Friday, November 25, 2016

New portable keyboards, hurrah

It has been a disappointment to me (see this article and this article) how even years after the iPad became a fact, portable keyboards were still rare and not of good design. I kept buying them and dismissing them.

But again it's proven how *much* more popular smartphones are than tablets (sigh); after the 5.5-inch smartphone became popular (like the Samsung Note and iPhone 6+) it seems this market has really flowered: a quick search for Portable Keyboards yielded lots of results, and even better: they generelly have good reviews and very reasonable prices (less than half of what they cost a couple of years ago). And there are many shapes to choose between.

I've ordered one (EC, wireless for iOS, Android and Win) which when folded is admittedly thicker, but barely larger than the big iPhone! A big-phone screen is eminently usable for writing, even serious writing, and if the keyboard works as well as a classic one I have of similar size (the old Think Outside), it is very usable even for touch-typing (folded out it's close to Full Size). So with large pockets, look out, the writer is in town.

UPDATE: sadly it turns out that the keyboard below is a bit heavy in real life, and also it has that unfortunate/idiotic design where they have put an arrow key where you're used to hit the shift key...

(This is even the smaller iPhone.)

And of course what with modern smartphones having excellent still- and video cameras, it's a journalist-studio-in-a-pocket. Hell, it even includes the publishing- or broadcast studio!

I've had a love affair with writing in cafes since reading an article about it in 1992, years before I ever got a laptop!


Anonymous said...

Hi Eolake !

Eolake wrote: " I've had a love affair with writing in cafes since reading an article about it in 1992 "

Would you please share the article ? Where can I find it ?

Thanks in advance.

All my best !

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks (who are you?).

I'd love to, even to read it again myself, but I don't think I have it. And it was written pre-web, and published in a writers' newsletter with a very limited distribution, I don't even recall the name of newsletter.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your prompt response.

I used to avoid cafes for ANY activity because of the noise. For some reason nowadays not only I can stand them, but end up spending a lot of time in them writing, and I've been intrigued as to why. That's the reason I'm interested in the topic.

The article itself isn't important if we can be fortunate to have you share your comments / ideas not only about what you remember about the article, but your own conclusions as to why you have a love affair with writing in cafes.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

O, the trust!

My best take on it right now is that it helps you relax. At home or at office you're surrounded by perhaps people, but anyway a lot of objects and factors which are constant reminders of things you need to do, and that lowers your level of free attention.

And on the other hand if you were sitting in a hotel room (though this works fine for some people), the isolation and bland walls gives you too little stimulation, and your woolly subconscious start acting up and playing games with you.

I think the cafe or park or such places are a good in-between place where you're away from a lot of your stressors, and yet you have a bit of semi-interesting things and activities going on around you which you can look at while the wheels are free-spinning, but are not too hard to look away from when the machine works.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

(I barely remember the article, but I think it really just presented the idea. Laptops were new back then.)