Thumb Keyboard With Rear-Facing Trackpad
The iTablet Thumb Keyboard is being marketed as an accessory for Android and iOS cellphones, and for the iPad. It might be better to focus on its ability to hook up to the Xbox 360 or media-center PC, though, as it is almost spectacularly ill-suited to mobile devices.
The keypad is similar in form to a console gamepad. You hold it in two hands and type on the QWERTY ‘board with two thumbs, as God intended (if God had been a teenager obsessed with texting). Round the back is a trackpad that you tickle with your fingers, and above that are the left and right mouse buttons. A function and caps-lock button on the front panel complete the lineup.
The Thumb Keyboard also has backlit keys and communicates via Bluetooth.
But even the greatest hater of on-screen keyboards would’t want to use this. First, you have to prop your phone up somewhere you can see the screen. Then you need to go back and forth between typing and touching the screen (the trackpad input obviously can’t be sent to a phone that lacks a mouse pointer). This is bad enough using an iPad at a desk with a proper stand and keyboard. Add in a device you have to hold and it becomes a nightmare.
For a media-center PC, though, it looks perfect, barely bigger than a regular remote and easy to just toss onto the sofa when you’re done. The marketing sure is ass-backwards on this one.