PinePhone with keyboard

SAS

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Interesting news from the Pine64 blog regarding the future development of PinePhone:

We’re well aware that an accessory that many of you want for your PinePhone is a keyboard. We have a good understanding how important a keyboard can be to a Linux phone, effectively turning it from a smartphone into a Linux PDA. We are therefore not cutting any corners and, instead of reinventing the wheel, we’ll be making a keyboard heavily inspired by PSION Series 5 keyboards from the 1990’s. We hope to not only replicated the usability of the PSION Series 5 keyboard but also the tactile feel it is known for. The keyboard will use the I2C connection on the back of the phone, which will allow it to open and close identically to the Series 5 PDAs. Due to the compatibility with the existing original Pinebook and the development for the PineTab, as well as the ability of the PinePhone to dual boot from SD, I expect that you’ll eventually be able to run a fully fledged Linux OS with the keyboard attached. Many probably want to know the availability of the keyboard, which is understandable, but for now we’re talking to companies so we can get the molding process going. So, for now, I can only vaguely say that it will be available sometime in 2020.
With their pricing model - and if it really resembles Psion keyboard :p - it can make current smartphones with hw keyboard much more affordable and desirable :)
 
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Swordfish II

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Hmm I already purchased a Cosmo Communicator, but if this comes (keyboard) out i will probably get it and a pinephone as well.

Keynav with custom bindings works pretty well for a keyboard only mouse replacement. I have it working on an x86 tablet that I converted to ubuntu in a keyboard folio
 

Xcl4m4t10n

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After the keyboard they could do some kind of video game controls. And after that, combine keyboard with gamecontrols OPS WHAT DOES WE HAVE HERE, A FUCKING PYRA? No, better. Because the PinePhone is real.

 

modport

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I expect that you’ll eventually be able to run a fully fledged Linux OS with the keyboard attached.
Wow, this is very interesting! I've been looking for a handheld/thumb use UMPC with a desktop OS and built-in LTE (US Verizon). It seems that the PinePhone supports all of Verizon's LTE bands.

Hmm I already purchased a Cosmo Communicator, but if this comes (keyboard) out i will probably get it and a pinephone as well.

Keynav with custom bindings works pretty well for a keyboard only mouse replacement. I have it working on an x86 tablet that I converted to ubuntu in a keyboard folio
I didn't know keynav existed. I've always brushed off running a desktop OS without a built-in mouse pointer. With this, I guess I'll be adding keyboard only devices to my list of prospective UMPCs like the PinePhone and f(x)tec Pro1 (assuming a desktop OS gets ported to it). Maybe I'll look at the Cosmo Communicator too but it's not really a thumb typing device. It seems they have gotten Debian to boot but I'm not sure how usable it is yet.

Looking like 2020 will be interesting for UMPC with mobile broadband fans like myself.
 

Swordfish II

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Yeah keynav isn't quite as fast as a mouse, but it is accurate and emulates a mouse well. Most browsers also support scrolling with the arrow keys.
 

oskda

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... if it really resembles Psion keyboard :p - it can make current smartphones with hw keyboard much more affordable and desirable :)
I die for a smartphone with good hw keyboard, but that doesn't exist today (only some Android Blackberry with small portrait keybaord (small without cursor nor enough control keys).

I love pocket computers (with keyborad) since 8-bit times (my first pocket computer was 8-bit). On opposite side I hate pocket computers without keyboards (stupid PDA model) and my worst device ever was a powerful hard PDA without keyboard (what a waste of powerful CPU and lots of memory for its time).

I own a Psion 5mx. In fact I own a small collection of pocket computers.

And after all that I must say Psion 5mx keyboard is very very overrated by a lot. It is not as good as lot of people say. Reasons:

  1. It is not hand-held designed, so it is not ideal for a mobile device. In a mobile device most time you use it holding device with your hands and typing with thumbs, but you can't do this comfortably in Psion 5mx because keys are too far away from you thumbs (while holding machine with hands); you need to force them to reach some keys.
  2. ... (continue from problem 1): Keys are too near to border, and so you need to force your muscles. If repeated it hurts.
  3. Keyboard displacement when open makes it sit in a thin vase, and it is uncomfortable to type holding a thin device/base. It is better a fatter one like Pyra.
  4. Keyboard movable base is prone to fail (more fragile than standard clamshell design) and uncomfortable. It would be much better with a standard clamshell design like HP-200LX where keyboard is fixed (not in a movable base). Even when you use it on a table, keyboard base wobbles.
  5. Keys resemble in form a (old, no chiclet) notebook keys, but smaller. But reality is that internal mechanism isn't: they don't move like in a good old notebook
Really I think a standard clamshell design is much better (where only screen moves), and a more thick body to holed it better while typing. At the same time separated keys (smaller but with more space between them) are better (lest chance to hit other keys). And if you move keys a bit from border, even better.

I type faster and better in HP-95LX, HP-100LX and Zaurus SL-Cx000 than in Psion 5mx, and HP/Zaurus have smaller keys. Even HP-95/100 have the problem of numerical block (it would be better without it), but even with that I type better in them than in Psion 5mx.
 

gunrock

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I disagree. The 5mx keyboard was great. I completed the coursework for about a third of my degree, on a 5mx, on the train, in the rush hour, going to and from work in Central London, holding the 5mx in my hands (no little tables on South Eastern Trains!)

It worked brilliantly for me. Then again, I'm not an accomplished typist- of the proper form, anyway.
 

Swordfish II

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Is it the phone that is getting a keyboard?
https ://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cosmo-communicator

Ordered after the Pyra and got it before. Sure it has its issues, but the keyboard is awesome, I actually have it... I mean it will be another couple years before the Pyra makes it out.

Edit: Keeps breaking the link -_-
 

comradekingu

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i tried the cosmo and the pyra. Cosmo is nice enough for 10-fingers, but getting something portable to put it down, without a mouse. A bit smaller, e-ink second screen, new layout, and no Mediatek, Linux and nub-mouse, and it would be killer.
it has some semi-dead spots with two hands. Was wondering if it was the pine phone that was getting a keyboard.
 

Swordfish II

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I have huge hands no issues here.

Linux is coming and with keynav you don't need a mouse.

Also I didn't have to wait 5+ years for it ;)
 
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