Ever since Steve Jobs championed virtual keyboards through the development of iPhones, more and more smartphones have jettisoned physical keyboards altogether as people seemed alright with typing on glass. There are still some, however, who prefer typing on a physical keyboard, but who are also fans of iOS and don’t want to give up using their iPhones.

Enter Typo, an iPhone case with a physical keyboard. There was a lawsuit launch by BlackBerry on their first version, the courts agreed and Typo was discontinued. But now it’s back with a revised design. Meet Typo 2, an iPhone keyboard case that retails for $79 for its iPhone 5/5s-compatible models, and $99 for iPhone 6 cases. Interested? Hold your horses and consider the following:


Pros

  • An improved design – Although it still looks a bit like a BlackBerry keyboard, some things have changed. Commonly used keys are now a little bigger, and you can avoid unwanted dialing as the keyboard now comes with a lock. A backlight is also a welcome addition.

Cons

  • Adds more length – Typo 2’s keyboard is located at the bottom of the iPhone’s screen, which adds length to the device. The case can also feel a little bulky for some users.
  • It’s expensive – do you really need to pay almost a hundred bucks for a physical keyboard?
  • It requires an adjustment period – this is especially true for iPhone users who are not that familiar with BlackBerry keyboards. But this is a minor quibble since they’re not the Typo 2’s target market.

 
In the end, Typo 2 can be quite useful for hardcore traditionalists who long for physical QWERTY keyboards. Can you live without it? Sure you can – but if you’re tired of lugging two phones around, then this could be the solution for you.

17 Comments
  1. This is a great idea for those who just can’t get along with touch screens. OK, it adds size and weight to your iPhone but this is possibly worth it if it makes life easier for you. However, it is pricey and I guess you would need to get a new case every time you upgraded your phone.

  2. This would eliminate my biggest gripe with smartphones which is the lack of physical keys that respond when you press them. Most phones and tablets offer a ‘vibrate on keystroke’ feature that is supposed to imitate pressing a button, but it really doesn’t do a good job of it. One of the first things I bought for my tablet was a Bluetooth keyboard. I like that there is now a more convenient option than that for phones.

  3. I can see why BlackBerry launch that lawsuit, the physical keyboard is the only reason why some people still use them. Oh well, BlackBerry better step up. As for this case, they should really lower the price, I don’t think it would be worth it, even if you prefer a keyboard.

  4. It’s great to see an option for those who prefer a physical keyboard. For many years, I avoided smartphones as I didn’t want to use touch screen. I currently have an S3, it provides a lot more versatility and functionality, however I feel for basic texting/calling my old phone was better. I guess I’m a bit of an old fart in this way. My biggest issue is how long this will make the phone unfortunately. Smartphones are already requiring bigger and bigger pockets!

  5. It’s good that there’s an alternative to Blackberry. But it took me years to get rid of the Blackberry keyboard and I’m not sure whether I want to re-adopt it now. And given the length and price element I can’t see myself indulging with this one.

  6. $100 for an iPhone case? Jesus, does it get up and clean my house for me??

  7. I would love to get this for my parents who have trouble typing on the flat iphone screen. Their vision is also not as good on the reflective screen surface, so this would help out greatly. The price is a little high for this kind of product but I can’t complain since it probably comes with the usual overcharge for an iphone accessory.

  8. Hey, different strokes for different folks I guess. The key thing here is customization. To be able to customize a product from such a closed source company such as Apple is almost a miracle in itself. It just goes to show you that some people have needs entirely different from yours and mine. If they want physical keyboards on their iPhones fine, more power to you.

  9. I like this new design for touch screen phones because it’s difficult at times to type on glass. The screen is sometimes very sensitive, which makes you misspell word and it doesn’t feel natural to the touch. The lawsuit by blackberry was ridiculous and I’m glad this new keyboard will be available. Even though I’m not an IPhone user, this technology is very well understood and appropriate.

  10. Seems like another great Apple idea executed poorly. It could be helpful for people who struggle with the touchscreen or vision, but it is so expensive and I, personally, don’t think it is worth it. The case doesn’t even seem too durable either. Still, great idea, but not great enough for a hundred bucks.

    • Same here, I also don’t think that gadget is very durable. If the owners aren’t careful enough they might end up breaking it or damaging it very quick. I know I’d feel terrible if I did that with something that cost me one hundred bucks! So definitely not a cool thing to buy if you have e a toddler. I’d think it twice even if I didn’t have one! There are many cool things you can buy with one hundred bucks out there, this keyboard isn’t one of them.

  11. As a person who has large fingers, iPhone keyboards are a pain in the neck. Auto-correct never helps either. I will look into this product more when I get the chance, because the digital keyboard is not cutting it. Thanks for the review!

  12. Well, I guess this can be a real blessing for some people out there who are actually willing to let go that much cash for a physical keyboard. If it was me I’d just stick to using the keyboard from my phone. I guess some people really like to have a physical keyboard connected to their iPhone, because it can come with a lot advantages, but also some disadvantages, like the ones listed in the article.

    I wonder if this keyboard can break easily?

  13. I heard a lot of people that are sad because phones with physical keyboards are not present on the most popular phones nowadays.
    I personally wouldn’t buy one, especially at that price range, but it is made for a niche market and it’ll probably sell a lot to those who like this concept.

  14. I’m curious as to whether or not the size problem would be fixed on an iPhone 6+ version. But then again, if I’m using the Plus, I might as well use the software keyboard. I also find the iPhone 6+ keyboard a lot easier to use now due to the bigger size. Even GTA is now playable, haha.

  15. That looks… extremely unconfortable in my opinion. I mean yes, there’s a lot of people (mostly older people) who still can’t get over the fact that physical keyboards are gone now but that’s a thing and spending a lot of money on something like this who is basically the same thing just more unconfortable (again, in my opinion) it doesn’t have a lot of sense for me, but well, there’s all types of people in this world, but I definetly would not buy this typo.

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