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A Keyboard for the XBOX360.

Inputting text on the XBOX360 with the game controller is very tiresome for more than a couple of (very short) words, so when i discovered that any old USB PC keyboard would work with the text-entry portions of the XBOX dashboard i had to get one. Problem was, i didn’t want a big cumbersome PC keyboard lying about in front of the telly.

The solution, i thought, would be one of those dinky little, numpad-free keyboards that seem terribly undersized for everyday use on a PC… but fortunately whilst searching for one of those i came across something even better – flexible silicone keyboards. These can be rolled up and tucked away somewhere when not in use. Perfect.

flexible keyboard

Mine arrived yesterday and works well, allowing for much quicker text entry… and, unexpectedly, it also allows navigation around the XBOX dashboard interface (cursor keys to move around, Return to select, Esc for back and Windows key opens the “Quick Launch” pop-up).

In terms of hardware quality the device is about what i expected for £7.50 – an unknown brand, a cheapo tinfoil USB lead and several unmarked keys. That said, it’s not too bad looking and actually feels pretty durable. Admittedly, any sort of USB keyboard lacks the convenience of the official Messenger Pad but it was a fraction of the price, which is more important given how infrequently i’ll use it.

Oh, and if you’re going to buy one of these yourself, watchout for the entrepreneurial souls on eBay selling these as “XBOX Live Messenger Keyboards” – it’s the same shit but twice the price.