Hard vs. Soft, Keyboard Edition

By moosnews
April 8, 2010

Smart phones and keyboards are an uncomfortable pairing, made only out of necessity. There’s been a ton of creativity and imagination lavished on the interface methods for mobile computing devices and everyone has a personal favorite. Some swear by the iPhone’s soft keyboard and error correction software, while others are equally as certain of the value of a physical QWERTY pad. There are even devices built around complex feedback systems like the Blackberry Storm. Until now there’s been no way of judging which method works better.

A tech writer named Paul Ockenden went ahead and put the different methods to the test. His experiment was simple: type the same block of text into six different phones, each with a different text input method (from soft-screen keyboards to slide out physical ones) and determine which one was faster and less prone to errors. The results aren’t terrifically surprising.

Ockenden tested the latest iPhone, the touchscreen Blackberry Storm, the hard keyboard Blackberry Bold, the Nokia E75 with a slide out keyboard, and two HTC devices with tactile feedback soft keyboards. He recorded the length of time it took to type and the number of errors that snuck past the phone’s software. The result: hardware keyboards are still the champ when it comes to actually entering text.

For more information, visit: pcpro.co.uk/realworld/356233/which-smartphone-keyboard-is-the-best

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