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Dear Smart Phone Makers: How To Make A Good Keyboard

Since the likes of Motorola, LG, and even Palm seem to have a hard time conceiving of tiny keyboard keys that don’t suck, I’m going to offer you a bit of advice. Go out, right now, and buy a Peek. Yes, a Peek. That device that lets you send emails and text messages and tweets but doesn’t make calls. Many people laughed at such a device (which goes back to my Friday rant…) but even if you think its limited purpose is dumb, you can’t argue that it has a great keyboard.

Rubber (or rubber-like) keys, good size, excellent response. When you type on the Peek’s keyboard you get a little bit of pushback, but not stiffness. And it makes a satisfying click noise as well as tactile feedback. It works whether you use the pad of your thumbs or the tip of your fingernails. It’s one of the best keyboards I’ve ever encountered on a handheld device.

Major cell phone manufacturers, why can’t you do this? Seriously. I am asking. You do so well in other areas. the Droid is a beautiful little phone, but the keyboard makes me cry. The LG Expo is better, but the layout causes me cramps. And the Droid 2? If these pictures are of the final keyboard, I don’t even want to see this phone. Hard plastic, pillowed keys are not good for those of us with fingernails, which is half the population (if not a bit more).

Go, now, and talk to the Peek people. Learn at their feet. Take however long you need. I’ll be here with the HTC Evo 4G suffering the Android auto-correct.

  • I’m going to have to disagree with you on that one. I’ve used the Peek and a good keyboard I didn’t think it was. It was hard to type and after extended use, my thumbs actually were hurt using it.

    Now if you want an example of a good keyboard. Pick up a Blackberry Bold 9000. That was a good keyboard or the Curve 8300 series.

    • K T Bradford

      Is it wrong of me to say that I don’t believe you because you’re a guy and also don’t have nails?

  • Even as I like a physical keyboard, after managing the Samsung Captivate for approximately quarter-hour, it is onerous to move back. At the moment I am debating whether to visit Verizon for the Droid X, cross to Dash for the EVO, or stay with AT&T for the Captivate…choices, decisions.