iPad keyboard is disappointing

iPadkeyboardSo the iPad on-screen keyboard is just a big QWERTY that stretches across the screen. Yes, it looks big enough to easily access, but terribly unimaginative.

Might work for the squarish, possibly 4:3 design though. Didn’t really consider it might not be widescreen. And Jobs seems to be doing a good job touching typing on it. Could be good, but still boring.

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at] notebooks.com


  1. It looks like the iPhone keyboard, where you have to switch to a different keyboard to use numbers or other non-letter characters.

    The appeal of the iPad seems more in the hardware than the software.

  2. Pretty disappointing.

    Lack of inking and cludgy onscreen keyboard = dealbreaker.

    Can’t really expect anyone using this for something resembling “work.” I guess this was never the idea.

  3. Nutz.

    Would it have killed Jobs to follow Bill (and others) just once and include a stylus and something like onenote for iWork? This is so “One-Button” mouse vs. “Two-Button” mouse.

    On the other hand, what a great idea for an app (ink)!

  4. From the specs page:

    # 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
    # 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)

    So there, Sumo, according to Apple, 4:3 *is* widescreen.


  5. @Gavin

    Ah, an “acceptable experience” – that’s definitely what people are looking for in the >$500 price category. ;-)

    All I can say is that I’m sure the “inking” experience on the iPad will work out about as well as it has the iPhone. You know a lot of people doing a lot of inking on their iPhones? I sure don’t. If you’re so inclined, you can also use a Pogo stylus to “ink” on a laptop touchpad: http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/23/pogo-sketch-stylus-turns-your-touchpad-into-a-tablet/ – truly the pinnacle of acceptable experience.

    Also, be sure to buy an extra stylus or two – they’re much easier to lose when you can’t stow ’em in the device.

    (sorry for the snark – not your fault that Apple decided that the pen isn’t a priority).

  6. It’s not only the Ipad keyboard that it’s disappointing, it’s the whole thing: You’ve got an oversized Ipod touch with no camera, no USB, no web flash, where most of the apps originally made for the Iphone screem look boxy and pixellated when blow-up to the larger screen, and no Leopard OS…

    ….I smell HP tablets sells on the rise

  7. I agree with Irked Inker. Remember, this presentation opened with a picture of Moses, and was called things like Jesus Slate. Now we have to look forward to a hacked together “acceptable” experience?

    For years we’ve had to deal with an operating system where ink is a second class citizen. Now we have a device where ink isn’t even acknowledged, next to Windows 7, where it’s a built in, fully featured data type. I don’t think “acceptable” is the word.

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