I got home today to find what every Bluetooth enabled mobile warrior wants to have... Think Outside's famous Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard and Travel Mouse! Woowhooo! The bad news is I got it late today so I can't wait to try this out at the next weeks meeting at the church office. This is so cool. My plan is bring in my Smartphone and Pocket PC and just go to town showing it off to everybody.
I had the chance to play with a beta model earlier this year and was very impressed with it so having one to use regularly now is going to be a blast I think. It is something like this combo that makes the mobile warrior be so much more comfortable being away from his laptop or desktop. I have used the infrared version and have loved the tactical feel so I can't help but be excited having this BT version. :-)
This weekend is going to be fun...
OK I find out this caveat during my testing.... a little bit of a pain. I don't know why developers don't allow their software to run in /Storage ROM locations? I copied a section from the FAQ here to so you the problem I was running into.
Q: Why do I get a message saying the Bluetooth stack is not compatible when the device is listed as compatible on the Web site?
If the keyboard driver was not installed to the default directory the keyboard driver will not be able to communicate to the Bluetooth Stack. Please remove the keyboard driver and reinstall to the default directory. In addition please verify the Bluetooth stack is one of the following:Widcom v1.4.1 v07 or greater, Micosoft Bluetooth Stack, Drakar v1.4.3
UPDATES 11-22-04 ; I am entering this update via my h4150 and the bluetooth keyboard. The h4150 is connected wireless using WiFi to the Internet. I logged in to the site using the pocket Internet Explorer instead. Just as I suspected the keyboard would rock just as the other great Think Outside keyboards in the past have. The feel is super and the response excellent. The audible click is annoying as all get out but the option for turning off the sound was a welcome find.
The keyboard shortcuts built in to the hardware is nice. I love the speed of entry on the device and the capability to use some of my favorite OS software keyboard shortcuts that I have come to love on my desktop like the cut and paste Ctrl-C Ctrl-V combos. The Ctrl-A to select all isn't working however. :(
I am having some issues right now setting up the bluetooth mouse and the keyboard together. Each one by themselves works VERY nicely. I was not able to easily set both to work at the same time though. During the keyboard installation I remember reading if any problems arouse I might try changing modes. So I switched the keyboard driver from enhanced to safe mode and that seemed to do the trick along with setting the power saving option to off. I am not sure how or if the two are related to the issues I was having so I firing off an email to tech support.
Anyway I am now entering this post using both devices and it is SWEET. To be honest I didn't think the mouse was going to impress me. I didn't readily see any huge advantages... well I was wrong. The advantages of using the mouse and keyboard together on the Pocket PC are HUGE for both navigation and input efficiency. I also like the idea of being having the BT wireless flexibility so that I can rotate the device to landscape mode and not worry about the constraints of a physical connection. And of course for me having more than one mobile device the universal capabilities of the keyboard being able to be used on more than one product is another big bonus.
Smartphone drivers; The CD didn't come with a Windows Mobile Smartphone driver. I was really excited thinking I was going to be using it with my array of Smartphones but I guess they just are ready for including it yet.....
I think having it for the Windows Mobile Smartphone would be a giant step forward for me to using the Smartphone full time. I am making another request to Think Outside for a beta driver. I have used beta Smartphone keyboard drivers in the past on my Samsung i600 with an infrared keyboard and it really is great to have if you need to use the Smartphone as an input device.