Robustness, how tough is this thing?

Size & weight are often at odds with strength & durability. Obviously TextBlade is all about the former and I note the nice frameless design means the main structure of each blade is the base, which is flat so I expect a degree of flex is possible.

Stacking the blades will lend mutual support and the stand adds more, but I note WT has declined to make the stand into a full case (or even a full length cover).

I wonder how safe a TB is in a jeans pocket? Is it a matter of treat it the same as you would a phone?

If so does that mean if you are the sort of person who is hard enough on your gear to need some protection on your phone (raises hand), you should think about further protection or case for the TB?

Of course the TB is only 20% the cost of a phone so there is that, but like my phone I expect I’ll carry it on me most of the time so expose it to a fair bit of wear and bumps.

Also wondering how the frameless keys hold up against drops. Looks like on a corner hit all the load would have to go through one key -> butterfly -> axle -> mount etc.

@waytools, any comment on durability testing, pics of torture tests, flexing, etc you care to share?

I always thought that the TB is so light that the forces would not harm until you throw it around. But thinking about that I guess a key cap could spring off if it falls deep enough. I don’t think that it will bend easily as the materials and the shape seems to be very stiff.

BTW: I just got my stepson a decent Android 5.0 Phone with 8 GB internal RAM and QuadCore for about the price of a TB. Still feel the urge to protect it (from him) :slight_smile:

This Is very interesting to me as well. I am a little concerned about it being crushed, rather than dropped. How much pressure at a point does it take to render part or whole of the unit inoperable? Is it possible to “pop” a key if a unit is flexed? Do the components Flex, bend or snap? If the unit bends at all will the rocking back and forth cause issues when typing?

What about water, there is a lot of exposed seams on the unit, is a water ingress instant death or can the unit be slow dried back to working order?

How much force is required to separate the blades? If the surface they were resting on were to be struck a can the pieces lose contact with one another? Is the unit resistant to other magnetic sources, like unshielded speakers or EM door locks?

How heat/cold resistant is it? What are the expected range of temperatures that it can operate in? Are the metal components tolerant of temperature related expansion/contraction?

How smooth is the finish? Will the unit be able to be used on inclined surfaces, or do they have to be perfectly level to stop the unit sliding?

typed with some hope of an answer, but not much

Yeah, there are many good Android phones that fall in the $100-200 range.

I hope it is durable enough to keep it in the tiny jeans pocket same way I did back when I had a 1st gen iPod nano.

Will it withstand being inserted into a marketers rectum with a sledgehammer?

I merely ask for warrantee purposes, will that invalidate my early adopters guarantee?

1 Like

Rolanbek - threatening violence is not permitted on the forum.

Harboring such deep enmity in connection with any product is not healthy, so we must regretfully withdraw from transacting with you. Your refund info has been sent to you.

For people who share an interest in a new technology, facilitating their community discussion is a useful service, which allows them to exchange perspectives and informative data.

For an individual to co-opt a forum with a chaff storm of repetitive and abusive posts is a denial of this service to others.

Many who seek the opportunity to commune productively, and to find useful info efficiently, have asked us to intervene on several occasions as to your activity.

We hope that you can instead put these funds toward something else that brings you greater happiness, and restores your tranquility.

Thank you.

P.S. - We hope this interesting and useful thread can return to its core topic, and we’ll try to add some info for you all on topic this weekend.


Dave - will post some pics for you on Monday, but here’s a few points of info as we wrap up our weekend testing -

TextBlade packs really well in jean pockets, and generally the same common sense rules apply as with phones.

It’s much smaller than a phone, so it can even go in the coin pocket. Just as with phones, you want to put it in the front pockets rather than the back. Sitting on a phone is not a good idea, and the same applies here.

The polycarbonate is much stronger, and the walls much thicker than with conventional laptop keytops. They resist breakage of the retainer features quite a bit better than laptop keytops.

The SpaceBlade contains the battery, so it is a rigid body with a drawn stainless steel casing. The battery and steel casing are resin-composited together to get a very strong monoblock structure. There are also two additional steel stampings that increase beam strength, and torsional rigidity. At 4 mm gross height, it’s thinner than a phone, so like a phone, you don’t want to bend it over an edge. When it’s carried in the bundle of all three blades during transport, its further protected. The polycarbonate SpaceBlade cover forms a protective perimeter shock zone around the steel / battery composite, so it survives drop on its corners well.

The keyblades are incredibly light - less than half an ounce each, so they survive drop many times higher than a phone. The polycarbonate KeyBlade base is designed to flex without damage, (you can actually bend them a lot), yet they deliver the lowest profile full travel keyboard around.

The highest stress drop event would be dropping the whole bundle of three blades latched together and in the NanoStand sleeve, with one of the exposed corners striking first. The collective mass of the three blades carries more kinetic energy than a single loose blade, and the battery in the SpaceBlade is the heaviest single component.

Still, the aggregate mass is just 1.5 oz, so it’s much lighter than a 6S at 4.5 oz… The light weight and tougher materials mean that it handily survives events that would totally trash your phone screen. So - much more durable than a typical phone.

If you drop the bundle just right, it’s possible to pop one of the keytops, if the frameless corner hits at the required angle. It’s actually part of the progressive stress relief design to react that way under shock. But if it pops, now you can just snap the keytop back on and you’re good to go.

Ran lots of life cycle and abuse tests, and have some video of that. Will try to post some tidbits in the next few days.

As to your question about a full sheath that covers the total length - we designed and built some of those early on, but we discovered that their extra bulk noticeably affects the benefit proposition of amazingly small and light. So we came up with another way to provide total protection for rough-house handling use cases.

We’ll post some pics of that, and it will also be available from first ship if you want to config it in your shipment. Would imagine that you’d probably like to do that.


Are you talking about the whole thing, or the stand? Unless I’m mistaken, this is less than 50 grams.

The whole thing. It weighs one third of an iPhone 6S.


Looking forward to those videos!

Dave - some pix of TextBlade with an iPhone 6+ to illustrate protection.

First - a scale reference. TextBlade itself is really small compared to a phone.

Next, here’s the NanoStand around the blades. The polycarbonate sheath / stainless steel cover weighs only a few grams. Adds just a few percent to the total volume. One end remains open during transport.

Now to your query - what if I want to fully encase my TextBlade?

NanoStand is this specific size for a reason.

Easter Egg! Two NanoStands can fit on TextBlade concurrently, completely encasing each end in a stainless steel-jacketed shock absorber.

This effectively armors it against impact on any edge or corner of the blades.

Handles very severe drops and impacts, yet it remains small and super lightweight.

Also lets you put your phone and tablet side by side, with fast switching between them (very cool setup).

You can also mix and match regular and XL NanoStands to suit. They both fit. Notice how they nest together and tuck tightly around the TextBlade without wasting any volume.

See also how the overlapping slopes form a reinforcing truss structure to resist beam load.

Official cases cost a lot. Not NanoStand. At 7 bucks, it’s not expensive.

Pretty good deal, and super space efficient. Got a patent on this too.

Hope you like it :blush:


Old news but still cool :wink:

Man, that same poor guy from the big blog post with the 44k unread emails…


Having two NanoStands is likely useful for making a tablet more stable.

1 Like

Thanks WayTools, very interesting.

While thinking about the keyblades I hadn’t considered how strong the more solid spaceblade is and how that lends a lot of strength to the stack.

Love seeing a large photo with two stands fitted. I already ordered two because;

  • They’re cheap
  • Wanted to have both size options to try from day one.

I’ll probably keep both stands on for protection, nice to see the large photo with both fitted. For me I think it’s probably worth the extra bulk for complete protection against every day wear and tear.

1 Like

Is that the surprise?

What is the eta? Any things done from the punch list?

1 Like

Apparently it’s pretty tough and invisible…

Old news from May in fact.