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Accessory Review Submission [Full Details]
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Xema Chainpus Bluetooth Keyboard - Mobile Accessories Xema Chainpus Bluetooth Keyboard

31 July 2006
Reviewed By David Hall



Major features:
  • Half-fold design
  • QWERTY keyboard layout with numerical keys
  • Battery powered (2x AAA)
  • LED for battery and Bluetooth status
  • Thin profile
  • Support for six languages

Introduction
Bluetooth keyboards are relatively new accessories to the market. Dedicated PDAs used to be the only mobile devices with support for editing and viewing documents, but with the increasing amount of mobile handsets with such features, the market for keyboard accessories is becoming larger. Bluetooth is also being incorporated into almost every new mobile phone these days, and its easy to use wireless standard makes it the perfect choice for a PDA/mobile phone keyboard accessory.

Road-testing
The Xema Chainpus Bluetooth Keyboard is a half-fold device which opens up to reveal a full QWERTY keypad. It doesnt have a numerical pad but has the usual top row of numerical keys. There are 63 keys in total. The layout is your standard QWERTY format, but thanks to the 6 language support it can also be changed to AZERTY or QWERTZ. Languages supported by the Chainpus keyboard are English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. I tested it for both English & German text input.

The actual device folds in half when stored away in the included leather pouch. It opens up just like a book and lies flat. Because of the folding mechanism the keys dont quite line up with each other in the beginning you have to lock the two sections together with the plastic tabs above and below the keys. Then you can move the larger tab to the left which brings the entire right set of keys to match up with the left side.

The keyboard runs off two AAA batteries, which are included in the sales package. The batteries slot into the top left hand corner of the keyboard, when it is open. The estimated battery life time is 168 hours connected and ready for typing (standby) and 90 hours of constant typing. Amazing huh!
 


It was interesting to note that although the keyboard is quite thin, the keys are tactile and just feel like a laptop keyboard. The hard plastic backing ensures the keyboard stays flat when placed on a desk or other surface. This Bluetooth keyboard would fit nicely into a briefcase or bag to carry around with your mobile phone or other Bluetooth device. The keys are durable enough for 10 million pushes.

The only issue I had when using the keyboard was the size of the space bar its not as big as your regular keyboard and sometimes I managed to miss it. The caps lock key is also smaller than your average so that was a bit annoying. Overall, when closed the keyboard measures 143mm x 95mm x 19mm, and when open it measures 279mm x 95mm x 13mm.

Connecting the keyboard to a supported mobile phone/PDA/other device is extremely simple. Flick the switch on (on the keyboard) and the LED on the bottom left hand side of the keyboard will light up. You can then search for Bluetooth devices in range on your mobile phone or other device. For information on how to this you will have to consult the manual. When discovered, pair with the keyboard and enter the security code.

You also have to install some software onto your mobile phone/PDA for the Bluetooth keyboard to work. The keyboard comes with a CD with the software needed you just select the device you have and it will give you instructions on how to install the software. There are a wide range of supported devices, you can find the full list here (http://www.chainpus.com/support/BK600_Compatibility_List.pdf)

The only limitation with the keyboard is that the phone or other device must support the somewhat-new Bluetooth keyboard profile to work properly. You can check your devices manual for more information regarding the profiles it supports.

The Xemas Chainpus Bluetooth keyboard comes with a 1 year warranty and is a wonderful little device for people who may edit documents or write large e-mails with their Bluetooth enabled PDA or mobile phone.

iMobile would like to thank Circuit Central for supplying us with the Xema Chainpus Bluetooth Keyboard for our review.

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