PinePhone Keyboard update [April 24/04]
#1
A look at PinePhone keyboard prototype

In this month's community update I wrote that once the keyboard molding arrives from the factory I'll make a post about it. I know that many of you are eagerly awaiting news, so now that it is here (well sorta, I'll get to that) I'm happy to oblige with some show-and-tell.

I decided on posting a forum rather than a blog post simply because there isn't enough here for me to write about to warrant a blog entry. I currently don't have an ETA of final molding, store availability date, functionality status report, etc,. Also, if you just found out about the keyboard's existence, then I encourage you to first read this blog post, followed by the March community update.

Let me give you some context for the pictures and video. This pictured molding isn't actually final - there are still a handful of touchups needed. Most notably, the key caps need to be remolded because the tolerances are currently not quite right. This will take some 2 weeks or so I'm told. The final keyboard will also be all black (although I think it looks nice with the white bit), and of course the key caps will have latter and labeling we all decided on a while back.

Lastly, the video and pictures were shot at the factory, and are meant to show progress rather than being promo material. Also, that PinePhone has seen things Sad 

That's all I have for you today, but it is likely I'll have more details to share in the May community update.
Enjoy the pictures and video below.


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Video showing the PinePhone + keyboard open, close, hinge position and stiffness

You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


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#2
Hi,
thanks a lot for the update.

Eager to get my hands on one!

Can you tell a bit more about how to connect the pinephone and the keyboard?
For example, how easy is it to detach if I want to make a phone call?
I'm interested in knowing how doable it is to carry both in my pocket while being able to switch easily from laptop mode to phone mode.
  Reply
#3
I'm looking forward to trying this out!

@eFqLLnGo, I'm sure the answer is that it's as easy as popping off the normal back cover of the phone, and replacing it with the keyboard. For me, I think that's going to be good enough, though I do wish the keyboard had a 360-degree hinge so I could just fold it out of the way.
  Reply
#4
Thanks for the update, this looks very promising.

(04-23-2021, 07:52 AM)eFqLLnGo Wrote: Can you tell a bit more about how to connect the pinephone and the keyboard?
For example, how easy is it to detach if I want to make a phone call?

As per previous communications, the phone will not be made easily detachable from the keyboard, as the latter becomes the phone's back cover. One should think of this as a way to turn the Pinephone into a functional PDA. Under those conditions, I don't see how the ear piece on the phone can still be used. Therefore, phone calls should only be possible using speakerphone, or through wired or BT headset.

(04-23-2021, 08:16 AM)NoahAndrews Wrote: ... a 360-degree hinge so I could just fold it out of the way.

That would be nice, as a totally different design ...
Creating is Everything
Away
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#5
@eFqLLnGo Suggest you read the blog posts I linked for details. The phone connects via pogo pins (it uses i2c HID). In a PinePhone + keyboard configuration, it is effectively a PDA, and should really be thought of as such. You can obviously still make/ take calls on loudspeaker, use BT headset or simply use wired headphones/IEMs.
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


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#6
Hello Luke, thank for the update. Will it be possible to press 3 keys at the same time? I'm asking because I have a bluetooth mini keyboard which is really handy, but it's not possible to hit 3 keys at once, and Fx keys are not directly accessible, like on the PinePhone keyboard. As a result, it's not possible to enter Alt-F2 to launch Krunner, or Alt-F4 to close an application. So will it be possible with the PinePhone KB? Thanks
  Reply
#7
Yes, that won't be an issue. It will also be possible to reprogram the keyboard to do different things - however, the source is for Windows, so someone will have to do what @ayufan did for the Pinebook Pro and make the firmware hex flashable from Linux (Arm).
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


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#8
That thing looks like the ultimate hacking device ! Compact size, the keys look great. Loving the prospects for this! Big Grin

I know some like the idea of a "slide out" but I think this will be superior to type on/work on. Like a mini laptop! From first glance at least. Wink
- RTP

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few." -Shunryu Suzuki

My Blog: https://politictech.wordpress.com
  Reply
#9
Looks sick, thanks for the update!

I know having different layouts and different keycaps to fit every bill is expensive so I'm guessing the answer for those questions is no, but I'm gonna ask them anyway Smile

- Will there be tactile bumps on the F and J keycaps?

- Will a version with blank keycaps be available (like the prototype)?

- In the future, would a version with an ortholinear layout be possible?
  Reply
#10
(04-23-2021, 08:25 AM)8jef Wrote: Thanks for the update, this looks very promising.

(04-23-2021, 07:52 AM)eFqLLnGo Wrote: Can you tell a bit more about how to connect the pinephone and the keyboard?
For example, how easy is it to detach if I want to make a phone call?

As per previous communications, the phone will not be made easily detachable from the keyboard, as the latter becomes the phone's back cover. One should think of this as a way to turn the Pinephone into a functional PDA. Under those conditions, I don't see how the ear piece on the phone can still be used. Therefore, phone calls should only be possible using speakerphone, or through wired or BT headset.

(04-23-2021, 08:16 AM)NoahAndrews Wrote: ... a 360-degree hinge so I could just fold it out of the way.

That would be nice, as a totally different design ...

I could imagine myself awkwardly holding it up to my ear; is there something I'm missing that would make using the earpiece completely impossible to use and not just a bit more difficult?
  Reply


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