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Survey for New Keyboard

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  • Survey for New Keyboard


    I have been watching this forum for almost a year but just registered today. I read lots of posts on this forum. I know there are many choices on car computers and monitors. But for the input device, I feel little different.
    • Use on screen keyboard if you have a touch screen.
    • Use a regular keyboard (maybe size is smaller, 84 keys?) and mouse, or keyboard with touchpad/tracking ball.
    • Maybe mini keyboard from PS3? I really like the Microsoft chatpad but that thing cannot be used on PC at present.

    I saw some people tried to hack the MS chatpad without luck. And I also donít know when Microsoft gonna make it work with PC. So I was wondering instead of waiting, maybe I can make one. So I contacted some manufacture to see if it is possible to make a mini wireless PC keyboard.

    Before sending my money to them, I would like to hear more suggestions and ideas from folks in this forum. The reason? Because we are the most experienced car PC user and producer.

    Here is what I want to know from you guys.

    1. I donít know what you guys think, but I donít like to use a mouse in cars, it is pain. So the keyboard must have sort of cursor control, such as a joystick or tracking ball? Do you want to add this function to the keyboard, or youíd rather to use mouse?
    2. Wired or wireless? I guess most of us will pick wireless. If it is wireless, RF or Bluetooth? RF is cheaper than BT but will use an extra use port.
    3. Keyboard size.
    4. Besides basic keys (0-9, A-z), what function key you want? I prefer has a dedicate shift key, backspace, space, esc. I also like to have several spare keys, make them programmable.
    5. Backlight?
    6. For the key, made of silicon, rubber or something like MS chatpad? Did I mention I like it?
    7. For a keyboard has all features listed above, how much youíd like to pay? How long can you wait if no new products on the market? 3 months? 6 month?
    8. List anything you want if it is not mentioned above.

    When I was talking to the technician from the manufacture, I asked if it is possible to make an adapter for the chatpad so it can be used on both PC and Xbox. I was told it is possible but need a lot of effort, and it takes longer. So if there are many people want this function, it can be another option.

    Any suggestions, ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    If I made any mistake on spelling or grammar, I apologize. Forgive me please, I am not native English speaker.

  • #2
    Waiting on this:

    I use a powermate and the Ergonomic Touchpad

    Really dont use a keyboard, no reason to. This touchpad is the best device so far, I have tried a lot from hand held gun style trackball/mice to many mini keyboards.
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    • #3
      This one should be coming soon:

      There's also the bluetooth frogpad ifrog:

      Neither of the two above have mouse capabilities from what I can tell.

      I'm waiting on the Logitec mentioned by -zip-


      • #4
        I saw the Logitech one too. I think it might be exactly what I wanted but price is much higher I expected. Hope I can find something around $50-$70.


        • #5
          If you want suggestions for making your own, I would go for something quality rather than cheap. There are a bagillion small keyboards on the market. But all I have seen/bought/used feel and look cheap.

          My wishlist:
          Foldable: Something so that you dont have the keys exposed when not using it. I dont want to throw something in the backseat and accidentally have it start pushing buttons. I want to fold it up and put it away.

          Casing: I would prefer a metallic case. Plastic would be ok, but to get the quality feel, metal is really needed.

          Keys: something with some... gusto. Again all I have used are cheapo with shallow keys, little give, and bad feel. I want something that feels like those IBM keyboards from the 80's that weighed 10lbs and had metal keybacks so when you pressed a key, it pushed you back!

          As for interface, this is where you can get really unique (as far as I know). And remember this is a wishlist. Wireless keyboard, but with a rechargable option. I hate having to replace batteries. They always die at the most inopportune times. I am imagining something with a USB port. THe port can be used for charging it, and also is a data hub, so it can be wired. If wireless, you could use the wireless USB standard and then only use 1 chip compared to 2 chips for RF and USB...

          Oh, and the standard 4 leds. Power, Numlock, Capslock, Function. I hate not having a capslock key.

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          • #6
            After my search for a keyboard this is what I ended up getting here...
   it was a toss up between that and this Thinking about it now I probably should have just gone with the standard one cause I most likely won't utilize the multimedia buttons, I just figured if I get to memorize the button location I can at least play tracks or switch tracks without having to take my eyes off the road, the same way I do with my HU remote.

            I personally for a keyboard would like fully functioning, maybe smaller keys or whatever but like a laptop keyboard would be pretty much perfect for me. Wired of wireless doesn't really matter to me but if it were wireless I would say go bluetooth. Backlit would certainly be cool and helpful. Also if there would be anyway of maintaining a tactile feel but at the same time sealing it from crumbs and liquid spills and whatever may get into it.
            2005 Ford F-350 crew cab 4x4 6.0L SRW LWB

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            Parts Aquisition:
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            [|||||||||-] 90%

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            • #7
              I have a GKM-700 keyboard and I love it....nice feel, small keys, multi-media keys and has great reception. I got it from Amazon for $40.