The PS3 Wireless Keypad, In My Cold, Cold Hands

The Wireless Keypad for the Playstation 3 is an innocuous little snap-on peripheral, that adds a full QWERTY thumb board, touchpad and a few instant access buttons to your controller.

The Playstation 3's $50 keyboard is a bit lighter, thinner and offers a few more features than its Xbox 360 counter-part, which is to be expected since its hitting stores so much later.

I was surprised to find that, unlike with the 360 keypad, the PS3's has its own battery and has to be charged separately to be used. Instead of plugging into the PS3 controller, which may not even be possible, the PS3's keypad uses Blutooth to connect to the Playstation 3.

The keypad easily slips onto the Playstation 3 with the help of two small clamps. Typing with the keypad is about as easy as using the 360's which snaps on (quite roughly) to the bottom of a 360 controller. That is to say, it's not exactly easy, but still much better than trying to use a controller to input text.

The keypad also has a couple of neat extras built into. There are buttons for instant access to both the message box and friends list. Pushing either button in game pauses the game and brings up the box or list instantly.

The pad also has a touchpad mode. Turning this on turns the keypad into a full on touchpad. It seems to work quite well, though I couldn't find any reasons to use it besides web browsing. Still a very nice feature.

Most importantly, the keypad's light design and above-the-controller location makes it completely unnoticeable when you're gaming. While the 360 keypad is fairly out of the way, over time it annoyed me because the palms of my hands sort of rested on it. Not so with this keypad, it's practically invisible when you're playing.

Is it worth a purchase? Sure, if texting with a controller drives you nuts. Otherwise I'd maybe hold off until I felt a need for a keypad on the controller.