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Case or Keyboard?

Wed Apr 3, 2002 - 11:57 AM EST - By Kenneth Crandall

Product Info
» Name Q-Pad
» Company tDevice
» Weight without Edge 3.5 Ounces
» Fact Sheet & User Opinions
» Q2 2002
» $69.99

Keyboard Usability

Using 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.

So, what 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.

Conclusion >>

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