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visorcentral.com >> Products & Reviews >> Accessories
GoType! for Visor keyboard

Sat Apr 8, 2000 - 9:58 PM EDT - By James Hromadka

Usability

Visor in GoType! w/ USB cable attachedSetup of the GoType! is easy. Install the GoType! application into your Visor, make sure that the "GoType" option is ON, then turn off your Visor and insert it into the keyboard. Turn your Visor on, and you're in business.

Any application that uses text input can use the GoType! keyboard. Applications that allow use of the Command key will let you use the stylus less often. In using a keyboard with the Visor, the stylus becomes more like a traditional mouse. The GoType! allows a lot of customization in that you can define what the 6 function buttons at the top do. You effectively get 18 function keys because you can use the Shift and Alt keys in combination with a function button to activate everything from an application or the Backlight to initiating a HotSync (Shift+F3). If you activate a HotSync this way, a screen pops up that gives you a warning to switch the keyboard from typing to the comm port then starts the HotSync. Being able to sync in the keyboard cuts down on carrying around an extra cable/cradle when you're on the road, and the included cable with the GoType! Pro is a very generous 6' long.

Another nice thing about the GoType! keyboard is that it reduces the need for the stylus by allowing you to use both the Alt and Command keys to activate a button on the screen. For example, in the Datebook+ application you will see a Go button on the screen. There is no command stroke to activate it, but you can press Alt+Command+G to select that button without needing the stylus.

One thing that I wish the GoType! had was an on-screen index of all of the shortcuts that it uses. There are a few mentioned in the User's Guide, but nothing that I can access on the Visor. By process of elimination, I found that Alt+Left/Right lets you jump to the beginning or end of a document, but couldn't find any Home/End keys. There are many Alt-combinations on the keyboard, but the only way to find them is by going into a Memo and trying out all of the keys. Another thing I noticed is that when I press a function button to activate one of the main applications, repeatedly pressing the button does not cycle through the categories or views like the Stowaway keyboard does. Both of these issues could be addressed in future versions of the keyboard driver.

Typing on the GoType! takes a little getting used to because the keys are not full-size. Users with small fingers will not have much trouble with the GoType!, but those with larger fingers may find that it takes some getting used to at first. I consider my fingers about average size, and in testing was able to use the keyboard with only a few typos. For long periods of typing, make sure you give your hands a periodic rest (good advice for any keyboard). Because of its sub-notebook size, the GoType! can be cumbersome to carry unless you keep it in a briefcase or backpack. On the other hand, its clam shell design makes the GoType! a very sturdy keyboard and leads me to believe that it could survive a short drop or two with no ill effects.

I found no noticeable slowdown when typing, and I like the fact that the keyboard is angled like traditional keyboards. I do wish it would have had a dedicated Delete key instead of needing to use Shift+Del. The layout of the keyboard is fairly intuitive, but some users will no doubt wish that there were more duplicate keys on the right side of the keyboard. Number crunchers will appreciate the Num Lock key that turns part of the keyboard into a full number pad. The only real problem I have with the layout of the keyboard is the arrangement of the arrow keys. They are in a straight line of Left-Right-Up-Down on the bottom right of the keyboard. Also, make sure that you go inside the Preferences application and turn Beam Receive on for the GoType! Pro keyboard to work. Landware will soon have a newer driver that fixes this issue that all Visor keyboards currently have.

Other Features

One of the most appealing aspects of the GoType! Pro is how cost-effective it is. The keyboard is only $69.95 and comes with TakeNote, a DOC editor that allows you to work with documents larger than the Memopad's 4K limit. TakeNote is 85K and is designed to work well with the GoType!; it includes the following features:

  • Word and character count perfect for students and journalist who need to have a quick way to keep track of the length of their documents.
  • Document compression minimize the memory taken up by large documents
  • Flexible Find and Replace Quickly search and (optionally replace) text.
  • Built-in thesaurus support Provides direct integration with WordSleuth.
  • Import from Memopad
Also included is WordSleuth, a Thesaurus that integrates with TakeNote and includes over 210,000 synonyms. WordSleuth uses 199K and has the following features:
  • Works with any application
  • Lookup words by their "part-of-speech"
  • "Group by meaning" so words are in proper context
These applications, coupled with the fact that you don't need a HotSync cable, really add value to the GoType! keyboard.

Conclusion >>

 

Product Info
Details
Name GoType Pro
Company LandWare
Weight <12 oz
Size 10" x 4" x 1.5"
Fact Sheet & User Opinions
Availability
Unknown
Pricing
$69.95

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