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What is a Micro Keyboard?

By Ken Black
Updated May 16, 2024
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A micro keyboard is a keyboard that is often used with a personal digital assistant (PDA) and may be used with some smartphones. The advantage of the unit is its portability. The micro keyboard, in most cases, is also capable of being folded for transport in a pocket. They usually cost approximately $30 US Dollars (USD).

The keys of a micro keyboard are very small, but ultimately more accessible than some "full" keyboards on smartphones. It looks very similar to a smaller version of a normal-sized keyboard, with the keys being in the normal positions. To help prevent typographical errors, these mini keyboards space the keys a little apart from each other, with no key touching its neighbor. Thus, even those with large fingers should find accidental touching of other keys is kept to a minimum.

While many may tend to shy away from a micro keyboard simply because of its ability to fold up, this feature is actually a big benefit. Though it may seem easier to break with the crease in the middle, the micro keyboard is made to be folded and take a certain level of abuse. While no keyboard can take intentional abuse or repeated abuse, the micro keyboard is very durable, many reviewers have noted.

Due to their use with PDAs, micro keyboards may sometimes be referred to as PDA keyboards. Many PDA users may prefer to type information on such a keyboard, rather than using the PDA to enter words and letters. Often, writing on a PDA device requires a certain amount of practice, as the letters are formed somewhat differently than many are used to.

Also, because of the traditional layout of the micro keyboard, there is no reason to worry about learning a new system of data entry. It is completely user friendly for those who have already learned to touch type. Even if touch typing is not practical on the keyboard, the keys are where a user who does touch type would expect them to be.

While the keyboard provides a number of advantages over other types of data entry methods for PDAs, there are some complaints about it as well. First, despite the spacing, many feel it is still too small for true touch typing. Second, hitting the middle keys may cause the keyboard to fold in on itself. Therefore, they should be used on flat surfaces as much as possible.

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Discussion Comments
By indigomoth — On Jun 19, 2011

@irontoenail - You should try getting and learning to use a non-standard keyboard. The normal QWERTY keyboard was designed back when people used typewriters and the keys used to stick. It has nothing to do with the best places to put your fingers if you're typing all day.

If you use one of the types that's been developed with hands in mind, you'll be faster (eventually) and you won't hurt your hands so much.

Also, if you are worried about a small keyboard, you should take time outs to stretch your hands. That will help stop them from getting sore.

By irontoenail — On Jun 16, 2011

You don't want to use these keyboards too much though. If you can manage to get one of those roll up, normal sized keyboards you'll be better off if you mean to use it a lot.

Even just using a normal keyboard, I tend to get sore hands if I type too much. Especially in the backs of my hands.

When I use my smaller notebook keyboard, the problem is even worse. I don't want to get RSI or something else after a while from using small keyboards.

So, while a micro keyboard is a good alternative to a smartphone keyboard, if you are going to be using it a lot you'd be better off skipping to just a normal sized keyboard straight away.

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