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Old 02-21-2007, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Keyboard Lament

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I know that someone's liking or disliking a BBerry keyboard is a very personal thing. So this is a very personal lament.

Went to the Cingular store at Lexington Avenue and 43rd in NYC about an hour ago. Got a chance to play with a demo 8800. (As an aside, the Cingular rep told me that the units arrived at her location this morning and were sold out within minutes of the store's opening. They've got a wait list of about 40 people for the next shipment.)

What a disappointment the keyboard is. I've read elsewhere on these boards how the 7200 series had the best keyboard from a key-spacing standpoint. I agree with that view. My Sprint 8703e's keyboard is, however, pretty usable. But the 8800? The keys are much too narrowly spaced for heavy use and the keyboarding is a lot "mushier" when compared to my 8703E.

Now I know RIM has to produce slimmer, more "consumer friendly" devices. But for a heavy, business-oriented email user like me, this new form factor is a mistake as far as one of the BBerry's most important features is concerned - the keyboard.

I applaud the multi-media, external storage, pearl-type trackball direction you're going in - but PLEASE, RIM, don't mess up one of the key attractions of the BBerry over the Blackjack, Treo and the like - - namely, a very user-friendly keyboard with a crisp feel and well-spaced keys.

Charlie
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The keys are closer but after two days, my thumbs are getting quite used to the new keyboard. I was like you and after only a few minutes, I thought it was going to be a problem but after a hours or so it was not.

I have to reply to 60-70 emails a day in the field and I have to say the 8800 and my thumbs are doing great!
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is a stupid question, but when you type on the keyboard, do you press on the bump on the key or do you use the tip of your thumb to press behind the bump. Does this make any sense at all?
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I played with one this afternoon and gave it back.

I didn't like the new keyboard at all. Keys were too close together and seemed to be more difficult to press than on my 8700.

Was not all that impressed with the trackball either.

Just my first impressions.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I never had a problem changing over, I think is very close to the 8700.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Like you guys, I was a little disappointed with the keypad.

Biggest complaint wasn't the proximity of the keys or the spacing, rather the kind of smushy feel of the keys - they aren't as snappy as the ones on the 8700.

However, after typing on it for a couple hours, I'm getting used to it and think I'll be fine. It does take some getting used to though.

I just wish there was another assignable button - I need one for my profiles and one for lock/or application!
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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At first, I didn't like the keyboard either and thought that I would be having a tough time to adjust. But, just after a day, I like the 8800 keyboard BETTER than the 8700. Once you get used to the tad-bit narrower keys and the less snappy feel that the 8700 has you will like it better.

Kudos to RIM for this keyboard. I love it.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had it for 2 days and I still dislike the softness of each key, it's so "uncertain," like, "did I hit that "i" or did I hit the "u" instead? I didn't actually hit the wrong key, but I had to go back and proofread because I really wasn't sure.

Another thing about trackball is that...it doesn't give you the "click by click" feedback found from the trackwheel.

I know I shouldn't do this, but I use my BB while driving a lot. In fact, when I commute or drive any distance, I will just read stuff on it. But it requires more attention from me with the ball, so it makes my driving more dangerous.

With the trackwheel, I just needed to glance and see how many clicks it will take for me to go from my current message to 4th message down, for example, but with this trackball, it's never predictable. I have to visually follow the link as it sometimes will go right and left and sometimes just vertically down.... It makes using this driving a tough job.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have played with it for a few days now and it does get easier with time. However, it is still tough to use and I am not sure I will get used to it the way I did when switching from other devices. I think Mossberg's column today was a little too harsh on it but he makes some valid points. Where he came up with the 1/7 the speed vs EVDO I am not sure. Maybe in theory but in practice there is very little difference. As for 3G, unless the battery time is the same regardless the speed I am not sure it makes sense.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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that's what i though...alot of ppl complaint about the pearl keyboard cuz it was "mushy" and so "closed" together also similar to the nokia n61 and n62.

plus this new blackberry doesnt even have hsdpa. so i guess im glad i didnt shell out $$$ to get this slight upgrade.

im gonna go check out this device at a cingular store when i go home tonite.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I remember when I migrated from my 7520 to the 8700c. I thought the keyboard was horrible and would never get used to it. BUT, sure enough after on a short time, it was just fine.

I do not feel one could judge in only a few seconds with a demo unit in the store. I do like that Blackberry has SO MANY units to choose from so everyone can pretty well pick what they want.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggebhardt
...I do not feel one could judge in only a few seconds with a demo unit in the store. I do like that Blackberry has SO MANY units to choose from so everyone can pretty well pick what they want.
some members from this post own it and still doesnt like the keyboard.

as for me..trust me..i can tell it in a few min of trying out the demo in the store...if i like it or not. i dont know about u.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Cool

I was able to finally handle one today for a while and the keyboard seemed sorta small. That said, being a new BB user, I am not accustomed to anything else, so I am grateful for the feedback about ppl accomodating to it so easily.

That said, the trackball feels mushier (I was toying side-by-side) than the Pearl. Is this my imagination or could it because it was a demo and already played with a lot?

Btw, there were ppl waiting outside the store yesterday for when the 88s showed up. Looks like I have to wait till monday/tuesday.

Now I gotta start rolling on shortcuts and learn everything "BB".

I can do it! *wipes the sweat from his brow* No problem.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smalls
This is a stupid question, but when you type on the keyboard, do you press on the bump on the key or do you use the tip of your thumb to press behind the bump. Does this make any sense at all?
Unlesss you got teeny-tiny little thumbs, there is no way you can help but to press on the bump. My thumb covers the key I am hitting and the key on each side!
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You'd be amazed at how well your opposable thumbs can take to new things. Give it a chance. It took me time to learn how to use an ergonomic keyboard but I got use to it. You have to give it time.
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