If you have a table, this keyboard is really fine. But without a table…
The Nokia SU-8W keyboard has been here for several months now. It wasn’t much fun to use with the Nokia 770 internet tablet’s original operating system, which back then required inofficial drivers, but the Nokia N800′s OS supports this keyboard by default. Pairing is easy, yet a little confusing with the N800 sometimes, and typing in applications is straightforward. The keys have a very good feel and yes, you can comfortably touchtype with it. It has an integrated folding stand that is designed for cell phones which can hold the N800, as well.
The SU-8W runs forever on one set of 2 x AAA batteries and a reason other than its low power drain might be that I hardly ever use it. Let me explain why.
Originally I expected to use this keyboard for extensive typing while on the go. But Maemo isn’t made for keyboard use (if it is, this user didn’t see the clues needed to learn it), so the N800 needs to be in touch distance since you have to use the pen or a finger for GUI interaction every now and then.
The SU-8W folds in the middle. There is no lock, so if you try to quickly type a longer note while on the subway and just whip out the keyboard to write it down, this is the result:
It’s no fun to use the SU-8W on the subway in a hurry.
Obviously, you can’t use the N800 with the keyboard while walking or standing. An absurd situation resulted when I once needed to send an important long message by email while at the train station. So I sat down cross-legged on the concrete floor, put the N800 on the floor in front of me, put a book on my lap and the keyboard on the book. That worked, but definitely wasn’t comfortable.
Oh no, an FN-key, designed to drive me mad!
The keys have the near-perfect size for touchtyping, but the SU-8W has only three rows of keys, with the fourth row of numbers accessible through a green FN-key, which is inexplicably designed to act similar to caps-lock instead of shift.
You can pair the SU-8W with PCs (it works with the Everun). But the German SU-8W keyboard has non-standard label locations for some special characters such as @ or ß, so that you won’t easily find those while using XP. My wife called her attempt of writing a short email with that setup a “maddening experience” and I still haven’t gotten used to the the FN-key function, either.
That fourth row of keys is missing. There would have been enough space for a fourth row with non-square keys and the keys still would have been big enough. (Then again, having touchtyped on a Libretto 50ct, I may be more tolerant than others when it comes to key size.)