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touchscreen vs keyboard on small mobile devices


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#1 jason87x

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 08:49 PM

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 nyphonejacks

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:11 PM

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).


i prefer a keyboard.. but phones with a keyboard, and touch screen would be a good compromise if touch screens entice you...

as for option #3 it would be difficult to dial numbers or text with just navigation - voice activation would make it better... would be better if it were a watch i think...

#3 phaedrus

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 05:48 PM

I want both. I want a touchscreen for when Im on the metro. And for when I can sit down and write some stuff, I want a keyboard.

For a while I had them. A ipaq, with a snap and type folding keyboard. Brilliant. Times moved on, I believe you can do the same thing with bluetooth keyboards and small mobile devices.




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