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REVIEW: Eleksen Soft Keyboard for Orange SPV by ORA
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 07.04.03 - 13:45:51 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 14612x
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The Ora fabric keyboard for your SPV adds a full QWERTY keyboard to your SPV and folds neatly when not in use. I got one last week on Möbius and heavily used it during the past days for SMS, MSN Messenger, Web and writing down some notes.

The soft keyboard looks and feels like a fabric, but it's more than that. It's an intelligent technology capable of electronic sensing, heralding a new generation of product opportunities. You can fold it, scrunch it or wrap it, according to your need. Lightweight, durable, flexible and cost competitive.

While it is folded, it requires as much space as other keyboards like the Stowaway or Pocketop. However, since it is made on textile, it's more flexible in your pocket.

When it is unfolded, it gives you the same size as you get from other foldable keyboards like the Pocketop:

The keyboard comes with an attached and non removable phone mount which keeps the SPV and provides a proper angel to watch the Smartphone screen. This mount is foldable:

This keyboard requires an additional driver which isn't part of the keyboard package but will be part of the next ROM upgrade for the SPV. This driver also contains an extra program which lets you configure your keyboard:

As you can see above you can set the keyclicks to on/off as well as you can configure the backlight settings.

Final Conclusion

I've used the flex keyboard heavily during the past days for SMS, IM as well as writing some E-Mails or surfing the web. First of all, like with most "foldable" keyboards you have to keep in mind that this solution never works as good as your home keyboard but it works even better than I expected. When I first heard about a textile based keyboard for the SPV I wasn't sure if this really works but it did and you don't have to hammer the keys but only need to touch them.

When I was in the subway I've tried to write some stuff and I need to take out a magazine out of my bag to put it on my laps under the keyboard but with this solution the results was pretty satisfied.

However, without additional software like NotBad (a notepad for the Smartphone platform) you might be pretty limited in using the keyboard since the original Smartphone platform doesn't includes any "word processing" software. But Using NotBad allowed me to write down some thoughts I had.

But unbeatable is the keyboard if you are an IM junkie like me. While T9 works great for composing a SMS it's to slow for Instant Messaging and here I loved to use it. Also for E-Mails it's pretty handy!

All together, the flex keyboard is a great addition for your Smartphone, if you use it for more then voice calls only but you see it as a communication device. Unfortunately with a price of around 73.00 Euro, it's a pretty expensive accessory so you might be sure that you really need it. But if you have a use for it, it's a great accessory which adds a real value to your SPV and increases the productivity of 100 %!

Cheers ~ Arne

Related Links : [More Information] [Buy Here]


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Posted by Nick on 08.04.03 - 11:08:56

Great review and great product! I want to get one too if I get a SPV anytime also but 73 Euro? This is too expensive! :-(

Posted by Saif on 08.04.03 - 12:41:59

where did you get the drivers for the KB from???

the KB has been released in the UK but we are still waiting for the release of the drivers....bit of a pain really...

If you are into writing documents/books/etc.. then KB is a wonderful addition.



Posted by Arne Hess on 08.04.03 - 12:54:29

@Saif: Yes, I know it's weird... :-( I got the driver last week installed on the Möbius conference, so I even haven't the install file anymore here but on my SPV only. So I can't do any hard resets right now without loosing the driver as well...

Hope we will see the driver released soon for public download. Right now it doesn't makes any sense to sell a keyboard without the driver...

Posted by Saif on 08.04.03 - 13:11:50

Who gave you the drivers? Was it Eleksen or Orange? hmmm.....

There is talk of them including the drivers in the next update being released by Orange some time this month. But, and there is always a but, they might 'dissable' the ability to unlock the phone in a unofficial manner. Lets hope the drivers are released separately and soon.

smile heres to waiting...

Posted by Arne Hess on 08.04.03 - 13:20:14

@Saif: Doesn't matter who installed it on my device (they didn't gave it to me anyway) I got it on Möbius last week in Paris, where also the MDC was.

Sorry, I was asked not to share this kind of information... :oops:

But yes, I've also heard that the next ROM upgrade seems to include the driver - something which I can confirm more or less as far as I've heard.

Regarding locking the phone, don't think so, especially not since you can get it unlocked now OTA.

Keep the fingers crossed, that the driver will be released soon separately without a new ROM build.

Posted by Saif on 08.04.03 - 13:28:02

No worries... I'm not trying to be pushy.

I think the problem/issue is that Orange, Eleksen & HTC are probably all involved in the driver development and that's why there has been such a big delay in getting the drivers sorted and released.



Posted by Saif on 11.04.03 - 11:26:20

The Drivers are out on Orange Updates!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Posted by Saif on 11.04.03 - 11:48:47

Just did the install... it updated the ROM to 1.3.7 and therefore locks the phone again.... bummer.... more hassle if you ask me...


Posted by Saif on 12.04.03 - 00:11:50

There are a couple of ways round the problem. Hopefully will post the workarounds on another site.. I don't think I can do that here wink

Posted by Arne Hess on 12.04.03 - 13:32:49

@Saif: What do you mean? Don't get the message? If it is about locking the phone again after the ROM update, then simple unlock it via the Orange OTA service - see here for mor info: http://.../

Posted by Pete on 23.06.03 - 21:17:01

I bought one in the UK last week sometime. Fifty pounds from the Orange shop, but, get them to show you how to use another feature on your phone (pretend you don't know how to use WAP say) and they knocked 10 pounds off!   Some kind of promotion for the Orange trainers I think... they show you how to do something and then give you a 10 pounds off voucher. So anyway, It cost 40 pounds. It didn't work - no drivers - so I phoned up the help people and they worked through the process of sending and setting them up.

Bottom line is, no probs getting keyboards / setting them up in the U!



Posted by Lee Keable on 07.09.03 - 13:16:46

Great product - but if you ask me they missed a trick!  Would have been nice if it had a power input on the cradle so that when I'm at work (or anywhere near a power supply) I can 'dock' my spv, use the keyboard and not drain the battery!

Posted by Arne Hess on 07.09.03 - 15:08:36

@Lee Keable: It has a power input on the side. There you can plug-in your charger without the SPV adapter. At least my model has it!

Posted by cvijande on 31.03.04 - 18:59:46

i have 1.6.10 and the keyboard doesnt wokr, why?

Posted by StingySAP on 09.05.04 - 10:33:05

Is there someone out there who have tried making a DIY serial keyboard for spv??? Im guessing is that using a serial keyboard and tapping the serial connector of the spv would yield the same result? what you guys think?

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