I received my TREG unit January 4, 2018. It’s taken me a while to write my first impressions because I’ve been swamped. First some background:
I’ve been a touch typist since high school (class of ’83). I’ve used an ergonomic split keyboard for the past ten years. I play piano (so am comfortable with playing chords quickly). My top typing speed years ago with an electric typewriter was 80 WPM. These days, even with a computer, it’s lower mostly because my typing is more sporadic than it used to be and because I’m usually composing in my head while I type, so I pause a lot.
That said, I love the TextBlade! (Duh, thanks for stating the obvious) It is amazing though. It is so freakin’ TINY when folded up. Whenever I show it to someone and tell them it’s my keyboard before I set it up, their jaws fall to the floor.
My typing speed on the TB is about 50 WPM. I forget which website I used.
The tactile experience could not be better. The feel is better than any keyboard I have ever used. So, what items are taking time to adapt?
The smaller throw for my fingers remains a challenging adjustment. I’m just so used to moving my fingers further that I often overshoot. I have improved since first receiving the TB, but I still have a ways to go. A word of caution: If you are typing a text message or a Slack message, be careful typing the single quote ‘ character! I have accidentally hit return more than once and sent my message prematurely! In time I know I will prefer the smaller travel distance, but I am still adjusting to it.
I find that with the TB there is less room for slop. I need to keep my fingers on the home row with my arms positioned correctly and at the right height. If I don’t, I seem to type more errors. I find I have to be more precise in where I land to type the right characters, and I’ve gotten used to the wide margin of error that large, spaced, separate keys afford me.
I have not yet learned the various layers very well. There is a bit of a learning curve there, and I have not had time to address it. So I only know the standard stuff and whatever is printed on the keys. I’m learning other things I need little by little.
I had backed a different Kickstarter project for a smartwatch – ZeTime by MyKronoz. Ignoring some delivery hiccups due to the string of hurricanes this winter, they completed development as promised in record time. Delivered as promised. And the result? It sucks! What a pile of steel crap. It’s a smartwatch and when I first got it, the core function of telling time did not even work right! I lost 10 minutes per hour. Are you kidding me? Firmware updates and software updates have improved things, but the UI is still a nightmare, and the thing is pretty much useless for all of the so-called features they included (like vibration for notification, except I can’t feel it because it’s so weak!).
So, why am I mentioning this? Because the TextBlade is the polar opposite of this experience. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, about this little keyboard, is fully thought out and implemented from the users UI perspective. The function and attention to detail are amazing. Now, I will not comment on when what was promised, how long it’s taken since first announced as almost ready, etc. I was not a Kickstarter backer. I “purchased” my TB on Black Friday 2016 even though my delivery date said it might not be until Spring 2017. Well, like others, I didn’t know I was pre-ordering.
All that aside, it’s worth the wait. This little keyboard is transformative. Once I had it in my hand, I decided to follow the lead of another thread and minimize my entire mobile workstation. You may have seen my comments in other threads. I ditched the laptop, got an iPad Pro 12.9”, with the TB and SwiftPoint GT mouse, and my bag dropped from 12.5 pounds to 5 pounds. I couldn’t be happier, and it was all inspired by the small size and large functionality of the TextBlade.
And for what it’s worth, I have been experiencing some Bluetooth connection issues and working with WayTools to resolve. So, I assure you, you do not want this to be like the ZeTime. I will never trust that company again with another purchase. WayTools, for sure (though I might wait for general release next time!).
I could probably go on all day about more experiences with it, but I’ll stop here and just add to this thread as things come to mind.
Hang in there! It’s worth it.
— Typed on a clunky, nearly extinct behemoth