Hey folks, Valkor here. And I've returned with another iPhone 4 goodie that's a bit of a game changer when it comes to how you interact with your phone. I'm not the biggest fan of typing on touch screens, but I learned to adapt when I purchased my iPhone 3G. If given the option, of course I'd choose a physical pad over the touch screen and the folks at Nuu hope that you iPhone 4 users out there make the same choice and choose the Nuu Minikey.
Just a quick note, since I don't own an iPhone 4, I had to reach out to friends to use theirs. And it's always a fun experience. Next time I think I'll record it.
OK let's talk specs; the Nuu Minikey is a slide out mini-keyboard that also acts as a nifty case. Included with the package, you'll also get a USB cord to recharge the device, but it has to be attached to a PC (or as I later learned, my PS3 easily does the trick, as well as my USB adapter attachment). Let it charge for a few hours and then it's time to pair it up. Once that's complete you're able to use the Minikey to type up emails, text messages, or even surfing the mobile interwebz.
The keyboard, which is housed under the main compartment, slides from under the case on rails. The keys are small, but not too small that big thumbs such as mine can't make navigate. It takes some time to adjust, as I learned that one forgets that they even have the device. But once you figure it out, you'll fall right into the groove. The keyboard is QWERTY and there are a few buttons configs that take some adjusting, such as the delete button being at the top right and using "fn" as a shift key. It's something similar like the touch pad, however your fingers aren't taking up too much residency on the main screen, leaving it open so that you can read an entire paragraph rather than just one sentence at a time, lift finger, repeat. Completeing the package, the keyboard is backlit, so typing in teh dark isn't a hassle.
I also had a bit of "off the beaten path" type fun with the Minikey, such as using it with my own 3G phone – I'd have it on its stand while I type up emails. And then I stepped up to the Playstation 3. You can actually navigate the XMB bar as well as send out emails or participate in a chat, which is way faster than using the controller. I was impressed
So now that I've had my fun, let's dig into the Minikey with the TOV Breakdown!
Nuu's Minikey is definitely a smart concept and there is such a market for it as I know many there are many folks out there (myself included) that hate using the touch screen – seriously, the screen gets smudged up and your fingers get in the way. And while I like Apple's "Predictive Typing", its sometimes a chore when you realize that you have to go back through a paragraph just to change a word that the iPhone auto-corrected. However with the Minikey, it's a much smoother process. Again it does take some getting used to, but you'll be typing away in no time. Plus, I'll admit, it looks kinda cool when snapping the keypad open and shut. Plus points for the added benefit of being able to pair the Minikey with other devices; now I'll never have to worry about sending an email through my PS3 again – it's a wrap with the Minikey. Finally, I like the backlit keyboard, as anyone who knows about typing in the dark, it's a much appreciated feature. Great job!
The keys are stiff and if there's gonna be another version of the Minikey (especially when the iPhone 5 is announced and released), then I'd look at the Pantech Impact's keypad, which is amazing to type with.
Nuu's Minikey is available now for the price of 79.99, but search around and you'll be able to spot a good deal; either way if you're not a fan of touch screens and want the physical feeling of a keypad beneath your fingers, then I'd look no further than Nuu's Minikey. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the Minikey a 4 and it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!