I've been using my TextBlade at college for less than a week, and I've already had more than a dozen people come by and ask about it, followed almost invariably by "Oh that is COOL!" style reactions. It's very satisfying,I must say.
And I know, it's hard waiting for the TextBlade, but I will tell you now that the wait will be worth it, both for the feel of the TextBlade under your fingers and also the inevitable "what's that? Ooooh!" reactions the device draws anywhere it goes.
It's one thing to have a brand new pair of headphones, or the latest and greatest smartphone. Some aficionados might recognize them as the newest fill-in-the-blank from such and so company, but most people will just see headphones or a phone like any hundreds or thousands of others.
TextBlade is very, very different, because when people see it, hold it in their hand (if you let them touch your shiny tech toy, that is ), it is the first time they have ever experienced a keyboard like this, and they know it. TextBlade is something completely different from legacy keyboards, and it shows.
Actually, as I told one of my roommates, this thing is only distantly a keyboard, in that you type on it, it has keys, and it can enter text onto your device. But calling it a keyboard and leaving it at that is a severe understatement and doesn't really inform your listener about what you're talking about. This thing is a craoss-platform, ultraportable, tactile input engine. Comparing it to a keyboard is like saying that a graphical user interface is an image-based command prompt entry system. Accurate, maybe, but held back by being anchored to a prior system that has since been surpassed.
However, I suppose calling the TextBlade a keyboard is shorter and easier than calling it a "cross platform, ultraportable, tactile input engine"
So, some other updates about my experience with this thing:
One of the biggest things I have noticed is that my typing habits are improving as I go. I'm using all fingers, and all of them on the proper keys. Using the TextBlade is a huge help on that front, because all of the keys are tactile and I don't have to do obnoxious reach and contortions to get where I want to, as I would on a legacy keyboard.
When I'm not typing on it, I'm often holding the pieces in my hands, flicking them apart and letting the magnets snap them back together. The feel and sound are very satisfying--for me--and very annoying and irritating for everyone who doesn't have an array of their own magnets to play with. Jealousy, I'm pretty sure.
Much as I love this thing, there are definitely still bugs that have to be hunted down and squished. I have seen a number of connection failures, or times when it gives the wrong character, or times when it simply doesn't work the way it should. Most of the time it's small user error, things and I breeze right through and edit, just the way I would on a legacy device. But there are also lingering problems in how it interprets what character you're pressing, or how it connects to a host when you turn it on or jump around that can be anywhere from annoying to "what the heck is going on?!".
About half of those for me in some way relate to its dependence on iDevices for configuration and so forth. Another quarter of the problems come in when I try to use the TextBlade on my iDevice--the iPad mini, much as I dislike the operating system, is an okay tablet, and I like that it's lightweight and fits into a cargo pants pocket. It also has wonderful battery life and can actually run MS Office without me needing to buy a subscription, so I've been using it as a backup tablet next to my Jide Remix.
What else can I say about the TextBlade...Ah yes! I have received word that the augmented reality headset I ordered from kickstarter the same month that I ordered my TextBlade should be arriving soon, and when it does, you can bet that I'll use the two of them together and report on how that feels! Look forwards to that, and my video series on using the TextBlade--if I can ever get that off the ground, that is...so far, technical issues combined with my schedule getting busy says "nuh uh".... But I'm working on it!