pad makes
using the Visor’s more advanced calculation functions much easier, and data
input is faster also.
Again, most of the calculator keys are self-evident as well; however there are
some tricky ones not mentioned anywhere. To clear the calculator, press “C” on
the keyboard. To clear just the entry, press the delete button on the keyboard
until all the numbers have been erased. “E” on the keyboard is used for
exponents, and “S” is used for negative numbers although the same effect can be
derived from the “-“symbol to the right of the subtraction sign.
is the best way to use this keyboard? Well, it depends on where you are. If you
are standing up, hold the Edge in one hand; support the keyboard with the other
any type using your thumb. This method is the slowest because you are only
typing with one finger, but is the best for quick data entry. If you are at a
desk/table/hard surface: support the Edge with the stand and type using both
index fingers. However, my recommendation, is to let the keyboard part hang off
the edge of the table and use your thumbs to type, this is the quickest method
to me; look at the picture for a better explanation.
The Q-Pad comes with a disk containing the software driver for the keyboard.
Just copy the PRC file into your add-on folder in your Palm Desktop and Hot-Sync
the Edge. This will create a Key-Pad icon in your Launcher.
The program is the settings program for the keyboard and contains all the
variable for the Q-Pad’s operation. Here, you are able to change the key repeat
rate, the delay until repeat rate, and you may enable/disable an audio beep for
when you type. There is also a option to enable and disable the Q-Pad, so if you
don’t want to use the keyboard for some reason, just un-check the box.
is just finishing their Beta Testing process and should be releasing the Q-Pad
for sale soon. It will be available on their
website for $69.99. Which won’t be a bad price, considering that the
is $39 and a typical
case is around $35. This combo is priced rather well; and remember, you
don’t need to carry around both at the same time.
Overall, this product is good. Typically I wouldn’t use a keyboard like the
Stowaway, because it is something extra to carry around but since this is
incorporated into the case I can deal with it. The only main problem I have with
this case and every other case built for the Edge is the size. Personally, I
bought the Edge to have one less large item in my pockets; I use a Nokia 8290
for the same reason. Every case for the Edge makes it bigger which to me defeats
the purpose. However, this problem is unavoidable, and I think it is important
to protect your Edge from damage. This case provides the features and the
protection for great cost without sacrificing too much pocket space.
Design - 5
Usability - 4
Features - 5
Cost/Benefit - 5
Final - 5
- Great Price
- Easy to Use
- Case and Keyboard
- Makes Edge Larger
- Cant use modules
- Keys are small