updated 11:30 pm EDT, Thu May 12, 2011
Adds tactile keyboard via Bluetooth to iPhone
Nuu and its distribution partner Noetic have launched the Nuu MiniKey for iPhone 4 in North America, a few months after unveiling it in Europe. The case adds a slide-out physical keyboard to the iPhone via a Bluetooth connection, leaving all functions and connectors unblocked. Unlike most other similar cases, the MiniKey works with the iPhone's own antennas, uses keyboard backlighting and automatically goes to sleep when the iPhone enters standby mode.
The unit, which also functions as a snap-on case, uses its own separate battery and features a command key, navigation keys to help position the cursor for corrections faster, and a function key to make typing symbols easier. Another advantage of it and other slide-out keyboards is that the on-screen keyboard is suppressed, meaning more screen space for composing.
The product is aimed at those who don't mind trading a bit of bulk (the unit and iPhone 4 together are three times thicker than the iPhone alone) for the convenience of a tactile keyboard, easily-accessible function keys and other features particularly useful for those switching to the iPhone from keyboard-centric smartphones such as the Blackberry.
The Nuu MiniKey will be available shortly at most Verizon resellers as well as Amazon.com in the U.S., Showcase stores in Canada and Sanborns in Mexico. It is expected to retail for $80.