The introduction of touch screen devices necessitated the use of touch screen keyboards, a pretty difficult problem even now. Most people, though, would agree they’re a necessary evil. They can be unreliable for anything more than short notes or messages, take up half the screen they’re being used on, and can’t be felt. For people whose jobs rely on any amount of typing, that last downside is a deal breaker, relegating the touch screen keyboard to the very last option on the list.
Bluetooth keyboards have long been available for these platforms, generally to underwhelming response. They can be too big, or if they’re small enough, they aren’t practical for long typing sessions. WayTools’ TextBlade marries multi-touch functionality with a very physical, tactile typing experience to give users the best of both worlds — all while maintaining an incredibly slim profile with little tricks like a space bar/battery combo to save space. Indeed, the whole combo stacks neatly enough to fit into the coin holder of a jeans pocket.
Utilizing magnets gives the TextBlade its svelte construction along, but what it does best is reduce the standard 70 key QWERTY keyboard to just eight, intelligent multi-touch keys complete with full-finger spacing. The creators insist the keys are smart enough to know exactly what the users intend want to write, but those who purchase it will have to see for themselves. Some may want to take that plunge, while other may want a more certain solution like the FlyShark. The $99 keyboard is compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows platforms and is shipping on a rolling basis.