The New York Times: Chatpad keyboard for Xbox 360 speeds typing

Keyboard for Xbox Speeds Typing
Published: August 2, 2007

Sending voice and Webcam picture messages to fellow Xbox 360 players over Microsoft’s Xbox Live service is a cinch, but tapping out old-fashioned text messages using the 360’s onscreen keyboard isn’t much fun. A new $30 miniature keyboard called the Chatpad speeds up text entry to let you best even the fastest BlackBerry touch-typists.

The Chatpad, to go on sale Sept. 6, attaches to the underside of the 360’s controller without interfering with the controller’s comfortable feel in the hands. A backlight makes typing during late-night Gears of War campaigns easier on the eyes, and a dedicated Messenger button activates the 360’s instant messaging program so you can taunt your enemies without breaking from the action.

Unfortunately you can’t use the keyboard to type a letter and jump to the corresponding spot in long lists of Xbox Live movie downloads or songs stored on an iPod connected to the 360. Instead, you need to hold down the scroll button. Albert Penello, director for global marketing for Xbox, said the company was looking into a way to add this feature.


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