The good folks at Seiko have come up with a handy little keyboard for Handspring Visors and Palm Pilots that they call the ThumBoard. Costing roughly $30 and taking up the size of a stack of business cards, the ThumBoard is a pocket-size keyboard that snaps on to the bottom of the PDA and accesses the unit through the HotSync port. The ThumBoard covers up the grafitti area, therefore the combined unit takes up little more space than the PDA alone. The ThumBoard includes all the functions of a standard QWERTY keyboard plus a few extra PDA-only functions. A number of extended characters are also available.

The ThumBoard only requires 20KB of memory for its driver to function. Moreover, the latest driver is always available at the Seiko website. As of this writing that version is 1.2.

The unit is a wise investment for those of us out there who do frequent input into their PDA, but not enough to warrant the purchase of a $100 folding keyboard. Better still, the unit is a single device and doesn't fold up on collapse, meaning that one doesn't need a surface to type on it. Personally, I find using the unit like playing a Game Boy - the same thumb movements are required. I knew all those years of Super Mario Land would pay off someday!