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Gear & Gadgets...


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 :-)





Bluetooth Keyboard

By Wan Chi Lau

Folding keyboards have been around for a few years now.  The only problem with them were they were designed for a specific device.  We have tried them and liked them, but never liked paying $100 for an accessory that we knew would have a limited use and lifespan.  Bluetooth technology changed all of that.

We got Blackberrys so we can check email when we are out of the office.  We quickly found out that we didn't like the "thumb-board" on the Blackberry because it is not really designed for typing a lot of text.

Some of us decided to see what keyboard options are available for these devices.  One of the more attractive options is the Anycom StowAway Bluetooth keyboard. 

We got one to see if it would be a more convenient input option for our new Blackberry. 


1. FirstLook

2. FirstUse


NOTE:  To see a larger version of most images, just click on them.

Review Summary:

Initial Impression- Thin when folded

Usability- Full size, portable, wireless

Durability- TBD

Price- $150


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment Group © 2006