The StowAway is a marvel of engineering. The shell is made of aluminum, the keys have full travel, and the full size keyboard folds up thinner than the Blackberry. There is an integrated device-stand built into the unit.
The keyboard unfolds quite easily. The left side of the keyboard slides, centering the stand which will hold the PDA or Blackberry. All of the hinges are made of metal. The mechanism is pretty complicated looking. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up to real world use InTheWild.
To fully deploy the keyboard, unfold it completely flat and press until it clicks and lock into place. Pressing the tab (red arrow) on the right side will release the catch and allow the process to be reversed.
The unfolded keyboard looks to be much better than using the tiny keys on the Blackberry for typing anything longer than just a few words. We look forward to testing it out.
Here are a few pics of our Blackberry with the StowAway. This setup could be the ideal combo for travel if you must be as light as possible. We should be able to get our emails, make cell calls, surf the Web (somewhat), and type relatively large articles...all without a laptop.
We were impressed with how cleverly the hinge mechanism is designed. The feel and travel of the keys when pressed were very similar to that of a regular unit. We could definitely do real work using this keyboard.
Next in this review series will be seeing how well this cool keyboard performs in our FirstUse tests. We'll hook it up to the Blackberry, the iPaq PDA, and the Mac Mini. The Blackberry and the iPaq should not be a problem. We are curious to see if the Bluetooth keyboard would work with the Mac mini. There are NO mention of any support for the Mac anywhere (packaging, documention, Anycom's website) but hey, that is half the fun of trying these odd combinations :-)