PalmOne Brand for Palm PDAs with
the universal connector: Palm m125/m130, m500/m505/m515 and
Palm Tungsten T/T2/T3.
ThinkOutside brand for select iPAQs and Sony Clies as well. - by Lisa G.,
Editor in Chief
How Could the Stowaway Get any Better?
The original Stowaway is
the most popular full-sized PDA keyboard. It's sturdy, has
excellent tactile feel and is highly portable. Rather than
sit on their laurels, the folks at ThinkOutside decided to
add a slimmer, more stable keyboard to their lineup, and
hence the Stowaway XT was born. It weighs in at 2 ounces
less than the original Stowaway, and is more compact when
Design and Materials
The keyboard is attractive, slick and modern
looking with a two-tone aluminum and black plastic casing.
In fact, it is made of aluminum and plastic and feels durable.
To use the keyboard, you'll press a well-integrated
release button on the edge of the unit, and flip it open.
It's a two-section design, rather than the accordion 4 section
design of the original Stowaway, and when fully opened, it
locks in place. This means that you can use it on your lap
or other uneven surfaces because it will stay firmly open
At top center, there's a pull-out, flip-up
stand that supports your PDA for easy viewing when it's docked
via the sync port to the Stowaway. You do not need to use
batteries or cables, simply plug your PDA into the sync connector
on your PDA and you're ready to type.
How did they maintain the full notebook sized
keys and spacing while making the keyboard smaller? The top
row of keys (number keys) are gone, and the Palm-specific
keys such as "OK", "Home", "Find" and
etc. no longer have dedicated keys. Instead, you'll hit the
blue Fn (function) key just left of the spacebar in conjunction
with the key you need. You can find the function key you
need by looking for the small blue number/Palm function on
the keys. There's also a green Fn key just to the right of
the spacebar and you'll use that for symbols and page up/page
down. See the top image for the function key layout.
Is using function keys for symbols and numbers
cumbersome? Yes, but that's the price you pay for miniaturization.
Other than slow-downs caused by hunting for function keys,
I found I could really fly while typing on the Stowaway XT.
It's as good as better notebook keyboards. And happily, keys
like the spacebar, shift, backspace and enter are in their
normal locations (some PDA keyboard move these around).
Closed 5.5” x 3.9” x .5”
(139 mm x 99 mm x 13 mm)
Opened: 9.9” x 5.8” x .5”
(251 mm x 148 mm x 13 mm)
Weight: 5.6 ounces
Keyboard Layout: 100% full
size standard QWERTY. Key Spacing and Travel: 18mm horizontally
and vertically,travel: 3mm- the same as notebook computer
Installation and Driver
Just as with the original Stowaway, the software is
excellent. You do not need to disable the keyboard driver when you
wish to sync your PDA to your computer.You
won't be able to use IR while the keyboard is enabled, however. The
Palm branded keyboard comes with drivers in the box on CD. If you
buy the Think Outside branded keyboard, you'll have to download the
drivers from their web site.If previously
owned the original Stowaway, don't use the old driver because your
function keys won't work.
No Hackmaster is required on the Palm. The 88k driver installs
as an application called "Keyboard" on your PDA. The application's
screen, is similar to Palm prefs: it has a popup menu on the upper
left to select between additional screens: General, Command Keys,
Layout, Pointer and Help.
You can set repeat delay and rate, enable and disable
keyboard, turn on key clicks (audible typing feedback on the PDA,
but not really necessary since you can hear the Stowaway keys as
you type), assign applications to 9 command keys, enable the Jog-Dial
on the Sony Clié, select between Dvorak and normal keyboard
layouts, and you even have the option of having an on-screen pointer
display by pressing the Alt key (ever lost track of your cursor?).
One of the most usable, portable and durable PDA keyboards
available today just got smaller and now stays rigid when open. Awesome
driver software, closest to real keyboard feel and folds up quite