Why is the Kindle keyboard so awfully hard to type on? It sure seems like Amazon wants us to use it — it’s part of the original Kindle vision (it’s been there since the first version), it’s visually prominent and uses a lot of space on the device, and it’s necessary for a lot of Kindle features beyond plain reading.
But I find it horrible, and they haven’t improved it since the first version.
a) the layout is bad — the rows are aligned vertically, not offset like real keyboards. So, N is under H instead of between H and J; I often hit M instead of N. (A lot of smartphone keyboards like Blackberry, Treo, Pre do a better job in less space!)
b) The key feel is bad — hard to tell when you’ve pressed a key (again, smaller cell phone keyboards do better)
c) The Delete and Enter keys are easily confused — they’re both in the wrong position (with respect to real keyboards), and enter’s symbol looks almost like a backspace symbol — to the point where even after years of using it, I still mistake enter for backspace.
d) The Kindle drops keystrokes when typing at all quickly. I realize the e-ink display can’t keep up with rapid changes, but I don’t see why the Kindle can’t buffer faster than I can type.
All this means that I avoid typing any more than I have to, and when I do type, it’s slow going and results in a lot of errors.
If this was the best it’s possible to do in the space they can afford to dedicate to it, I’d be more understanding, but given how many cell phones have demonstrated smaller keyboards that are much easier to type on, I wish Amazon would just borrow that knowledge.