QUOTE(fpp @ Oct 9 2009, 05:00 PM)
Thanks. Is the M1's keyboard better than the Sharp's ? Seems the M2 will have the same one.
Hmm, tough call. I would say the UMID keyboard is better overall, but both keyboards are flawed.
The UMID keyboard has fewer keys (56), so it depends on FN combinations much more. Basic keys like / ? - are FN combinations. Worse still, some keys are FN+Shift, then the keypress, so you have a total of 4 mappings for keys. Even weirder, some keys are flat out not marked, like the \. There are no dedicated F1-F12 keys. The UMID keyboard does not have a right shift. Thumb typing, two shift keys is absolutely necessary, because trying to make 'E' or 'D' is a tough stretch otherwise. With a keymap changing program, the no right shift issue is fixable.
The Sharp keyboard has more keys (78) and the keyboard area is bigger in both directions. The keyboard has dedicated F1-F6 (FN+F7-F12) keys, which is nice, and most of the normal use punctuation keys are the same mapping as a standard keyboard. The keys themselves are nearly identical in height to the UMID keys, but the letter keys are a tad wider. Because of this, the keys run to the end of the device. This presents a problem when thumb typing. Keys close to the edge are harder to hit, especially the shift key which is usually under your palm when thumb typing. The optical mouse and mouse keys are nice, and allow surfing without having to go to the touchscreen much, which is a plus the UMID doesn't have, and the UMID M2 won't have either if they do actually put an optical mouse on the LCD bezel. Also, pressing on the Sharp's keys doesn't feel as good as the UMID. The keys don't always travel the same way; If you hit a key from the side, only that side of the key will press down, not the whole key. The keys have a more rubbery feel than a plastic one, and the result is that you don't have a lot of confidence in the keyboard actually registering what you type. It also seems to double press keys periodically, something I haven't had a problem with on the UMID.
When it's all added up, I like the keyboard on the UMID more, it might be smaller, but it's easier to thumb type on generally. On a table top, it would be the Sharp Netwalker's advantage if the keys didn't respond awkwardly when pressed.