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Upcoming February/March launch will be key test of RIM's remaining draw

While there's still a hearty helping of gloom and doom surrounding embattled Canadian smartphone-maker Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM), there's also been recent signs that could raise the hope that the company could survive the rocky and delay-filled BlackBerry 10 launch.  Lower than expected defections and better than expected financials have raised some cautious optimism among beleaguered investors.

The latest leak from the BlackBerry space is the leak of a single image of the full-QWERTY N-Series model, which is likely to be named the BlackBerry X10.  For those who aren't BlackBerry veterans, RIM's keyboards are widely regarded as the best in the industry, making tapping out a quick email much less tedious (and less autocorrect-filled) than using a touch screen.

The new device, though, tweaks the traditional formula a bit, straightening out the curved keyboard into straight lines.  It was clear not all readers on the enthusiast site CrackBerry were fans of the change, with some going as far as to say they hoped the images were fake.

BlackBerry X10
Leaked images of what is supposedly the BlackBerry X10 (??) [Image Source: Crackberry]

As with any device image leak, the authenticity is open for debate, but CrackBerry tends to have a relatively impressive record leaking past devices.  What do BlackBerry fans think?  Is this the keyboard you're looking for, or has RIM gone too far?

Source: CrackBerry

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RE: keyboard is back
By Motoman on 12/26/2012 10:47:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's a massive departure for BB keyboards reason why BBs were so much easier to type on was that their buttons were smaller, with large gaps in-between them. That made it easier to get the right key with your fingers, and harder to hit the wrong one.

Now it looks like a bog-standard keyboard from any of the zillions of other smartphones on the market. That's what the concern is about. One thing the BB had, in a real and physical way, was a superior it may only be as good as the rest.

RE: keyboard is back
By tastyratz on 1/4/2013 12:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
agreed, I don't like it.
The curved center allowed your thumbs to more easily reach and manipulate all keys in a fluid motion without any wrist movement or hand rotation - even just a slight curve.
straight keys are JUST like everyone else, bad move rim.

RE: keyboard is back
By Flunk on 1/14/2013 3:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe for you, I found Blackberries terrible for just that reason. The tiny little keys are difficult to hit if you have large hands.

RE: keyboard is back
By lexluthermiester on 1/15/2013 9:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, huge hands here too. But to be fair, I do miss my BB Pearl. I've got the Galaxy S Relay and it is very cool. Yet if BB make a good comeback and they get the OS just right, I might just switch back.

RE: keyboard is back
By MrBungle123 on 1/17/2013 11:12:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah the keyboard stuck on the end of the phone is kind of lame... I think they'd be better off with a slider or something so they could offer a bigger keyboard.

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