Just yesterday I hoped that we'd see a thumable QWERTY/suretype mashup keyboard from HTC, well today it looks like somebody's beaten them to the punch: CooTek. If you're one of the 800,000 Touch users, it behooves you to go check out TouchPal. As you can see from the screenshot above, it's eminently thumb-able and has a very nice word prediction setup. It also handles punctuation very well.

Basically you can just tap tap tap away and use the auto-word completion dictionary to get your words right. But if you need to be exacting, you can tap-slide in any direction to get a specific character or punctuation mark. The upshot is that each button can put out up to 4 different characters, but in 90% of your usage you don't really have to think about it. Using it for 10 minutes has pretty much convinced me to make it my primary input method.

Best of all, it's a free download until Dec 8th, 2008 (a bit random, but I'll take it). It comes in both QVGA and VGA flavors.

They claim you can get up to 300 characters a minute. Check out the video after the break to see somebody with faster thumbs than I have do just that.

via PocketPCMag