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Nyko TypePad Pro - Accessory Review

A Keyboard That Lets You Also Use the Remote

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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Nyko TypePad

The TypePad has a slot to hold the Wii Remote.

Nyko

Pros: Lets you type and navigate with the remote at the same time.
Cons: Only really useful if you have Nyko’s Wand controller. Lacks an “alt” key.

While the Wii console accepts input from any USB PC keyboard (or Logitech’s Wii keyboard), there is a minor frustration in switching between the keyboard and the Wii remote, which has to be used as a mouse when navigating the internet in Wii’s Opera browser. For touch typists like me, you have to drop your remote to type, and pick it up again to navigate, a problem best avoided through use of Nyko’s TypePad Pro, a small keyboard that attaches to your remote.

What It Is

The TypePad is about the size of a paperback book. The QWERTY keyboard is used thumb-style, as with a blackberry, with the two sides of the keyboard divided by a slot for the Wii remote. The keyboard gets its power from the remote’s batteries, and talks to the console via a USB dongle plugged into the back.

Besides the standard keys, the TypePad has a couple of extras, one that types out “.com”, for when you are inputting a web address, and a “@” key for use in typing email addresses. On the negative side, the keyboard lacks an “alt” key, which is unfortunate, since typing alt+enter on a regular keyboard will click the “OK” button on the Wii’s virtual console. Using the TypePad, you can only click okay by pointing the remote at the “OK” button and pressing “A.”

Special Features

To get full use out of the TypePad, you need to pair it with Nyko’s own Wii remote, The Wand. The Wand and the TypePad use Nyko’s “Trans-Port” technology to communicate, which allows users to use left and right hand triggers on the TypePad to trigger the “A” and “B” buttons. If you use Nintendo’s remote, you have to awkwardly move your hand to the “A” button while holding the keyboard, which is cumbersome to use for pointing with only one hand.

Conclusion

A keyboard for the Wii can come in very handy for typing in friend codes or browsing the internet, but how much you need a remote-keyboard combo will depend on just how often your find yourself doing either of those tasks. I’m not a fan of thumb-style keyboards, and for my own use I will stick to a full-sized one, but the TypePad is an interesting gizmo that works well, and if nothing in my review puts you off, you will probably like it. On the other hand, if it has never even occurred to you before that switching from the remote to a keyboard is annoying, you may find this a solution to a problem you have never had.
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