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(Pocket-lint) - Touch might be the new buzz word when it comes to smartphones, but that's no good when it actually comes to doing any serious work like writing documents or replying to emails.

For those that have opted to lose the keyboard, iGo believes it has the answer with its iGo Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard, a fold out keyboard that connects to your device via Bluetooth. But is this the answer? We get typing to find out.

The size of a small notepad or one of those Worse Case Scenario paperback books, the keyboard folds out to reveal a full sized QWERTY keyboard and stand for your phone.

Although we say full sized, that's only applicable to the keys, for most of them have two if not three functions depending on what Function key you press.

Connecting to your smartphone will require you to install some software via your PC and you will need ActiveSync or its Vista alternative to transfer the software across to your smartphone. From there it's fairly straight forward, although the software will only work with Windows Mobile 5 software at the moment, not the newer Mobile 6.

Once you've set yourself up the keyboard and the everything else is very easy to use and the keyboard is certainly more responsive than the fabric one we tested recently. We also like the fact that the keyboard has a flat solid base making it easy to rest on your legs rather than needing a desk to work from.


Overall the keyboard is very easy to use, and once you've got the software installed (it doesn't support Windows Mobile 6 devices yet) allows you to get taping away.

If it's writing that you need, but only on occasion, the iGo Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard will certainly offer it to you.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 30 June 2007.