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I've never had an iphone or anything of that caliber before, but I tried one out and was impressed by the whole touch interface. However I then realized that the ...
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  1. #1
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    touchscreen vs keyboard on small mobile device


    I've never had an iphone or anything of that caliber before, but I tried one out and was impressed by the whole touch interface. However I then realized that the touchscreen interface doesn't always work well for things like typing. You need to type text to communicate (aka texting) which is a big part of small mobile devices. So which in your opinion (or if you have scientific facts to back it up) of these three interfaces would be the best?

    1. Touchscreen, similar to the iphone. The keyboard is of course on the screen, and the virtual keys would be pretty small, say for example 12mm x 12mm. I've heard "typing" on one of these things can get tiring because most devices like this use glass for the screen. Also I have fat fingers (not fat myself, just huge hands).

    2. A physical keyboard, and a screen laptop fold or slide style like some smartphones. Keys would be 12mm x 12mm, assuming a template of a standard 1234567890 QWERTYUIOP. Increasing key size (14mm keys possible alternative) would make device bulky and most likely not pocketable.

    3. Something smaller, say like the size of an ipod nano. Small screen, has four arrow buttons and maybe a couple essentials like Enter, Back, Exit, etc. Navigation on a keyboard to input text would be done with arrow keys. Possible option (well for all of them really) would be to have mini USB keyboard of smaller size itself to attach to it.

    4. Other ideas?

    If you bash the third option, don't bash it because of a small screen. Mobile devices almost always have small screens and I've noticed that large screens are only really needed for three things: gaming (depends on the game type), movies (sometimes, small screens may sometimes be okay for that too), and looking at large pictures or needing large pictures for certain purposes (aka pr0n).

  2. #2
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    2. A physical keyboard, and a screen laptop fold or slide style like some smartphones. Keys would be 12mm x 12mm, assuming a template of a standard 1234567890 QWERTYUIOP. Increasing key size (14mm keys possible alternative) would make device bulky and most likely not pocketable.

    I just got an Android cell phone with a sliding keyboard and on screen keyboard. I must say the onscreen keyboard is really cool but it's going to take some getting used to. When you have devices this small, I think most men will find it hard or difficult to use on screen keyboards.
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  3. #3
    Linux Guru Lazydog's Avatar
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    I have an Android phone and use the on-screen keyboard. The trick is to replace the keyboard with something you can slide your finger across. Works well for people with big fingers.

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  5. #4
    Linux Newbie hans51's Avatar
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    I use a Nokia N900
    Nokia Europe - Nokia N900 - Mobile phone specifications
    with has a qwerty keyboard to slide open + an onscreen touchscreen keyboard activated if the keyboard is hidden and you type into a text field

    that is a perfect solution for me and I usually prefer the qwerty keyboard
    besides the fact that the N900 is a Debian based Linux OS (maemo6)

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