To maximize portability, mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad eschew the traditional keyboard for on-screen versions. While on-screen keyboards may be tolerable for typing the odd text message or entering a few words into a search engine, their shortcomings quickly become obvious. With mobile devices now packing processors powerful enough to handle word processing and other more intensive tasks there is a market for physical keyboards to turn an iPad or even a smartphone into an ultraportable computer. One of the better solutions we’ve seen to fit this bill is the newly announced Jorno Bluetooth keyboard from Cervantes Mobile.
The Jorno Bluetooth keyboard is a physical full QWERTY keyboard boasting a full complement of function keys that folds down from its full size of 8.5 x 3.5 x 0.3 inches (21.59 x 8.89 x 0.76 cm) to a pocket-friendly 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.2 inch (8.89 x 8.89 x 3.05 cm) package weighing 8.8 ounces (250 g). It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will give up to one month of wireless usage per charge based on normal usage and is recharged via an included Mini USB charging cable. Running with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR ensures compatibility with a wide range of mobile devices including Apple iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, RIM and Symbian devices.
Cervantes Mobile is currently only taking preorders for the Jorno Bluetooth keyboard from the U.S. and Canada, with the asking price of US$79. After December 24, 2010 the price will increase to $99 with the device expected to ship early in 2011.
UpdateIt appears the wait for the Jorno Bluetooth keyboard to hit the market was longer than than expected. Despite receiving positive feedback from prototype devices, Jorno creator Scott Starrett had trouble raising the cash required to produce an initial production run. As a result, the numerous pre-orders placed for the device had to be canceled.
Noticing the success others had found in using Kickstarter to raise funds for a new piece of hardware, Starrett decided to list the Jorno on the crowdfunding site. If the $100,000 goal is reached by October 17, 2012, Starrett plans to have Jorno Bluetooth keyboards in the hands of backer's by April 2013.