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My Surface PRO 3 'Must Have' Accessories List

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stowaway Sierra BT Keyboard

Stowaway Sierra BT Keyboard from iGo.

The Stowaway Sierra BT Keyboard (affiliated link) is a portable keyboard that can be carry easily in your pocket.


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This keyboard comes with everything needed to be used with Palm OS, Pocket PC/Windows Mobile, Symbian OS and WM Smartphone operating systems. In these Operating Systems you need to install drivers to use it. In our case I tested in a Samsung Q1 with Vista Business Installed and I did not have to install anything from the factory CD.


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The installation in Vista is very easy. You open your BT Wizard and search for a new device. In your BT Keyboard you press the little yellow "button" to switch the Stowaway Keyboard to discoverable mode.


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After a few seconds you will see your Stowaway Keyboard in your list of BT Devices.


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The next step is to pair it, there you will be asked for a password that you have to type in that same screen and then in your keyboard, ending this action hitting Enter. I have seen in other keyboards that the manufacturer gives you a password, but in this case I selected to choose my own passkey and that option worked for me.


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After that you can start using your keyboard.

The Stowaway Sierra BT Keyboards folds in 3 parts. The following 2 pictures shows how the hinge mechanism works.


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Once the keyboard is put in the position shown in the above last picture the keyboard stays as a whole unique piece. The keyboard size on that way is close to a normal keyboard size and thanks to that I could reach easily a SC (Speed Coefficient) of around 0.94 after few minutes of use. Another point that I liked is the fact that once you have the keyboard paired with your UMPC all you need to do the next time you want to use it is just open it and start pressing keys. No switches, no nothing. Of course, your BT in your UMPC needs to be on for this to happens.

Another point that I liked was that it uses a Regular AAA battery that can be found in any Groceries Store. According to the brochure that came with this keyboard, this battery should last around 3 months.


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The Stowaway Sierra keyboard comes with a little stand for SPs and PDAs hidden in the back (see the first picture of the next group). That's a nice touch for those like me that use more than one mobile devices.


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The next pictures show the keyboard folded ready to be taken to anywhere you go as the perfect tool for your mobile needs.


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Conclusion

The Stowaway Sierra BT Keyboard is not just a keyboard very well made. It's the perfect combination between portability and usability and that can be easily seen form the very high SC reached by me in my tests. For the best portability designers try to shrink everything in the smaller size possible and that decrease the overall performance of these devices. This keyboard prove that you can have a small keyboard, very easy to carry with you and at the same time a keyboard with almost the same performance than a regular size keyboard.


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I would like to thank iGo for sending me this keyboard for this review.


The Spanish Version of this review can be found here.