[bct] Re: Great keyboard for Braillenote

  • From: Pam Quinn <quinn.family@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 18:47:45 -0500

Thanks for this information, Angie. I forwarded it on to the
braillenote list.


On Thu, 18 May 2006 19:12:57 -0400, you wrote:

>I am not currently subscribed to the BrailleNote list, so if anyone wants to 
>forward this to that list, feel free to do so. (In 
>fact, you can pass it on to anyone who might find it useful.)
>I've been trying to find a good external keyboard for my BrailleNote mPower 
>for some time. I don't like the BN's loud, 
>clanky keys. I'm glad to have them for situations where I need braille entry, 
>but I wanted something else for taking notes.
>I initially tried a roll-up rubbery kind of USB keyboard that I got for $20 at 
>CompUSA. I had the larger model that I used 
>with a laptop until it died a few months later. I was hesitant to buy the 
>smaller one for the BN, but I really wanted a 
>different keyboard. Sadly, my keyboard's space bar died after about a month of 
>loyal service.
>I then bit the bullet and bought the Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard from 
>ThinkOutside (I hear Del's PDA keyboard is a re-
>branded version of this one; I don't know if that's true or not). Anyway, This 
>keyboard is excellent. I didn't think I would 
>like it, since you have to press a key in conjunction with the keys on the 
>"qwerty" row to type numbers. But this is easily 
>done. Also, the Question mark is typed by pressing shift + right-arrow. This 
>is good, because the right arrow is where the 
>slash is on a normal keyboard. In summary, this is an excellent keyboard. But 
>it can be kind of expensive, and I have 
>found that my BN's connection with it is sometimes finnicky.
>I just received a Targus folding USB keyboard that I ordered from 
>www.toshibadirect.com. The keyboard was $34.99 
>plus shipping and tax. I think it was around $45. I think it could be just the 
>think I'm looking for. It's about the size of the 
>ThinkOutside keyboard--just a tiny bit larger. It has a retractable USB cable, 
>which is not at all what I was expecting. The 
>cable is wrapped around a reel in such a way that as you pull it out, it 
>extends at both ends and locks into place. When 
>you finish with it, you just pull a little on the end connected to the BN, and 
>it retracts automatically. This is hard to explain, 
>but it's a really neat design and lets you lengthen the cord enough to get it 
>out of your way. Also, this cable detaches 
>from the keyboard, so it should be easy to replace if that is necessary. 
>The keys are a nice size--full PC size. The keyboard doesn't have the standard 
>arrow keys. It has something like a 
>PDA's navigation key in the bottom right corner that acts like the arrow keys. 
>This means that the slash, etc., is where it 
>"should" be. The only thing I don't like about this keyboard is that for some 
>reason, the top row is moved farther to the 
>right than it should be. The top row consists of escape, the number keys, and 
>a few other things. The number row will 
>take a bit of getting used to. But some might prefer this to the Stowaway's 
>method of doubling up the numbers with the 
>"qwerty" row. The Targus also has page up and page down keys on the right 
>side. These keys are smaller than normal 
>keys, but they are very easy to find.
>Here are the pros for the Targus keyboard:
>* much cheaper than a bluetooth keyboard;
>* Doesn't require batteries or drain your BN's battery as much as bluetooth 
>* Has arrows and page up/down keys that are immediately tactilly 
>* has detachable retractable cable that will be very easy to transport;
>* most keys are where they should be;
>* should work right away with the BN.
>I do still like the Stowaway keyboard, and I'll probably still use it on 
>occasion. I might start using it more with my PC, 
>though, since I can use this new one with the BN. I'm really impressed with 
>this new Targus keyboard.
>Here is the link to the keyboard:

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