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The keypad attaches to the Sixaxis or Dualshock PS3 controllers and allows you to use all of the buttons on the controller whilst having the extra buttons of a standard keyboard. This makes it particularly important in social games or in applications such as PS Home.
The keypad attaches so that the keyboard is above the controllers buttons. This means that it is not actually in reach of your thumbs and to use the buttons your must actually move your hand further up the controller. Actually defeating the whole point of having the pad attached to the controller!
The buttons themselves are not too bad actually, they are raised from the rest of the cover and are all separated as you can see in the picture, this makes it pretty easy to type on after you get used to it. Although it is generally best, at least fro my fat fingers, if you use your nails to type as the buttons are pretty small.
The keypad has a functions where it can act as a trackpad for controlling the cursor of the web browser of the PS3 just like a laptop trackpad does. In short, this doesn't work - at all. It will know that there is some sort of movement, but it doesn't know where to or in what direction - making it useless and just annoying when you accidentally enable it whilst typing.
The battery life is decent, you will get a couple of hours of on time when fully charged, however it does not hold a charge very well and if left for a few days without usage even if fully charged, it will have no charge when you come back to it.
I saw a few negative comments/reviews about this accessory for the PS3 that didn't really match with my own experience, so to redress the balance here is my review of the Sony PS3 Wireless Keypad.
It's worth mentioning of course that this is for the official Sony wireless keypad, there are 3rd party keypads that you could easily buy by mistake if you are not paying attention as they all look very much alike.
The first thing to mention is this is not a cheap item so you must ask yourself do you really need a keypad? For me, I found it frustrating not being able to type a quick message during a game - I needed a way to quickly send a message to another gamer before the next round of the game started. You might have a different need, perhaps you spend a fair amount of time in the PS3 messaging centre.
Once you have justified the purchase though, personally I cannot see much to complain about. Not much, but there are a couple of things!
The main negative point is that it needs charged like any other accessory - i.e. connected via usb. I expected it would take it's charge off the keypad that it was attached to, but no, you must keep its charge topped up by physically connecting it to the PS3 USB port. Although this is an inconvenience, strictly speaking this is no different from any other PS3 accessory.
The build quality is of course top notch, coming from Sony. I was surprised at how well it clips into place considering that there is not anything on the controller that was designed to accept the keypad. A spring loaded grip on the keypad does hold it firmly in place without any movement at all, so full marks there.
Normal gaming use of the keypad is not affected in anyway in my experience. All the buttons are just as accessible, and the weight of the combined items does not affect gaming at all. This was an unexpected bonus as I thought the keypad would make the controller feel bulky or off balance, but it does not.
So, how about actually typing on it? To be honest the keys are very small and there is not much give in them, so you do not get much feedback from your keystroke to reinforce that your typing is going in okay. Not until you look up at the screen might you find a letter is missing. However I found that dropped keystrokes were extremely rare so this is not really a concern. If you have large fingers and perhaps find using mobile phones difficult, then I would suggest you might have similar difficulty with this keypad. Otherwise, the keypad is very easy to use and a massive improvement over the on screen keyboard that would routinely drive me nuts!
So in summary, quite expensive, quality build, does not affect gaming, work well assuming you are good with your fingers!
With the Playstation 3 being more than a merely video games system the need to input text became an increasing part of the system. From searching the internet browser, using the instant messaging or viewing BBC's iplayer there has been an increasing need to type and without a keyboard this could prove tricky. Of course you can always use a USB Keyboard, which is a far cheaper, far easier and better option, but Sony tried to cash in on this with a novelty keypad that simply is a poorly designed, rather pointless product.
The mini keyboard clips uncomfortably onto the top of the controller. Immediately making the controller feel imbalanced, overweighed and awkward. It gets in the way of gaming and ruins the experience as you are wrestling with not only the game but the controller too! Simply not practical and poorly though out.
Another huge downside is the typing isn't actually easy. The keys are small and close together meaning mistakes are frequent and you have to take it really carefully and slowly to avoid mistakes and get what you actually want typed in. This defeats the whole entire point of the product as it was intended to ease the strain of using a gaming pad to type. It will start to irate you almost after plugging it in.
And to cap it all off it uses its own battery so needs charging by a usb connection with is hugely inconvenient for all. Another daft decision.
Finally ask yourself if you still are considering this...when will you actually use it? If you don't use a PS3 online its utterly pointless, and even if you do it still has limited use. Only and only if you don't have a USB keyboard ad you use your PS3 to browse the net would I suggest this and even then a couple of quid gets you a USB keyboard which is a better option.
Utterly poorly designed, pointless and ineffective product that doesn't enhance the use of the PS3 at all!
Also on CIAO
I had the Messenger Kit for the Xbox 360 which was quickly sold due to the illogical design of attaching it to the bottom. As a result, you couldn't fully hold the controller and it felt uncomfortable, especially if playing for more than an hour.
Sony have responded with a similar accessory. It is true that the design is superior as it attaches to the top of the PS3 controller. However, it does not share power with the controller so requires charging via the USB port on the console which is a little inconvenient. There is a power button on the right side though, meaning you can switch it off to save battery as soon as you've finished typing a message.
It does feel strange using the controller with this attached and was difficult to get used to. You could argue that it's an idea to take the keypad off while playing and then clip it on to type a message. However, that really just defeats the object... and you may as well buy a wireless keyboard as discussed below.
After using this for a month or so it went on eBay and I would not recommend buying it. Instead, a much better option would be to buy a wireless keyboard. Typing is quicker, they're more comfortable and it obviously doesn't add weight to your controller as it's separate.
This product is only worth a purchase if you play your PS3 online, so please be aware of that. When playing online I used to send and receive messages from other games, this can take a lot of time when using the systems controller as you have to select each letter, using the keypad is a lot easier for sure.
When using the keypad you can write a message to a fellow gamer 3 times by the time you would have wrote this on your controller. Also, if you use your PS3 for internet surfing, then I'm actually quite suprised that you don't already own this because it would make your PS3 life so much easier.
The one thing that did put me off this product is because it's so pricey, after a while though I realised that it was definately worth it and was worth the purchase instead of a cheap standard one.
The shape of the keypad is very good and you can easliy adapt to it when sitting at your chair or on your sofa gaming. The buttons are also very good in terms of sensitivity and you can write with them as quick as you would with a text message. You also have your standard PS button to complete your normal functions on the PS3.
Other this is worth a purchase but don't expect to get more then the normaly with this, it does what it says on the tin! Worth a purhase but don't pay over the odds for it. £20 - £35 max.
I noticed this a while back and, due to the pain that follows a long message on the PS3, it was tempting me to get it for a long time. Rather than getting this the obvious solution is a wireless keyboard, or even a wired one, but this keypad looked very stylish and I had this in my sights and finally I went for it; it was made by Sony, it must be good. But I think I made a bad choice in all honesty.
It was nice and easy to set up and looked very sleek; I was pretty impressed with what I'd bought. I got it out and had a quick browse of the instructions and it charges the same way as the PS3 controller which is pretty useful [Just to clarify, it has its own battery and you can charge this and the controller up whilst both are attached, but you will need two cables]. Also comes with the cable required so you won't have to run out and buy one of those. And to use it I assumed I would have to browse around the PS3's settings, but it auto-connected which was nice. So I had it ready and in pretty quickly and it was great to begin with.
But it's not as amazing as it looks. First of all, the keys are pretty small and require a lot of concentration to type right; you need to be looking at them at all times to hit the right one. I tend to look at the screen when I type to make sure it's all coming out right, and I find myself stopping every 3 letters or so just in case. But it is definitely faster than the PS3 default input mode via controller, however a lot slower than your typical PC keyboard. However, if I got used to the typing, I would probably get faster.
But the keypad hasn't had an amazing amount of use from me if I'm honest. I did wonder about how it would fit, possibly blocking buttons, and it does seem to have that issue. The PS button, Start and Select are all easily accessible still, but R1 and L1 are proving hard to get to grips with. The sides of the keypad seem to stick into my fingers and kind of push them down, so I don't get a full grip on the button. I don't completely miss it, but it's far from comfortable either. And as I had planned to keep the keypad on at all times, it's proved very annoying.
The other problem is using it in poorly lit areas. I don't know about yourself, but I tend to dim the lights down when I watch a movie, show or play a game to get into it more. That proves difficult here as it's tough to see the keyboard. Similarly to typing, I could perhaps get used to where everything is and just know where to hit, but it's annoying and could easily be fixed by a back-light.
This product is definitely a good idea and something that can be built upon in the future. To be improved, it needs a back-light, a different shape that doesn't obscure back buttons and could use being wider too, to allow for better keys. If the keys were more keyboard-esque i.e. something that you can press in deep rather than a small button, that would also feel more useful; you'd be able to see you've pressed the right one.