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PDA with a keyboard?

by stuplymesser / October 8, 2005 10:40 AM PDT

I am planning on moving from my pen and paper Franklin Covey planning system and moving back to a PDA and the Franklin Covey software. My ideal PDA would have WiFi and a built-in keyboard for faster note-taking. I've started looking around on the web and came across the Palm Tungsten C and the iPAQ 4350/4355. Unfortunately, those models have apparently been discontinued. I would prefer to get a model that is still in production. Does anybody know of any other PDAs out there that would fit my needs, or, are there any that are about to be released? Thanks in advance for any responses.

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by John.Wilkinson / October 8, 2005 12:15 PM PDT
In reply to: PDA with a keyboard?

The only two PDAs I know of with a built-in keyboard are the two you found...the HP iPAQ h4355 and the Palm Tungsten C. While they haven't been discountinued yet, you'll probably be seeing them in a retirement home by Christmas. However, that's a good thing! Why? Because you used two small phrases in the same sentence...''built-in keyboard'' and ''faster note-taking.'' While some may disagree, I don't see how those two phrases can coexist. Just spend some time trying to take notes or type a document on a built-in PDA keyboard and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about...within the first hour you'll be longing for your pen and paper! My suggestion is to purchase the PDA of your choice, then get a portable keyboard (folds up to fit in your pocket) that connects either by cable, IR, or Bluetooth. This method allows you to have the portability of the PDA with the comfort of your PC's keyboard. Let us know what (if any) operating system you prefer, how powerful you want it to be, what all you want to use it for (besides note-taking), and what your price range is and we'll point you in the right direction. In the mean time, you might want to check out the line of Dell Axims available, which are by far the best bargain.

Hope this helps,

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Reviews of PPC Keyboards
by OHMCD / July 21, 2006 8:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Suggestions...

On the subject of keyboards, does anybody here have a list of websites that review and compare keyboards for Pocket PCs? I am looking for a keyboard that folds up nicely, like the Targus, but has an AC adapter, or at least removable rechargeable batteries. It would be cool if there was one with the option of connecting AC current into the pocket pc while it is resting on the keyboard, or even recharge's its battery.

Thank you for your time and attention on this subject.


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A few...
by John.Wilkinson / July 22, 2006 6:48 AM PDT

There are a few sites I know of that provide reviews of PDA keyboards, including Cnet's Pamper your PDA and Mobile Tech Reviews. What I usually do, though, is shop for keyboards and when I find one that intrigues me, do a search for it and see what reviews come up.

Hope this helps,

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Targus keyboard requires lithium, vs AAA batteries of others
by OHMCD / August 8, 2006 12:13 PM PDT
In reply to: A few...

I think I am going to get the Palm. It requires batteries, but the batteries are two AAA batteries. I can get rechargeable AAAs as opposed to the non-rechargeable (and expensive) lithium batteries. I
haven't examined the Palm keyboard, because it was in a closed package. $70 at CompUSA seems like alot for a keyboard, but I doubt what I would save going on the internet would be worth purchasing online, considering shipping costs.

Here are the links to some of the keyboards from the reviews links that John had suggested:

Pamper Your PDA:

CNET: Targus:



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Is the Palm keyboard compatible with Dell Axim x51v?
by OHMCD / August 8, 2006 12:40 PM PDT
In reply to: A few...

I am thinking about purchasing a Dell Axim x51v, eventually. If I purchase the Palm ''universal'' keyboard for my iPAQ rx1955, I would like to use it also with the Dell, when I get it.

Anybody know for certain if the Palm Universal Wireless keyboard is compatible with the Dell Axim x51v?

Does Dell have their own pocket pc keyboard?

I tried looking this up at their website, but could not find. And to contact the Dell support to verify this, I would be required proof of purchase of a Dell product to sign in on their form.

Also, I am assuming this Palm keyboard is compatible with the iPAQ rx1955?

Thanx in advance.


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It's 'universal' for the Palm only...
by John.Wilkinson / August 9, 2006 1:07 PM PDT

The Palm universal keyboard is 'universal' for Palm PDAs only. It does work with the Treo 700w, which runs Windows Mobile, so it may work with the iPaq and Axim but there are no guarantees. There would also be limited to no support from Palm due to the keyboard's use on an unsupported PDA.

Now, Dell doesn't have their own branded keyboard but they recommend getting a Belkin IrDa keyboard, which is compatible with most Windows Mobile and Palm PDAs with here. The good news is that it's $30 cheaper than the Palm keyboard and just as good.

Hope this helps,

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Re: It's 'universal' for the Palm only...
by OHMCD / August 9, 2006 8:03 PM PDT

Thats a disappointment, but at least I have averted alot of hassle with your information. I was getting quite excited about finally trying out a keyboard on my iPAQ. I had purchased the Palm keyboard earlier today, and was going to look up the response here about compatibility before opening the package. So I guess I am going to return it. I think I am going to try sending Palm an email inquiry about this first. Dell (the PPC I am looking into) seems to be quite alot of hassle to contact if you don't have a proof of purchase.


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Belkin KB for the Dell Axim
by OHMCD / August 18, 2006 5:28 PM PDT

Although I am not that hip about the Belkin keyboards, it appears that is about all the choice I have - for the Dell (Axim x51v). I had seen an advertisement of several Belkin wireless keyboards at Circuit City a couple weeks ago. There were several though, and I don't know which one is compatible with the Dell (and the iPAQ rx1955 I currently own). Anybody here whom can tell me the correct keyboard? Both of the moderators here, Robert and John, have the Dell.

The model numbers for these Belkin Portable Keyboards are F8P3502 and F8A1500. Any idea of the correct keyboard?

The Belkin keyboard reviewed in CNET is: Part number: F8U1500

I had emailed Belkin over a week ago on this, and still have not received a reply.

So, I don't realy know. You say the Palm is incompatible with the Dell, and now the Belkin has several model numbers. If anybody replies, I would like to ask to be certain that the KB is compatible with the x51v.


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Belkin keyboards...
by John.Wilkinson / August 19, 2006 2:11 AM PDT

The first one, F8P3502, was designed for early Palm models while the second one, F8A1500, was designed for older Toshiba Pocket PCs. Nether of them are being produced any longer, and Circuit City is trying to get rid of its leftover inventory. According to their specs they are not wireless keyboards...they were designed to connect directly through the docking cradles to specific models. Thus, they won't work for you.

The Belkin F8U1500, on the other hand, is wireless (IR) and will work with your iPaq, Axim, and just about any other recent model you can throw at it. Dell offers it directly for Axim users at $39.95, RadioShack for $44.99, and Belkin for $59.99. If you can't find a better deal, just click here for the Dell product page.

Hope this helps,

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Belkin KBs, thanks for info
by OHMCD / August 19, 2006 8:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Belkin keyboards...

Thanks for the info. I'll probably get that Belkin through Dell, this week. Unless, does anybody know of a n alternative foldup keyboard compatible with Dell Axim x51v?


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my takes
by ackmondual / October 9, 2005 6:43 AM PDT
In reply to: PDA with a keyboard?

for quickie email composing or small changes to docs, those built in thumb keyboards work well. Faster than pen entry. For composing whole articles, u'll want a full sized, folding portable keyboard as mentioned. Most PDAs have this option avaiable, except for low end pOS PDAs (like the ZIre21 and 31)

THe T|C may not be sold anymore, but it's still used by quite a few ppl, esp. by those wanting keyboard and built in wifi. Not a bad choice really. It just doesn't do MP3s natively and requires a converter for qa headphone jack.

for Palm, Try:
T|E or T|E2 for lower end w/o integrated wifi
T|T3 or T|T5 (search on ebay) for higher end w/o built in wifi
T|C (mayb P1, else search ebay) for lower end (maybe mid end) w/built in wifi
LD for high end with built in wifi
T|TX for high end with built in wifi (if rumored specs are true and it comes out within the month)

For models w/o integrated wifi, u'll have to buy a wifi card. This is preferred if you're casual wifi user, as this opens up more selection of handhelds for you. Else, for heavier wifi use, may bet better to get it builtin.

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yes bring back the handheld clamshell pda's!
by jimmithybob / July 5, 2006 4:40 AM PDT
In reply to: PDA with a keyboard?

I wish someone would copy the cool parts of the old Psion 5mx, and make it run Microsoft OS. What all the PDA's and mobile devices lack is a touch type keyboard and that is what most really want!

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Psion 5mx replacement
by operalover46 / July 14, 2006 7:00 PM PDT

You are so right about the Psion, if only there was a replacement for it. I am trying to replace my 5mx which I still use every day, with a PDA but just can't beat the clamshell design and the built in keyboard.
I am tempted with the Palm Life Drive Mobile Manager, one totally brilliant piece of kit but I would have to buy a seperate bluetooth fold out key board to achieve anything like the convenience of the Psion. Plus buy a cover to protect the screen and you cannot swap out the battery.

For now the search goes on.

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by lryan68 / July 20, 2006 6:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Psion 5mx replacement

Can you send me your email address please. Visit

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built-in keyboards vs transcribers vs foldup keyboards
by OHMCD / July 21, 2006 7:09 PM PDT

Dear Primaz,

You said,

"What all the PDA's and mobile devices lack is a touch type keyboard and that is what most really want!"

I disagree with that. On the occasions that a keyboard is needed for extensive typing, a person can use a fold up keyboard. The fold-up keyboards have all of the room of regular keyboards, yet still compact. The built-in keyboards just take up more room on the pocket pc, resulting in a design of a larger, bulkier pda or a smaller view screen. Since the keys are mechanical, they'll malfunction over time, stick or jam from wear or grime. And besides, the keyboard on a pda is so tiny that they are impractical for full scale typing, and minimal advantage over the stylus keyboard and maybe no advantage over the handwriting transcribe function.

I think that the handwriting transcriber function is ingenious, and whomever developed the technology for it should be congratualated.

Thats my opinion on that. When I am away from my office computer, I'll have to either limit my Re's to messages to a few sentences (which is all alot of people want) or bring along a foldup keyboard.


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addon thumb keyboards
by OHMCD / July 22, 2006 4:58 PM PDT

Dear Primaz,

While shopping the internet for keyboards, I noticed a style of keyboard that you might like. It is a ''thumb'' keyboard, exactly like on the pda versions you mentioned, that can be attached to a pda/ppc that doesn't have a thumb keyboard on it. There are several, I noticed, that are made to fit different models, priced as low as five dollars:

Brand: HP
Mfg Part #: FA162A#AC3
SKU: 50357546

It said,
''Attach this remarkably small, lightweight keyboard to your iPAQ Pocket PC h2200 or h4100 series model for easy QWERTY thumb key data entry. Fit securely on your iPAQ Pocket PC h2200 or h4100 series iPAQ''

I noticed that even Dell has them for their PPCs:

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Hard to find
by maceyr / July 7, 2006 2:20 PM PDT
In reply to: PDA with a keyboard?

The closest that I know for a palm that has a keyboard but not built-in Wi-Fi is the Treo 650 or 700p or 700w (Windows Mobile)

The 650 doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi but you can get the Enfora Wi-Fi sled for Wi-Fi.

If you want built-in Wi-Fi, there's the TX, but it doesn't have a keyboard. So, you'll need to buy a wireless keyboard.

Check out Flash demos of Palm apps and learn how to use the Palm and programs at

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keyboard pda
by bestmumwife29 / August 9, 2006 7:18 AM PDT
In reply to: PDA with a keyboard?

there is a very nice and affordaple sony. it's the clie PEG-T50. it's an old model but is full of functions

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palm TX
by jutman1776 / August 19, 2006 4:09 AM PDT
In reply to: PDA with a keyboard?

on the palm website u get a keyboard for it free when u buy it from

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Palm KB isn't compatible w/ most PPCs, according to thread
by OHMCD / August 19, 2006 6:53 AM PDT
In reply to: palm TX

According to the discussion in this thread, the Palm Universal Keyboard isn't compatible with most of the PPCs. I had purchased it and returned it last week without opening or trying it. An indication it was probably incompatible was the latest Palm Treo that it listed was the 650. The 700, I believe, has been out for about a year. Therefore, the keyboard is outdated, as far as drivers, and wouldn't have the recent Dell. (Though they possibly could have driver updates for download at Palm website...?) The Dell really isn't that new, either.


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none with a good keyboard yet...
by mobilesalesman / November 13, 2007 7:37 AM PST
In reply to: PDA with a keyboard?

The only good keyboard PDA's were the old Psion 5mx, and the Jornada 720. When MS dropped their OS, to create pocket pc, there has yet to be a good keyboard built in. The fact is that a pocket pc is good for viewing, etc. but not real computing where you need to input lots of information. What the market needs is a modern Psion!

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