What will your set-up with TextBlade look like?

Well, finally got my lap desk set up fairly well. I looked in a number of stores, just looking for something, hopefully also not too wide, made of steel to slide into that little plastic sign and had no luck at all. And then tonight I noticed on a shelf with various junk items I never threw out, two fairly small pieces of steel (about 4x6) that I remember putting aside probably well over 10 years ago thinking some day they may be useful for something that uses magnets!

Maybe half a mm thick so not bad. Thinner would be better, assuming something thinner would still close to the same attraction. I set it up vertically inside the plastic sleeve so I can have plenty of places to set the TB (side to side doesn’t matter as I’ll always want it centered that way). Not sure of the minimum width the plate needs to be to hold the TB. Seems the strongest force is near the center but there is some magnetic grab further out. But I’m pretty sure it could be narrower. I have nothing to cut it with though.

The plastic separating the plate from the TB reduces the grab, but that a good thing. It is easy to remove the TB that way, yet the grab is strong enough that I can tilt it vertically or upside down - even shake it some - and it won’t come off! So now I can use it like my Apple keyboard and just prop it up next to my chair, on the floor when not using it.

One issue is that the plastic sign is 9.5 inches wide (that would be the height as I use it) and that is too wide to fit in my iPad bag. Even with my computer bag which is what I usually use for trips, it would be hard to zip up. So I need something to make that a bit smaller. I could probably have something just 6 inches wide and fine on my lap, but 8 inches would be fine for travel too.

As I said before, the sleeve could also hold a paper with other useful info. Maybe a chart showing the location of characters which I don’t remember yet (which I could update as I learn more of them). That way I would only be showing things I need to know rather than have a bunch of congestion in there making it harder to find the character I want.

One other issue is that I don’t think these sign holders hold up well. I can see stress marks where the plastic folds over. Only a problem if one breaks while on a trip though, since it may not be convenient to get another one at the time.

11 inches long is good to fit across my lap. Maybe could get by with 10 but 11 is better. But even on Amazon, I couldn’t find anything that long but no more than 8 inches wide so this may be the best I can do.

@dabigkahuna, here at home we still have a heavy gallon can of iron filing paint which might have been applied to a wall and then painted over. We (well…I) thought that it should best accommodate a giant collection of refrigerator magnets. While I’m not writing to convince you to purchase my gallon, it was something I wanted you to know. I attached large, steel automotive drip pans to the walls for those magnets. Another idea was to procure a flat sheet of what is referred to as quiet steel; a common laminated product used to acoustically dampen noise. I once replaced a small engine on a riding mower and the replacement engine had a blower housing stamped from the stuff. I marveled at how ordinary it appeared, but sounded for all the world as though it was made of garbage can plastic when I tapped it with a wrench. I searched but hadn’t found a source of quiet steel samples for hobby / craft purposes.

A simple way to make an appropriate stand would be to get something of the right shape/size, and then use magnetic tape to make the TextBlade grip it.


I don’t think so. I mentioned this before when someone suggested something magnetic to hold it as opposed to just steel which would hold onto the TB magnets.

I was concerned that adding a magnetic field could cause problems and, by accident, it seems I was right. Yesterday I had set the TB on my car seat for a moment. Car is a mess and I had forgotten that I had actually placed a roll of magnetic tape on the seat, which was lightly hidden under my bicycling shirt. When I tried to type again, I got all kinds of weird stuff happening! When trying to do typing tests, I was getting low 20s with lots of errors. I ended up separating all three parts for a period of time while I ran errands. It seems okay now - I assume the magnetic effect dissipated - but any time I do have a problem, I now wonder if it is just me making mistakes again or if some problems it caused remain.

In theory, magnetic tape should no have effect any different from a steel plate, which has been tested and validated extensively.

So we think something else was at play there. One user had a child play with the magnets twisted around, docking repeatedly, and was able to confuse the software for a time. (Child-testing is potent!)

We put in a new filter to monitor for that sort of activity, and it seems to work well. We really contorted the setup several times, and it was clean. That build is up on our Beta section right now.

That may be what caused the temporary state for dbk. Dbk you’ll get an invite to the new build for OTA this week, and you can check with the same tape roll to see if you no longer see the temporary weird state after mounting on the roll. That test would be helpful.


Boy, that was a heck of a coincidence I got then because there was no question the obvious issues immediately followed the magnet exposure. And went away only after I left them disconnected for awhile.

It may make sense as not mere coincidence.

If you you peel it off a magnetic surface and the contacts get brushed in an unusual or twisted way, that could have had the same effect as the ‘kid-test’.

Let’s try that tape roll again once you get the new filter in the OTA.


It’s awesome that it is so small and that it have that swipe function + it doesn’t need to use the usd bluetooth. I really thought about Swiftpoint this time, but 150 dollars is simply too much. To write with a pen was never my thing, so why should a mouse that you hold like a pen be? In Sweden there is no opportunity to try the thing.

I think I will go with the Anywhere 2, which is seen as one of the best mice out there. It doesn’t need usb bluetooth either.

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Well, this topic was before its time. But now we at least have some TREGGERS!

Is the Textblade making it possible for any of you to use a keyboard-less laptop or tablet as a main work station? Would you recommend buying a Windows surface and skip their keyboard and use the Textblade instead?

Has anybody an easier solution than dabigkahunas for being able to use the Textblade on your lap? My first thought (2 years ago) was to 3D-print a frame or something to make it stable.

[quote=“Ludvig, post:89, topic:1272”]
I think I will go with the Anywhere 2, which is seen as one of the best mice out there. It doesn’t need usb bluetooth either.
[/quote]For anyone wondering, it works OK. It does not like Linux, had to do some trickery to get it work, and have to restart my bluetooth to make it less jumpy from time to time. And I can’t use the special program Logitech made to change the settings of the mouse.

Should really stop buying my set-up after what fits with the Textblade, though.

It won’t cause me to abandon my computer - for me, it’s hard to beat two screens (presently 21.5 and 24 inches). So most of my work is there - with a TB!

But I do sometimes wonder about using my phone or ipad more regularly, just as a thought experiment. And I think I’d be okay with that except for the inherent limitations tablets have with their apps compared to ones for computers.

I’ll also point out that when I bought my ipad pro (9.7) when it was released, I did not buy it with a keyboard cover. If I need to do something quick, I use the screen keyboard. Otherwise I’d pull out the TB.

What are you looking as an “easier” solution for lap use? I’ll guess that you are referring to my solution being a solid piece of plexi-glass and the requirements for carrying that - as opposed to maybe something that folds up into something much smaller.

I’ve wondered about that two. I’ve considered a wire type frame that collapses somehow. Don’t know how workable that would be though. Need to be ridged enough for stability. Likewise need enough contact area with your lap for stability too. By the time all that is done, you may have a heavier unit even if it can be made smaller when folded. Love to see someone find a workable solution to it though!

BTW, I did try a piece of plywood - very light. Much narrower than my present setup. But I found that the narrowness really hurt stability. The whole board would move too much every time I hit a key, though I could do it. But something like that, with a metal support that would slide out of the way when not in use, but created extra support just by sliding it out may be a good compromise.

I do use the surface pro driving two external monitors with the textblade at work. No issues bouncing around between that, the ipad, and my phone (rarely, easier to just use on screen on the phone most of the time).


I now travel without my laptop, and during the day at my office I’ve went from 95%/5% split (laptop/tablet) to 70/25/5 (laptop/tablet/phone).

Interestingly even when I’m at my desk using my laptop, the tablet and phone are set up and with easy TB jumps and cloud based work, I have a 4 screen desk instead of a 2 screen desk.

Here’s my set-up for travel: “What’s in Your Bag?” (idea2go #WIYB edition)

Since that post I’ve improved the headphone thickness with a thin zipper case for them instead of the Apple case.



Yes, I meant your plexi-glass thingy. Seemed a bit heavy. I guess a any block of paper would do the trick, but would be kinda great if there was a really small solution.

Your point with instability is interesting. My keyboard at the moment is quite small for a keyboard, so I use it everywhere. So I use it on my lap. Of course there is not the same kind of instability as the Textblade, since it is all in one part, but when I am tired and presses down those keys extra hard it begins to wiggle from side to side. One of the negative aspects of using dvorak :smiley:

It’s 10.2 ounces, including the little sheet of metal and two pieces of paper with my charts. I’d say that the thin plywood I have would be lighter even at the same size, but I’m not sure. I’m not sure where it is at the moment to weigh it and calculate the weight if it was the same size. If I could do it, I’d rout out a small area for a metal plate in it too. Just too handy for holding the TB even if I set it down on it’s side next to my desk. But, of course, you don’t have to have that. It holds steady in use. You just can’t tilt it on edge without the metal to hold.

If WT ever gets this thing done, I have to think at some point we’ll see different versions (maybe licensed with other companies) that will be one piece units, plug in units, etc. Maybe something that can plug directly into the computer (for games) but also use BT.

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Here are the different things I can use for a lap desk:

  1. My normal plexiglass sign which lets me both slide layouts inside as well as a thin sheet of metal (which is kept in place by taping it to the piece of paper for the layout).

9x11.2 inches (101 square inches) - 9.6 oz without the metal sheet in it. 10.2 oz with it and the two sheets of paper in it. This works well but I can see an advantage if I could get good stability with something a bit smaller.

The problem is, how much smaller. Without having a variety of things to actually try, it’s a lot of guess work. Which brings me to the other items I have so far. Oh, and none of these have the advantage of a layout view or metal to hold in place even if you set the desk and TB down on its side:

An old fiberboard item that was a shelf in an old computer desk. Not designed for heavy weight! But fine for the TB. This one is actually bigger at 11x14 inches (154 square inches), but even so is only a bit over 5 oz. If I were to use this, I’d definitely cut it down to no bigger than my normal lapdesk. People should keep in mind that what you type on makes a difference in feel. I’ve heard that having the TB on granite is really extra nice though you wouldn’t think it would matter much compared to solid wood. But I’d say the fiber board has more flex to it than anything else I’ve tried and so would suffer some from that. And I guess you could more easily accidentally bend it. If I cut it down to the same size, the weight should come in around 3.5 oz.

I also have a 6x9 (54 square inches) - 2.8 oz with the clip removed plastic clipboard which is a little small for good stability. I’d guess that 10 inches may be okay but the real problem is with the width. As you type, it is going to shift to much, top to bottom for primary use. If I had it the same size as my main unit, the weight would be under 5.6 oz so pretty light.

I found the plywood version. It is 5 1/8 x 10 1/8 (51.9 square inches) - 3.3 oz. The length may be okay, but the width isn’t good enough - worse than the clipboard since it is about a inch less. Making it the same size as my plexiglass unit would give it a weight just under 6.6 oz so still pretty darn light. And someone should be able to route it or something to put in a sheet of metal if you wanted that too.

I suspect the length needed may vary depending on the person’s size and how they sit. Obviously, if you sit with your legs apart more, you need the desk to be longer. In my case, if my knees were together, the clipboard length may be okay, but since I don’t sit that way, there would need to be at least another inch in length.

The width is going to be affect by how you type. If you keep the palm of your hands in the air, then you can probably get by with something narrower. But I rest the heel of my palm on the desk which pushes down on the bottom as I’m hitting keys higher up. This can cause a fair amount of shifting around (rocking). I guess you have to figure it isn’t going to be rock solid like a desk, but you want some stability.

That is the hardest thing to judge without having more sizes to actually try. I know a width of 9 inches works. I know a width of 6 inches isn’t good enough for regular use. The question is, were is the place size between the two. I’d guess at least another inch.

If that is correct, then, overall, I’d want something 7x10 inches if I wanted to minimize size but not suffer much on stability. To minimize weight, you probably only need to stay away from plexiglass SIGNS, since they essentially have a double cover for the paper to go between. That should keep you below 5 oz and maybe below 4.

Well, although it does not fold up quite as small as the rest of your rig, I have used this folding laptop stand for many years and I love it. It is very solid and stable, but also folds up to be fairly small, thin, and lightweight. I imagine it’s at least better than the plexiglass…


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Interesting device, but I’m confused. It gives an unfolded dimension of less than 5 inches. The 10+ inches would be fine going across a lap, but less than 5 inches the other way would have stability issues if put on a lap - yet the pictures show a laptop sitting on it, which should be well over 5 inches.

Obviously, this stand is for putting a laptop on, apparently on a desk, not serving as a lapdesk itself such as what I’m doing with my plexi-glass. My computer, ipad, etc, is on my desk and the plexiglass is just used to support the TB itself. But I was wondering if this thing could serve the same purpose in some way.

I use it on my lap all the time! I think the dimensions are very confusing the way they are listed. The unfolded dimension would be 12.73" width x 10.88 " height. The 4.5" unfolded height is referring to how high the rear is from the tabletop when standing. Once unfolded, it’s just a tad smaller surface area than a laptop. And it’s made of aluminum… Very nice.

With what you are trying to do, I think it would be worth a try. They have a 30-day money back guarantee if you don’t like it.

Yeah, I had a hunch it might refer to the height, but I couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t include the other dimension! So I wasn’t sure.

I may try it at some point, but for now, what I have works fine anyway. And I actually like that it’s dimensions are smaller (actually would like to trim off just a little). And having the layouts visible is a plus too.