Accessory maker Brando has launched a new case for the Samsung Galaxy Tab with a Bluetooth keyboard integrated right into the case. At $59, the keyboard case seems like it could be pretty useful… but I kind of have to wonder whether it was actually designed for the Galaxy Tab.
The first thing I noticed is that there’s a Windows key on the bottom left side of the keyboard… which seems kind of pointless for a tablet that doesn’t run Windows. I wonder what pressing this button does.
Also — why are there two shift keys… on the same side of the case?
Like the keyboard cases we’ve seen for the Apple iPad, there are some special Fn keys for controlling media playback and other functions. You can also apparently trigger Back, Home, Search, and Menu functions by holding down the Fn key plus special function keys — but these keys are scattered all over the keyboard. Why is the Home key right next to the Fn key, while the Back and Menu keys are in the top row? And why isn’t the Search key anywhere near any of the others?
The whole thing seems like someone took an off-the-shelf keyboard case and tried to slap a few Android function keys on top and then relabel it as a Samsung Galaxy Tab case. Color me unimpressed.
According to other postings I’ve seen about this, it can also function as a keyboard for your PC connectable via micro-usb. I have no idea what’s up with the dual shift buttons, but that explains the Windows key.
Many of Brando’s products are relabeled/repackaged products that usually already came out in China under different name/packaging.
I know at least one of their bluetooth keyboards, for example, have been sold under at least 5 other company/product names and with both a bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless versions…
So would not be surprised if this keyboard turns out to be cannibalized from a previously released product.
Yes, I’ve noticed versions of their keyboards with a number of different labels. This one takes the cake however for being practically useless for touch-typists.
The keyboard with the galaxy tab isn’t too bad – – a bit small but does have two shift keys. Eee’s announcement yesterday included two different units with keyboards. It would seem there could be a huge market for the right size/weight keyboard-case for the iPad, one that would transform it into a much more of productivity and mobility device.
I decided not to keep my iPad to a large extent because that product really doesn’t exist at present. There is a hard case/keyboard product on the market but it suffers from design flaws and with the iPad in it the two outweigh a Macbook Air – so what’s the point?
Unfortunately, the inherent flaw with Slates is they are mainly a content consumption device and not really designed for content creation. Especially for Windows Slates, since Windows wasn’t designed from the ground up for touch interface and there are times where the GUI fails and you need a keyboard to do anything.
So there are times when a physical keyboard becomes necessary, especially for tactile feedback for touch typists.
But during usage that complies with the limitations of Slates it can become optimal. Like for drawing, taking notes, and especially with a digitizer for more accurate input, which the EP121 does have.
So the point depends on usage and whether a slate form factor can be optimal for that usage or not. But no device can support all usage scenarios without some form of compromise.
Most of these case-with-a-keyboard products don’t get the essential fact that people looking for a keyboard are predominently touch-typists and keyboards missing two full-sized shift keys are practically useless for touch-typists. Pretty amazing that so many of them miss this — even the Kensington iPad offering. Most have no right shift key at all and this one goes ’em one better with no right shift key plus a really tiny left shift key!
AndyB / NYC
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