Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard
Buy Link: store.berryreview.com
Most of us here at BerryReview have become masters at typing on tiny berry keyboards. In fact, I think my thumb muscles are the most in shape muscles in my whole body–pretty sad I know. But if you are a mobile warrior, you really don’t have much choice. Your other fingers are merely berry holders. So this week we decided to bring you one of the few alternatives out there–the Bluetooth enabled, blackberry comparable, foldable, full sized keyboard.
Connecting to the BlackBerry: Before connecting you must download and install keyboard drivers. You can download them to your computer and then install them to your blackberry after tethering, or simply install them via an over the air download website. I used the easier direct download option and it was simple. From that point, pairing the bluetooth keyboard was fairly intuitive.
Connecting to a computer: I thought that this might be useful not only as an on the road berry accessory, but as a wireless keyboard for my home pc as well. When connecting to a pc I just had to type a few numbers that were displayed on the screen, no driver downloads, and I was in.
Exterior: Folded up, the keyboard is fairly compact–roughly 6 inches by 4 inches. The keyboard can lock when opened so that it can stay rigid on your lap. The keyboard also comes with a leather carrying case.
Keys: The letters on the keyboard are fairly large, making it easy to touch type. The number and function keys are all a smaller, almost half, size. There is also a column of chicklet sized program keys. Lastly, the space bar is seperated into one half per side of the keyboard.
Typing experience: The first thing you have to do is position your blackberry in a way that you can see it when you are typing. You are going to want to give yourself some time to play with the control buttons. On the left column you can access the phone, mail, contacts and calendar function with the dedicated chicklet keys. You can navigate the BB menu with the arrow keys. The blackberry option button is hidden in the first specialized function key on the bottom right of the keyboard. Take a moment to find and size up the shift, backspace and alt keys. Now you are ready to type.
- Connected to a Blackberry: The keyboard is tailored with function keys that help you find your way around the BB OS easily. The home button took me to the home screen. The mail, contacts, calendar, and phone functions take you to their respective applications without any issues. Typing up an email went quickly but had a few bumps. The BB picked up almost every letter I pressed, but often picked up letters in double. With some extended testing I came to the conclusion that for quick touch typing, you will get the job done, with a few corrections to be made later. But if you have time for some careful leisurely typing, the experience will be a lot more accurate.
- Connected to a computer: The mail function key still works when connected to a computer, automatically starting outlook (not that I use it). Surprisingly, when paired to a computer there aren’t really any double letter problems as I was having when paired to the BB. Rather, the only thing I had to make sure of was to firmly press the keys located further out on the keyboard. Thus, I missed a few “M”s and “A”s on my first try. But once I noticed it, I made sure to put my pinky fingers to work and pushed down on those further buttons a little harder. Towards the end, there weren’t too many mistakes. I imagine this would be great for people who have a computer hooked up to their television as a makeshift home media center (as I have). You can unfold the keyboard and control your home media center, then fold it up when done and store it away.
Final Word: For the constant traveler, I can see the freedom wireless keyboard paired with a blackberry as a full laptop alternative. I imagine sitting in a hotel room trying to bang out some emails, pairing the wireless keyboard, and then communicating at a much faster pace. It’s not a perfect type, but it lets you use all your fingers to get out some quicker messages and notes. When not travelling, for those of us with a home media center, the foldable wireless keyboard can work as a great use-it-when-you-need-it wireless controller. The typing is much more accurate and its stow-away nature makes it a great alternative to a normal bluetooth keyboard. If either (or both) of these two descriptions sounds like you, the Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard is a good buy.
Note: We received a demo unit from the company in order to write this review.