An intense debate is raging in the tech world these days. No, I’m not talking about Google+ vs. Facebook (though that debate is raging as well). I’m talking about physical vs. virtual keyboards on tech devices. Laptop computers, Blackberry phones and Kindle eReaders have physical keyboards; iPads, iPhones and Nook eReaders do not.
Some people simply won’t buy a device without a physical keyboard. They have difficulty typing on virtual keyboards and become frustrated with the speed and inaccuracy of their typing. The Droid 3 Android smartphone was released earlier this month for those who want the benefits of an Android device with the benefits of a physical keyboard.
Other people prefer virtual keyboards because of the versatility they offer. Virtual keyboards can accommodate foreign languages, symbols and emoticons. They are able to type quickly on a virtual keyboard and don’t understand what the fuss with physical keyboards is all about.
Some gadget-lovers are in between. While they may prefer physical keyboards, that doesn’t stop them from buying devices with virtual keyboards. These people either adapt their typing to virtual keyboards or purchase external keyboards that connect to their devices, giving them the best of both worlds.
(Go to Wingstand’s website to learn more about its prototype keyboard http://wingstand.com)
What is your opinion on this raging debate? Do you prefer a virtual keyboard? Do you insist on a physical keyboard? Vote in the poll and let us know!
If you’re hunting for the best of both worlds, many touchscreen phones with a physical keyboard also have a virtual keyboard. My first smartphone, a Palm Treo 750, had my favorite physical keyboard (for a smartphone) plus the benefits of a virtual keyboard. The screen was tiny so a small stylus was included (and much needed) to use the virtual keyboard. I use virtual keyboards now, but I still miss my Palm Treo keyboard.
What is the best keyboard you have encountered on a device, whether virtual or physical? Are you passionate about your keyboards? Do you crave the apps of an iPhone but need the keyboard of a Blackberry? Let us know in the Comments section below!
* Image by powerupmobile.com