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Laid hands on the “perfect mobile keyboard”

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Okay, I can’t claim definitively it’s perfect, but since Xavier had previously asked if the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 was the “perfect mobile keyboard”, I thought I’d follow that up by expressing my desire to find out.

Put my fingers on it at Staples today, and while I couldn’t actually type anything with it since it wasn’t connected to anything, the feel was so good that I’m really looking at getting one.

I’ve long considered getting a mobile BT keyboard, but the size has always been a barrier to me. I’m no good on anything less than full-size and usually work better with ink or on-screen keyboards in that case. The 6000, while slightly smaller than normal, uses Microsoft’s ergonomic curve design, which is very comfortable to me. It also includes a separate 10-keypad, which is highly attractive.

As for how I’d use it, I have several options. There’s my Tablet PC, which is a convertible, but I like to be flexible in my usage scenarios. I currently use my media PC without a keyboard, sticking with my Wacom Graphire Wireless and media center remote control. I can’t say a keyboard wouldn’t come in handy some time though.   Once iPhone OS 4.0 is released, I’ll have BT keyboard support on my iPhone, which would be useful for typing out emails while leaving the phone docked to my speakers (highly useful since I listen to music all day). And in a bit of irony, when I eventually get an iPad, this super-thin Microsoft keyboard would  make an ideal mobile complement.

List price is $89.95, but Amazon has it for $59.95 and I’m watching eBay for deals. If you have experience with it, please let us know.

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

11 Comments

  1. Tim

    04/25/2010 at 9:06 pm

    I can vouch for the utility of having a nice BT keyboard to go with a convertible tablet. I never take my keyboard with me, but I picked up a MS Entertainment 7000 keyboard and in conjunction with my T5010 it’s been great. My usage scenario was generally from a media perspective, when I had hooked up my laptop to my monitor and just wanted to easily control whatever media I was watching, but I also used it when I needed to make some quick typing while in tablet mode.

    The keyboard itself is very very thin, albeit wider than most so it can support the media center keys. It also has a small touchpad on it so it can function as the sole control for a device, no extra mouse needed (although the sensitivity is really low and makes moving the cursor around laborious). Because of the thin design, the keys have less travel than most keyboard which may or may not be to the user’s liking.

    • Jonathan

      04/26/2010 at 9:03 am

      I love this keyboard! I use it with my tablet pc and I can confirm it works with the iPad too! I recommend this to any one on the go.

  2. Elmstrom

    04/25/2010 at 11:32 pm

    I have that keyboard, its very nice, but there is a but, its slow to connect after sleep, and sleeps faster then my other BT keyboard (Microsoft 7000). So now i only use it when out and about, and have hooked my old big 7000 back up. But it is the perfeckt keyboard for a slate, unless you want something you can folde :). And i guss the power saving sleeping works, since i have yet to change batteries.

  3. Zeuxidamas

    04/26/2010 at 4:30 am

    I have the 6000 and use it every day at work. I have my HP2730p hooked up to an external monitor and frequently use the TabletPC in tablet mode to ink, placing my keyboard oriented apps up on the monitor. I bought this keyboard because a full keyboard makes it difficult to get to the HP with the stylus. With the BT KB I just move it to the side with no wire clutter and go to inking. I have not experienced the sleep problem mentioned by Elmstrom, nor any problems disconnecting and reconnecting. I grab my HP and take it to conference room meetings, bring it back, re-attach the monitor, and start typing on the keyboard. It misses the first few keystrokes, but re-connects seconds thereafter.
    – Vr/Zeux..>>

  4. GoodThings2Life

    04/26/2010 at 5:19 am

    Wow, I just ordered one of these for my personal use, and asked my boss to order one for work too. I’ve wanted a decent Bluetooth keyboard for a while now, and I agree I think this might be the best one. Most of the time with my laptop and tablet all I want is a number pad, but sometimes I want to sit back and use an external monitor.

    For the sleep issue, this isn’t a problem with the keyboard so much as how Windows prioritizes the “wake-up” of your hardware devices. Display, memory, and hard drive are first, then peripherals (and notably radios – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth last). The easy thing to avoid missed keystrokes, etc. is to just tap the Windows logo key a couple times. It will toggle the Start Menu on/off and then shift focus back to where it was so you can continue on your way.

  5. GoodThings2Life

    04/26/2010 at 5:22 am

    PS– I’ve had it on my Amazon wish list and when I saw it drop to $59.99 on Friday, I jumped on the offer.

  6. tivoboy

    04/26/2010 at 8:20 am

    price back up to 75$, :-(

  7. Frank

    04/26/2010 at 10:49 am

    Well, I’m happy with my even smaller and even more perfect mobile keyboard, the FrogPad ^^ I just place it besides my tablet and start typing with a single hand, take this :-p

  8. Medic

    04/26/2010 at 11:43 am

    I have a microsoft BT keyboard and numberpad 6000. It works great om my desktop. I haven’t tested it on my Lenovo X60t yet. I’ve tried it on my HTC HD2 and they both work on it. Not all keys are clearly defined though. The function key doesn’t seem to be recognized, as, I think, the F-keys are also not programmed for windows mobile 6.5. There apparantly is a bluetooth software program, where you can program keys for a mobile phone running windows mobile. Up till now, I can not find a good one, let alone find a decent review on it. Info and tips welcome.

  9. Elmstrom

    04/27/2010 at 6:34 am

    “start typing on the keyboard. It misses the first few keystrokes, but re-connects seconds thereafter.” <– that was what i meant, and my point is that the 6000 is slower then the 7000, i never miss a keystroke on that, hence i am back to using that.
    I was also talking desktop use, were i do not want to wait for keyboard to work :), on tablet/slate its a different story since its slow to beging with so i have to wait for it to come out of standby any way.

  10. GoodThings2Life

    04/27/2010 at 6:24 pm

    FYI… I just got mine today. I am liking it so far. I think it will a bigger help though tomorrow at work when I can really put it to good use.

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