Saturday, May 1, 2004

The Targus Universal wireless keyboard


"It was essentially worthless with my T2."

The ugly

In case you haven't guessed, I wasn't the least bit impressed with the Targus Universal wireless keyboard. Every feature that I counted as a desirable attribute turned out to be missing or nonfunctional in the end. Targus claims that with this keyboard and its features, you won't have to use your stylus or buttons, you know, tap-free. Well, I'm afraid they failed miserably, at least when it comes to using it with a Palm OS5 unit like my T2. Maybe this keyboard works properly with Palm OS 3 or 4 devices and Pocket PCs, I don't know. But I do know that it was essentially worthless with my T2.

This keyboard has, or had anyway, the potential to sweep the handheld keyboard market. Too bad Targus dropped the ball. Here's what needs to be done to make this keyboard all that it should be...

First, make it fully functional and compatible with Palm OS 5. Second, do something about that Space bar. The middle is where most people hit it. Third, make those hard buttons correspond to the ones on the PDA, regardless of what app is assigned to them.

I think if these things were fixed, the smaller keys would be livable. Targus' customer support isn't winning any awards with me either. Although they processed and shipped my order very rapidly, they aren't as anxious to take the keyboard back.

I've requested an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) number and return instructions for a refund twice. I have yet to get a response from them. This really sticks in my craw too, as customer service is one of my biggest pet peeves. In the end, I had to call them in order to get the information I needed for my refund. Before it was all over, I had to file a complaint with my bank to get a refund.

All in all, lumping everything together, I'd have to give the Targus Universal wireless keyboard a 2 out of 5. I'm really leaning towards a 1 because of the way their customer service has blown me off, but as I couldn't test it with a Pocket PC or older Palm OS device, I'm willing to give Targus the benefit of the doubt on those. Either way though, I'm afraid you're likely to be taking your chances with this product.

RATING: 2 STARS

James Booth is a self-taught PC and Palm device user who dabbles in graphics and photography. He can be reached at lizardworks@mchsi.com.