Introduction





Keyboard Specs-

Standby Time: 168 hrs.



Operation Time: Up to 90 hrs.



Batteries: 2 x 1.5V "AAA" batteries



Closed Dimensions:

14.18 x 9.53 x 1.99 cm

5.58 x 3.75 x 0.79 inches



Open Dimensions:

27.88 x 9.53 x 0.92 cm

11.98 x 3.75 x 0.36 inches



Multi-Language Support:

English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portugese



Compatibility chart-

HP iPAQ:

h6300 series / hx4700 series / rx3400 series / rx3700 series / h1940 /

h1945 / h2210 / h2215 / h4150 / h4155 / h4350 / h4355 / h3900 series /

h5550

Asus: A620BT

Dell Axim: X series

O2: XDA / XDA II

Pocket Loox: 420 / 720

Acer: n30

PalmOne: TungstenT / Tungsten T2 / Tungsten T3 / Zire 72

PalmOne: Treo 650

Sony Clie: UX50 / NX40 / NX73 / NZ90 / TG50

O2: X Phone

iMate: Smartphone 2

Orange SPV Smartphone: Orange SPV E200

Sony Ericsson: P800 / P900 / P910i

Sendo: X

Siemens: SX1

Nokia: 6600 / 7610 / 3650 / 7650 / 6260 / N-Gage / N-GageQD

Panasonic: X700

Motorola: A1000

Design

The JAVOedge Bluetooth keyboard comes folded inside a protective silver and black shell. The shiny silver finish is just a little bit glitzy, and though it is far from being a fashion statement, it is not dorky either.

The case itself is surprisingly sturdy, suggesting a product designed with some level of durability in mind. A sliding switch releases the lock and unfolds the two halves of the keyboard and four rubber grips prevent unwanted sliding.

The jet-black interior of the keyboard contains a rather flimsy battery hatch, a power switch, an LED, and (obviously) the keys, 63 to be exact. Upon opening the keyboard, half of the keys will be on the left and the other half will be on the right. To make the keys flush with each other, JAVOedge has included a slider on the left side of the keyboard; just move the slider and the left side will align itself with the right. Unfortunately, the sliding action is rough and the slider sometimes gets stuck, prompting me at times to simply say "screw it," and then to push the left side over manually with my hand.



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A tug on the upper right part of the keyboard brings out a metal stand for your handheld. You place your PDA or smart phone directly on the stand when you need it, and when you do not, simply slide it back into its compartment. My gripe is that the stand only works when my PDA is in portrait mode; support for landscape mode would have been even more convenient.



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Software

Driver installation could not be easier. Just pop the included CD into your computer's hard drive, select the operating system of your handheld, and let the wizard take care of the rest.



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Then, the next time you sync your handheld with your computer (I used a Dell Axim X50 series PDA), the JAVOedge Bluetooth keyboard activation program is automatically loaded onto your device. After this has been accomplished, all that remains is to activate your Bluetooth receiver and turn on your keyboard. Establishing a connection was no problem, and I began typing away in no time.

However, there is a pesky bug that bears mentioning. Since I installed the Bluetooth keyboard software onto my Dell Axim x50v, it has perpetually kept my Bluetooth receiver on; even when I am not using the keyboard, my Axim’s Bluetooth receiver is activated. And when I try to deactivate Bluetooth manually, I find it automatically reactivating seconds later.

[EDIT]: This bug has been corrected in the new 1.33 driver update.

Functionality

The first thing I noticed when I started using the keyboard was the smaller size of they individual keys. Every key on the Bluetooth keyboard is about three-fourths the height of its traditional keyboard counterpart. This makes for some rough typing at first. But after a week or two of getting accustomed to the more compact keys, my consistency improved dramatically. Indeed, I feel comfortable enough typing on the keyboard now that I am actually using it to type this review. Also, kudos to JAVOedge for including “alt gr” and “Fn” toggle buttons; they allow quick access to useful symbols such as the euro and yen signs.

However, two annoyances set back the functionality of the keyboard. The first is its tendency to collapse down the middle when the keyboard is placed on a soft surface, especially when the stand is not being used. It seems as if JAVOedge only expected people to use their keyboard when there was a table or hard surface present; perhaps it did not occur to them that people might want to type while on a subway or in a bus. So if you want to use the keyboard on your lap, be sure to open the stand (it locks onto both halves of the keyboard), even if you do not plan on using it. Perhaps in future models a there will be a locking mechanism that maintains the rigidity of the keyboard without forcing the user to open the stand.

Secondly, the stand – while undoubtedly useful and cleverly positioned – presents a minor problem as well. It is not the stand itself, but the rubber pad on the stand that is problematic. The rubber has ridges in it, for the obvious reason of maintaining a better grip on your handheld. However, while the concept is sound (the different ridges allow the handheld to be placed at different angles for better viewing), it does not work in reality, at least not for my Dell x50v. When I position my handheld at a better angle, instead of standing firm on the rubber, it merely slides down the rubber pad and comes to rest where it started.

Other than those two annoyances mentioned above, the JAVOedge keyboard functioned flawlessly. Every key was responsive, and the hard clamshell design looks as if it is durable enough to withstand minor drops (not that I tested this out, mind you; the keyboard is on loan). Setup was self-explanatory, and the PDA keyboard utility is useful; repeat rate and repeat delay sliders can be tweaked to suit your personal typing preferences.

Conclusions

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In the rapidly mobilizing technology market, consumer demand for wireless connectivity is increasing. JAVOedge responded by designing their Bluetooth keyboard. A durable and functional device, JAVOedge’s Bluetooth keyboard is a fine compliment to your Bluetooth-enabled PDA or phone, design flaws and smaller-than-normal sized keys notwithstanding. And while budget-conscious handheld owners might wait a while before jumping the Bluetooth bandwagon (the keyboard costs $125.00), those who are tired of tapping away on their screens or keypads should definitely give this keyboard a look.

Besides, every keyboard comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. So even if you decide that a JAVOedge Bluetooth keyboard is not for you, it cannot hurt to try one out. Who knows, it just might turn out to be the perfect companion to your handheld device.



Pros:

- Durable clamshell design

- Hassle-free setup

- Good button compromise for size

- Hideaway stand



Cons:

- Stand grip ineffective

- Small-sized keys

- Sliding action is rough

- Keyboard requires stand to maintain shape on soft surfaces

- Price of Bluetooth is still high



SLCentral Verdict: 7.5/10

SLRating: 7.5/10



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