While the resizeable on-screen keyboard for the upcoming HP TouchPad tablet looks pretty nice, nothing beats a physical keyboard for getting some serious typing done. If you find you can eke out 100wpm per minute with a physical keyboard and just 20 to 30 with your thumbs, fear not: HP is showing off a Bluetooth keyboard designed to work with the TouchPad.
The folks at Engadget snagged a few photos, and the keyboard looks, well… pretty much like a keyboard. It has all the usueal keys including Tab, Shift, Ctrl, and Caps lock keys, but there are also special symbol keys and buttons for webOS functions including volume, media playback, camera, and search keys.
The TouchPad keyboard will be available as an optional accessory. There’s no word on pricing yet.
The Bluetooth keyboard is the latest in a long tradition of keyboard accessories for tablets and other touchscreen devices. Wireless keyboards for the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab have been around almost from the get go. And going even further back, companies have been cranking out keyboards for smartphones and PDAs before them for well over a decade.
I actually wrote most of my master’s thesis on a Compaq Aero PDA with a behemoth of a keyboard which connected to the Pocket PC’s via a serial docking station. It was pretty ridiculous, but still smaller and lighter than any laptop I could afford at the time, and the PDA got great battery life.