How to connect a wireless bluetooth keyboard to the nokia n800 and n810

However good the on-screen keyboard of the N800 or the built-in keyboard of the N810 are, nothing can ever completely replace the speed and accuracy of a real full-size keyboard. Well, the N800 and N810 are actually compatible with many real full-size keyboards!

Keyboards that work with the N800 and N810 have to be wireless and use a standard called Bluetooth HID, but this is the standard that most wireless keyboards use anyway, so it's not difficult to find a compatible model. There's a suitable Nokia branded keyboard called the SU-8W, but you can use non-Nokia keyboards too, as long as they're Bluetooth HID compatible.

In case you're wondering why anyone would want to use a keyboard with something as portable as an Internet Tablet, the answer is that many Bluetooth keyboards are just as portable. Many of them, such as the SU-8W, fold up into something about the same size and weight as the tablet itself. You can see an example of this in the video above.

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[edit] How to pair the N800 or N810 and a Bluetooth keyboard

Once you've found a suitable keyboard, you need to do something called "pairing". This involves sending a special code from the keyboard to the tablet so that the tablet knows it can let the keyboard connect to it in the future. Pairing is slightly tricky but only has to be done once for a pair of devices. After the pairing your keyboard will connect to the tablet completely automatically without you having to do anything except switching it on and pressing a key.

These instructions are for pairing the SU-8W, but they should work for any model of Bluetooth keyboard. If you run into any problems, consult your Bluetooth keyboard's manual, which will have a section on pairing.

  1. Switch on your Bluetooth keyboard.
  2. On the tablet, click on the Applications menu (the green squares on the left of the screen)
  3. Click on Settings
  4. Click on Control Panel
  5. Double click on Bluetooth
  6. Click on Devices
  7. Click on New
  8. You'll see a list of all nearby Bluetooth devices, though you may have to wait a few seconds while the tablet searches for them. Select your keyboard from the list when it appears.
  9. A box will appear with a four digit code (for example 1234). Click on OK.
  10. Type in the code on your keyboard and then press enter. IMPORTANT TIP: If you're using the Nokia SU-8W, hold down the green FN key while typing the numbers, then let go and press enter.

In theory this should be enough to pair the N800 and the keyboard. However, in real life Bluetooth pairing doesn't always go according to plan. If the pairing doesn't work, try entering the code again. If it still doesn't work, cancel the pairing and start all over again.

The pairing should work eventually, although it may take several attempts. However, this isn't as annoying as it sounds because YOU ONLY HAVE TO DO PAIRING ONCE. After the keyboard and tablet have been successfully paired, you never have to worry about connecting them ever again, they will connect automatically whenever both of them are switched on and within 10 metres of each other.

Incidentally, the people in charge of the Bluetooth standard are well aware of how annoying this code-swapping process can be. In recent public statements they've said that they're altering the standard so Bluetooth devices can be paired simply by touching them together. However, this new procedure is still in the future, so for the moment we have to put up with entering codes.

[edit] How to use a Bluetooth keyboard with your N800 or N810

Once you've got the keyboard and Internet Tablet paired, you can start using them together!

To connect the keyboard to the Internet Tablet, simply switch it on (and perhaps press a few keys). The tablet should connect to the keyboard within a few seconds, and you'll know it's connected because its Bluetooth logo (an angular "B" in the top row of status icons) will start to glow blue.

After connection, whenever you have to enter text on the N800 you will be able to do it with the Bluetooth keyboard. However, it's important to remember to select the area where you want to enter the text before you start typing (for example if you want to search Google, click the Google search text box before typing in your search terms).

You can switch the keyboard on and off whenever you like, it will always be able to re-connect automatically. You can also continue to use the touchscreen just as before.

[edit] More than just typing

You can use the keyboard for far more than just entering text. For example when you're viewing a website the arrow keys will let you scroll around the screen. Single presses of the arrow keys will jump from one link to the next, holding the arrow keys down will scroll the page.

You can also control most of the N800's functions from your keyboard without touching the screen, by using things called Keyboard Shortcuts. They're a particular combination of keys that you press in order to do a particular task on the N800

To see what the current shortcuts are, and to alter them (which you may have to do if your keyboard doesn't have the keys used in the shortcuts) do the following:

  1. Click on the Applications menu (the green squares on the left)
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Control Panel
  4. Double click on Bluetooth Keyboard
  5. Click on the Shortcuts tab in the top right hand corner of the Bluetooth Keyboard box.
  6. If you want to alter a shortcut, select the one you want to alter.
  7. Click on Edit
  8. Using your Bluetooth keyboard, press the combination of keys you want to use for the shortcut you're currently editing.
  9. Click on OK
  10. Click on OK

If you alter the shortcuts to your liking, you should be able to easily control most of the things the tablet does entirely from your keyboard, without having to use the touchscreen at all. You can always still use the touchscreen if you want to though.

[edit] How to change the keyboard country layout

Different countries usually use different layouts of keyboards, and even a single model of Bluetooth keyboard can have many different layouts depending on where you buy it.

If the letters on your keyboard don't match the letters that appear when you type, it may be that the N800's keyboard country settings are wrong.

This is very easy to correct, just go to the Bluetooth Keyboard settings box as described above, and select the appropriate keyboard settings from the dropdown Keyboard Layout menu.