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18

Review: Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard

In this never ending quest to find the ultimate mobile device that meets all of our needs while still being portable enough to still be considered a mobile device, one feature that is constantly mentioned as a weak link is the size (or complete lack) of the hardware keyboard. While many people (myself included) hate on the lack of hardware keyboards in different devices, the truth is that it is purely a matter of preference. Obviously though, no software keyboard (or mobile phone based hardware keyboard) can duplicate the usability of a full sized keyboard.

We’ve played with a number of Freedom’s products on this site. Though everything from Keychain GPS receivers to portable Battery Chargers are available from Freedom, their line of Bluetooth Keyboards is their primary niche. The Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard could be considered Freedom’s flagship product. The keyboard folds in half to make it as portable as possible while still giving you as much keyboard real estate as possible.

Hit the jump for my thoughts.

Design and Feel

As I previously mentioned, the Keyboard folds in half to make it very portable. Most of the keys are close enough to full size to make typing very comfortable. The seam where the keyboard folds does make it a little awkward at times, but the keys at the edges of the keyboard (Shift, Caps, Tab) are where you will have the most difficulty getting adjusted.

Features

The Freedom Pro has a number of keys along the left side that are dedicated to Smartphone features. Answer/End Call, Email, Contacts, Tasks, and Calendar are all just a button press away. Additionally, through the use of function keys, a slew of other functionality is available such as media playback and volume controls.

Value Added

Freedom provides a couple of different drivers for the Pro keyboard, each of which supports a different Bluetooth stack (Microsoft and Broadcom). I did experience some issues getting either of the drivers to work with my Tilt 2, presumably because of the alternate Bluetooth stack that HTC used. The only thing that you gain from using the driver is the availability of the shortcut keys and function keys. The Freedom Pro keyboard can simply be paired to your phone using the HID (Human Interface Device) Bluetooth Profile.

Conclusion

Because of the driver issue that I had, there were some limitations to what this keyboard could do for me. Honestly though, I wouldn’t recommend this keyboard based on the shortcut keys and such. The real benefit that this keyboard gives is the ability to comfortably type. If you are someone who occasionally has to use their phone to type a long email or report, having a keyboard like this is a great solution.

The Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard can be purchased for $119.95 from the WMExperts Store. Drivers are available from www.otadrivers.com or directly from Freedom Input.

Pros: 
Almost a full-sized keyboard. portable.
Cons: 
Not compatible with all devices.
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Comments

There are 18 comments. Sign in to comment

says:

I agree that for devices with no (or poorly designed or cramped) keyboards, you will be hampered in your typing speed. But for those of us lucky enough to own a Touch Pro 2, I think it does not apply :) I took a Javascript-based online typing test, and found I was consistently able to hit about 45 words-per-minute, error free, on the TP2's fantastic keyboard.

My only hope is that this is not the last device we ever see with such a spacious, well designed keyboard, and also with the tilting screen, which I do use quite a bit for video watching and such. But seeing how HTC does things.... it often seems like one step forward one step back. I.e.: removal of the camera flash....

says:

I have a Touch Pro 2. Though the keyboard is pretty-darn-good for a mobile device, but you can't beat the feel of a full sized keyboard.

I was one of the lucky ones that snapped up the last batch of iGo stowaway keyboards a few years back at $29.99. Similar to this one with a metal outer shell.

Ran into the same problems reported here with the Bluetooth drivers, so I don't have them installed. Device works perfectly, just no function keys. I small consession for the price and convienience.

I primarily take it with me travelling, whan the laptop is just to bulky.

says:

I paired my hd2 with the igo stowaway ultra-slim bt keyboard but the comma doesnt work, half of the function keys work, cant disable the word suggest - spell checker off, locks our the application when the keyboard is idle.

Is there something I should have preset to get the same flawless results as when you "did not install the driver"?

I am still struggling to identify which portable bt keyboard will have 100% compatibility with my htc hd2.

Can somebody help me please.

Thanks.

Tim Ferrill says:

Agreed. The Touch Pro2 has the most amazing keyboard that I have ever seen on a phone, but it doesn't compare with having something close to full size. On the other hand, unless you're going to be typing A LOT, having a Bluetooth keyboard isn't worth the cost or the hassle.

AngelFCh says:

I actually did a search in the forums and the site overall but couldn't find any, so forgive my ignorance, but, while bulky, is it possible in a pinch via HID to use a regular full-size Bluetooth keyboard? I can't imagine that this would be a frequent occurence, to say the least (if a spare full-size keyboard is available, it should normally mean that a spare PC goes with it), but still.

Tim Ferrill says:

Yes it is possible.

says:

quit telling your readers to "hit", "peep", and "ease" "past the jump". Are you 15 years old? Just says "read more".

says:

Hello guys!

Iam new to this place and iam not sure whether this is the right place to post such question...
but i want to know how can we watch live tv? Which software to use?

Please help me guys

Best Regards

says:

Good information for me.
I interesting about laser virsual keyboard
very much. I Want to have laser virsual keyboard .
I searching bluetooth laser virtual keyboard
information
2 week .

says:

Good Product and nice KB.
Question
Is keyboard using battery ?

or Power on cable . ;)

says:

After you buy this keyboard (picture).
Or you are looking wireless keyboard
.
I founded Good Recommend for wirelesss keyboard.
Buying , Maintainance .

thank you webmaster :)
Nice information for me

says:

This keyboard.
Can it connect to Nokia product or Palm or PDA ?


thank you :)

says:

It's full-sized keyboard that folds easily to be placed in a purse with a robot of my country. It was fairly easy to pair with a robot even though you may have to search online for help a little because it is not there anything for the Android operating system in the booklet that comes with it.

says:

Hello guys!

Iam new to this place and iam not sure whether this is the right place to post such question...
but i want to know how can we watch live tv? Which software to use?Jammie Winland
Karmen Tornow
Marielle Wolter

Please help me guys

Best Regards

says:

I bought the Freedom Pro and I cannot find the Drivers for it otadrivers says It doesn't have me cell yet
I HAVE A BLACKBERRT 9550 CELLPHONE. please help

George Bauer