[this could use another edit, it's late though.]
I haven't completed my first impression yet. I know that sounds odd, but until I have enough time to connect the TB to several systems and do some coding, I won't feel like I'm there yet. I think I've spent less than one hour using it so far. I'm looking forward to TB being a tool I can carry everywhere and use with any system without impediment. I also want to free up desk space taken up by too many keyboards on home and work desks and a lab bench. (I've used KVMs)
This morning, I waited outside for the FedEx truck to arrive. I got the package and spent the next five or ten minutes looking at the packaging before I opened the box to look at the TextBlade. I've seen plenty of pictures of the TextBlade, and a couple of pictures of the packaging. The packaging deserves some appreciation. There's that story of someone teaching Jobs to make the inside of a box look good even though nobody will ever see it, the point being that the maker knows that they did everything well, even if nobody else does. In this case, I'm sure they considered some of the best cardboard origami, but instead chose to make minimal 3d-printed structures out of PLA (plastic typically made from corn) to protect the main box and accessory box.
I share many of the same initial impressions of the TextBlade itself that previous posters have mentioned, although I don't think of it as being smaller than I expected. Pairing with the iPad was easy, as was updating the firmware.
Take your time. This is not your great-grandfather's keyboard.
I didn't have much time throughout the day to work with it out of sight of other nerds. Although I've looked at some of the demo videos in the last couple of days, there were a couple attempts at pairing with other computers that were hampered by forgetting how to properly shift into numeric mode. Going back to look at the Numbers and Symbols video resolved that issue, but as a time-pressed initial user trying to pair with multiple systems in a short period of time, I did not have a winning strategy. Feedback during pairing isn't always great, depending on the OS and version, and I didn't question or test my number entry soon enough. I also spent some time investigating the Laird BT820 which I want to use with systems that I walk up to and use as if I was carrying a wired USB keyboard.
We arranged that Mark call after my kids went to bed. Others have described their conversations with Mark, so I don't need to go into detail at that. At some point, these calls won't scale. Some of the conversation was about how to bring people up to speed and how people learn. (I mentioned one of my favorite Feynman stories about how people think differently https://youtu.be/Cj4y0EUlU-Y ). If everyone is using the same keyboards, you can loose sight of this cognitive variability because it looks like everyone is doing, and thinking, the same things with respect to keyboards at least. TextBlade is similar to, but not the same as a standard keyboard, e.g. home-row touch typing actually makes sense on a TextBlade.
I realize that my typical less-than-ten fingered typing allows me to have my hands at more comfortable angles than proper touch typing.
It wasn't until tonight that I setup different jumps with the appropriate maps and tried out a little prose entry. It's been awhile since I've done proper touch typing. I'm not sure what I call my normal typing but it doesn't involve keeping my fingers on the traditional home row. I've been a home-row touch typer before, I'm curious to see how long it will take to get back there. There are some characters that I'm not hitting properly. I don't know yet how far off I am.