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Hands on with the BlackBerry Z10 keyboard

In what may be remembered as the last stand of RIM, the once industry leading Blackberry maker unveiled two new smartphones today at a press conference in Manhattan – the Q10 and Z10. We got a chance to play with the Z10 for few minutes after the opening presentation, and although there were plenty of features that impressed us, we were particularly struck by how snappy and responsive the keyboard was.

It stands to reason that RIM (henceforth known just as BlackBerry) knows a thing or two about making a great keyboard – part of the company’s initial success was due a well-designed keyboard that users fell in love with. And although they’re still holding out hope for physical keys with the Q10, it appears BlackBerry has taken their time to ensure that the Z10’s touchscreen keyboard gets just as much love. As you can see in the video, the phone boasts some pretty cool swipe-based text prediction features that are incredibly simple to use.

The Z10 goes on sale in the UK tomorrow, January 31st, followed by February releases in Canada, China, and the United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately those of us hoping to buy one in the U.S. will have to wait until sometime in March.