Comics, Technology

Waiting for TextBlade 2016 Calendar

One year ago, an early press release arrived in my inbox from a company called WayTools. It was poised to announce a revolutionary keyboard called the TextBlade. There was scant additional information on the keyboard, and it wasn’t until one month later on January 13, 2015, that the company unveiled its product website. The TextBlade is a multitouch keyboard that collapses into a pocketable form factor. The keyboard looked to be a great accessory for those that travel frequently who want the feel of a full-size keyboard in a tiny package.

textblade-product-shot

In both the original press releases, WayTools said that TextBlades were entering mass production and would be available in February. Nearly a year later, however, no production TextBlades have reached customers’ hands. Every month, I went to look for a status update at the end of the month, only to see the date for shipping pushed back another month. February became March, which became April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and now December. As of today, the company has not provided a status update on its blog or on its forum in weeks.

What’s the cause for the delays? There’s a litany of hardware and firmware problems on WayTool’s self-described punch list, ranging from the molds for the keycaps being too stiff, over-the-air firmware update bugs, and the occasional (and hard to reproduce) key repeating phenomenon. On WayTool’s forum, two camps have formed, one continuing to encourage WayTools to release a (near) perfect product, and another that just wants the company to ship the d*mn keyboard already. The latter group is also disappointed that WayTools charged their credit cards on order, even though no product has shipped for months. There are examples of people who complained loudly, only to have WayTools cancel their orders for them. In my opinion, customer service at WayTools — at least on the forum — has been especially lacking in tact and manners.

I’ve taken my Logitech K760 Solar Powered Keyboard with me on trips before and wished for something more portable. The TextBlade looked like an intriguing solution, and I was happy to give them $100 for the keyboard. As the year anniversary of the product’s announcement comes up in less than a month, I find my fingers hovering over the cancellation/refund button. What has kept me from cancelling thus far is that I was one of the first people to pony up money for the TextBlade. WayTools has said the earliest orders would get a “substantial” gift. But, I have to draw a line in the sand at some point. So, if WayTools doesn’t ship the TextBlade by the middle of January, I’m out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the meantime, I drew the following illustrations using my new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. This 2016 Calendar take a sometimes humorous, sometimes sad look at the tardiness of the TextBlade product. Which one is your favorite? Tell me by leaving a comment below!

Standard

7 thoughts on “Waiting for TextBlade 2016 Calendar

  1. David Lau says:

    I can 100% sure how you feel, as i’m also one of the person waited for 1 year, few more days in March will be completely 1 year. Testing months over months, firmware update test again month over month… when I raise my concern again, they provide me an option to cancel the order. However, I didn’t, and I’m still waiting.

    However, I don’t understand, some issue can be fix from OTA, and product are able to work and passed some quality control in some extend, and yet they don’t ship the product. I’m just curious, is there any user out there are already having this text blade?

    • One reporter has used the TextBlade. You can read what she’s written here: http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/textblade/

      If you’re not part of the TREG (early testers group), you’ll be waiting longer to receive your product. The reason why the device hasn’t shipped has changed over the past year, from hardware problems to firmware problems, to more software tweaking to ensure a good typing experience.

      The TREG group was supposed to receive their TextBlades for testing last week, but WayTools delayed shipment once again. Their latest forum post aims for a Friday ship date.

      Personally, I don’t think the product is vaporware. On the other hand, I have doubts that the product will be the revolution in typing that WayTools claims it will be. I wrote about keyboard alternatives that I’ve been trying out in this post: https://tow.com/2016/02/28/continuing-thoughts-on-portable-keyboards/

  2. George says:

    July 12, 206 and a production TextBlade is still not shipping. The Nano Stand, (case), mold has been/is being reengineered. Key cap molds are/have been reengineered.

    Last year the company unilaterally cancell orders of people that criticized their delays on their web board. Their latest strategy is to remove the ability to start a topic and limit replies to existing topics to 3 comments if you had the teremetry to even remotely mention their failure to deliver. New topics are pretty much initiated by either the company or a handfull of prototype Testers.

  3. Pingback: Still waiting for the #TextBlade? | Capacify

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s