Pinyin or other systems, like Wubi, that are mostly based on the strokes of the characters. All can be entered via a keyboard. Chinese can be written much more quickly on a computer or phone querty keyboard than by hand, because today's software can very accurately anticipate the following key entries from the previous ones.
And don't forget that each character represents a full word, not a letter. So typing in Chinese is much quicker than in English -- even though there about 5000 commonly used characters. It is not really labor intensive. You type in the sound , then you get a list of characters that correspond to that sound and chose from the list by pressing the number. Then the software already guesses what the next word would be and gives you a list of choices. You just need to type a number for the next word then.
Last edited by HansTWN; 07-11-2009 at 12:09 AM.