I was accepted into TREG last Wednesday. The Textblade was shipped to my house Thursday, made it here Friday and Mark called Friday night. I thought I would do something a bit different and skip impressions and unboxings and talk about what I thought this thing was when I bought it, and what it actually is. As well as go into a bit of detail about the talk with Mark.
I had some time to play with the blade a bit for about an hour before the call because the TestFlight invitation was delayed, and the app on the app store is not at all up to date and can't (well, not sure what I did there) set up the device with it. But Mark called and began walking through a laundry list of functions of the app and the blade. Some of the functions are in the app store version, some not. He showed me how to do my job of recording the logs, run tests, post reports, and every step of the way, he went into detail about the challenges they faced and the tech involved in making this thing work.
I know it's been mentioned, but this thing is crazy high tech. I honestly wish they'd post some of the stuff he talked about here somewhere. Talking about how sensitive the capacitive sensors needed to be, the work that went into the angle of the blades, the thought that went into where things were placed, the software behind it all is just nuts.
The talk with him cemented in my mind that I was wrong about what I thought I was buying. I thought I was buying a small, cool, portable keyboard, a physical alternative to the iPad touch keyboard. This is not that. There is a reason so many forum active TREG testers have made this their daily typing device and only grudgingly go back. This is a full on, bells and whistles, replacement to an actual keyboard. If there is something you want this to do that you can do with a real full board, this can almost certainly do it, and probably even easier than you could on one.
When people talk about this, and mention scope creep. I think these features they mention were always in the plan for this. But the issues we've seen delay delivery have largely been hardware issues that caused problems that you might forgive or overlook in a Microsoft foldable pocket board, but would be unacceptable in the one keyboard you use every day for everything.