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The BlackBerry PlayBook, as first delivered, can work with three slightly different keyboard layouts: QWERTY, QWERTZ, or AZERTY. The tablet, as sold in the United States and Canada, comes with the familiar QWERTY keyboard as default.

Research in Motion (RIM) probably will add more keyboard choices as the BlackBerry PlayBook gains acceptance around the world. It is relatively easy for programmers to introduce new layouts; Cyrillic and perhaps some Asian character sets will probably be among the first offerings.

To make a change, do the following:

  1. Tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the home screen.

  2. Tap the Keyboard tab.

  3. Tap the pull-down menu alongside Keyboard Type.

  4. Select from the available character sets.


    While you’re in the neighborhood, consider whether you want to turn off keypress popup, which gives you an onscreen validation of your typing (by momentarily enlarging the character you pressed). This is a very useful feature to have on, but you can turn it off.

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