Poll results: 58% need to touch type on mobile devices

Based on the results of last week's poll, an overwhelming 58% of voters need their mobile devices to have hardware keyboards that are big enough for touch typing.

I was intentionally vague about the "mobile device" definition in the poll because we all have different mobile computing needs: some can get by with smartphones, others rely on handheld UMPCs, and apparently the majority need what I assume are netbooks or mini notebooks. Given that I don't normally talk about gadgets with touch-typable keyboards around here (the Sony Vaio P coverage dominating the site right now is breaking my 7-inch screen rule), I'm surprised that so many of you associate the "mobile device" term with something like a netbook. No one actually specifically cited a netbook, but aside from a few exceptions in the UMPC category, little laptops are really the only devices with keyboards suitable for touch typing.

Here's the rest of the voter breakdown:

  • 25% need a hardware keyboard for thumb typing.
  • 11% need a hardware keyboard for thumb and touch typing.
  • 4% need an on-screen/virtual keyboard for thumb typing.
  • 2% need an on-screen/virtual keyboard for stylus tapping.

I'm part of the 25% that want/need a thumb board. Being able to touch type on a mobile device certainly has its merits, but being able to do so requires a trade-off on size and usage. And if I'm touch typing, then I'm sitting down at a table; and if I'm doing that, then I may as well just use my 2.7-pound Vaio TZ or now my 1.4-pound Vaio P. I consider both to be highly portable, of course, but when someone says "mobile device," I don't think of the laptop form factor; I think of a handheld that I would use while standing up or walking around.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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