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Review of Nokia's SU-8W Bluetooth Keyboard

Review by Michael Oryl on Friday July 08, 2005.

bluetooth / wireless reviews · nokia news · bluetooth / wireless news · michael oryl

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Nokia's compact SU-8W Bluetooth keyboard is the smallest device in our three keyboard shootout, measuring up at 132mm x 87mm x 20mm (5.2" x 3.43" x .79") when closed, and expanding to a full 261mm (10.28") when opened up. The SU-8W weighs 199g (7oz) with batteries and has by far the simplest design in our test, with virtually no moving parts except for the hinge in the center of the device. The only exception to that, and one that is to be expected, is the very adjustable pull-out phone stand that is located off-centered on the left hand of the device - it can be configured to securely hold your device at a wide range of angles without slipping. I should mention that the SU-8W does not lock into the open position, meaning that it will not work while sitting on anything but a desk where the keyboard's hinge is fully supported.

The SU-8W's keys are 15mm (.59") square in shape, which makes them noticably smaller than those found on ThinkOutside's Stowaway or a typical desktop keyboard. This means that you will need to adjust a bit in order to be able to type without looking at the your hands. While going through that adjustment period you might also be distracted by the number markings on the top of the 4 rows of keys that signify the dual-purposed nature of those keys: since there are no dedicated number keys, the numbers are accessed by using the small green Fn key on the bottom left hand corner of the keyboard. I personally found the green number markings to be distracting, and preferred the more subdued color scheme used by the other two units in our test. In any case, once you have adapted to the slightly cramped quarters and can take your eyes away from your fingers, this shouldn't be an issue.

Like the Freedom Keyboard from Freedom Input, the SU-8W has an actual power switch that is used to turn on the keyboard, which is powered by a pair of AAA batteries that Nokia claims should be good for 50 hours of use. The device will also be turned off when it is closed, begging the question as to why it doesn't turn on when opened. In any event, 3 LEDs on the right hand side of the keyboard will relay status information on power, Bluetooth connections, and Fn key use.

When used with Nokia's latest driver and a 6682 Series 60 Second Edition device, the SU-8W will reconnect automatically after it goes into idle mode simply by presing the keyboard's power button. It should be noted that the SU-8W is only compatible with devices that natively support the Bluetooth HID (Human Interface Device) profile, Nokia Series 90 devices (7710), and the newer Nokia Series 60 Second or Third Edition devices. This means that while it will likely work with your PC's Bluetooth system, older Series 60 devices like the NGage QD and the Nokia 6600 are not compatible. Users of those phones will need to look to one of the other two keyboards in our review.

[The 6600/6620 are Second Edition devices and are compatible. -editor]

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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