Tablets have arguably become enormously popular because they simplify a lot of what we want to do with a computer, namely goof off on the Internet and play silly games. But as they become more common, and we look for more productivity out of our tablets and to dump the laptop altogether, one rather glaring problem becomes apparent: Touchscreens stink for typing anything longer than a brief email. Which is where the TextBlade comes in.
Essentially, the TextBlade is a folding keyboard built from the ground up to be used with a tablet and make it more productive. The keys are spaced the same way they’d be on a professional keyboard, making touch-typing much easier than it is with touchscreens. It unfolds like, well, like a blade, and puts the keyboard at your fingertips in seconds.
It pulls that off by, essentially, cramming a bunch of input commands into each key. The key can read where each strike lands and put it on the screen accordingly. In fact, there’s a lot crammed into this design; the battery doubles as the spacebar, and there’s even a tablet stand built into the TextBlade’s case. Connecting via Bluetooth, it’ll supposedly run for up to a month without a charge.
Granted, it may take a little getting used to, and mechanical switch fans will probably complain it’s not quite as responsive as it should be. But it’s the smallest keyboard we’ve seen, and it’s got some innovative approaches to what are some fairly tricky engineering problems. Especially if you need a keyboard for your tablet, and hate keyboard covers, this might be the keyboard you’ve been waiting for.