If you work with tech rather than use it as a consumer, you are creating content, emails for example and a keyboard is much faster.
Scaling down laptops is the a "how small can you go" challenge. Once you get a physical keyboard small enough it becomes no faster than an onscreen keyboard.
7" 8" 10" 13" laptop methods. When you scale down to that 7" type size then clamshell is the only method which works when moving.
So that 7" tablet when moving you have to type with thumbs in portrait mode, and then when sat down you can attach a keyboard. So there is for sure a gap at the smaller end for those who work and move. The video from a tech journalist is an example person with a gap.
Situations these suit:
- moving while typing
- a day living out of your pocket and keeping up with work
- cramped situations such as in an economy seat with the little table.
Situations these do not suit
- consumers who type little
- when sat down a lot - bigger keyboards suit those better, laptops and PCs do these better and cheaper as the tech does not have to be as advanced to shrink.
From my own hands-on experience, about the 7"-8" side is the smallest keyboard worth having a keyboard, and the reviews of this PDA type phone is below that threshold.
I think from my 7" tablet experience, if they made a border-less tablet in the 4.5" x 8" size, with a 8" diagonal, it would be just within the max size you can hold one handed to talk on as a phone and have a keyboard wide enough to not be painful. The challenge would be not making it too thick, for it to have a hinge which protruded back when opening so the resulting opened device did not push over when touching the screen. I suspect that would be what they'd end up having to do based on this 1st version product.
What they did here was not make it 8" wide but 6.75" wide so the keys got just too cramped up. They could have used an edge to edge screen and they should have made a backlit keyboard. Those are not that difficult to fix.