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Nyko Nintendo Wii TypePad Pro review: Nyko Nintendo Wii TypePad Pro

Nyko Nintendo Wii TypePad Pro

Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Jeff Bakalar
3 min read

With messaging, chat, and other social elements making their way into gaming consoles, we've seen a rise in QWERTY-based accessories for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Though the online component of the Nintendo Wii isn't fleshed-out, there are times you could use a keyboard.


Nyko Nintendo Wii TypePad Pro

The Good

Allows for easy text entry; one-time setup; uses Nyko Transport technology.

The Bad

Not many uses; full potential requires a Nyko Wand controller; typing has a small learning curve; requires a USB dongle.

The Bottom Line

As the first QWERTY Wii accessory we've seen, the Nyko TypePad Pro works well; however, we're not sure it's useful enough to justify its purchase.

The $30 Nyko TypePad Pro is the first QWERTY Wii accessory we've seen. It works well, but we're just not sure there are enough uses for it to justify its purchase. Also, to take advantage of TypePad Pro fully, you need to use it with Nyko's Wand controller.

The TypePad Pro is a large Wii controller add-on; its size reminds us of a Sega Dreamcast controller. It has two handles on the rear that have left and right trigger buttons. On its back is a sync button that you'll need to use to bind the TypePad with your system. On its front, you'll find a complete QWERTY keyboard split in half to accommodate a Wii controller down its center. It also has ".com" and "@" symbols along the bottom of the device for easy Web browsing.

Setting up the TypePad is easy. Nyko includes a small USB dongle that you plug into the rear USB port on the Wii. This is how the TypePad communicates with the console. After pairing the TypePad with a Wii, you don't have to do it again.

The USB dongle only needs to be set up once, but it'll monopolize your only USB port.

You won't use your Wii remote much while the TypePad is attached, but it still needs to be connected so that it can provide a power to the keyboard. For this, either a standard Wii remote or Nyko Wand will work. However, if you want to use the TypePad's left and right triggers to act as A and B buttons, you need to use a Nyko Wand since it is the only Wii controller able to receive those commands via its Transport interface. You can arrange the A and B buttons either way you'd like using the toggle switch at the bottom of the TypePad.

The triggers will only work with a Nyko Wand controller.

Popping the Wii remote and Nyko Wand in and out of the TypePad is easy; its grooved opening lets them fit easily. The TypePad's keys feel a bit loose, but it's not a sign of shoddy build quality. The keys have a nice tactile touch to them, which we like. The TypePad's buttons that rest on the lower left and right of the device are a bit of a pain to reach, so you may need to learn to hit them with the joint in your thumb. Other than this complaint, Nyko laid the TypePad Pro's buttons out well.

We tested out the TypePad with every application we could possibly think of. Essentially, the device will work any time an application asks you to input text. We most enjoyed using the TypePad with the Wii's Web browser and we began to take typing for granted while we jumped from site to site. Though the Wii remote on its own is fine for text entry, nothing is better than having a full keyboard at your disposal.

We found other ways to use the TypePad, too; whether it was entering Wii Points codes or credit card information, everything worked just as we'd imagined. Best of all, the TypePad certainly takes some of the pain away from having to use those 16-digit friend codes gamers love to groan about when playing Wii games online. Sure, you have to connect the TypePad each time you want to enter text, but we'd gladly sacrifice those 5 seconds instead of pointing and clicking at the screen.


Nyko Nintendo Wii TypePad Pro

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 6Performance 7