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Phones

Typing and entering Text - most of the way there

Using the keyboard and entering text using the pre

Using the keyboard is one of the things that Palm got mostly right with the Pre. It's a good sized keyboard, easy to use one-handed, and easy to open and close one handed as well.

Palm Pre's sliding keyboard
Palm Pre's sliding keyboard © 2009 Palm, Inc. Palm and Pre are trademarks of Palm, Inc. All screen images simulated.

The keyboard has a natural feel to it, and it was fairly easy to adjust to from a standard keyboard of this size and shape. The rubberized keys were a bit of a surprise, but haven't had any problems with them, and it seems to keep gunk from getting inside them. The matte black rubberized finish is also a nice contrast to the white keys and orange 'alt' keys, and helps to make the keys stand out when backlit.

I find texting/IMing and entering text as a whole to be mostly pretty easy. The CAPS, Alt and 'Symbol' functions are easy and obvious, and a cursor indicator lets you know when you're in a 'onetime' or permenant mode (meaning every time you type, it's either caps or 'Alt', depending on what you've selected).

The only complaint that I have about entering text in the Pre is the lack of an ability to scroll or move the cursor within a text field. If I mis-type something and need to correct it, the only way for me to do it is to either delete all the way back to the place where I mistyped, or try my luck with touching the exact spot that I need to correct. Given that the pre is designed for finger gestures, not fingernail gestures, this level of accuracy seems nearly impossible to achieve. I don't believe I've ever gotten the cursor where I want on the first try. More often than not, it takes 3 or more attempts to place the cursor where I want it. The only thing which seems to improve accuracy is if you happen to be on a website, you can zoom in really close to the field so it's larger and you have a better shot of getting the curson in the right place. A scroll ball (like on the G1) probably isn't realistic for the Pre (although it seems the white round button would have been a good candidate for this), but some sort of ability to move a cursor backwards and forwards would have been great.

Alas... this is the only complaint I can find with the keyboard, so I'll just learn to be a better thumb-typist.