Braille Edge 40

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Review Category

Rating

5 Stars

Review

The Braille Edge 40 is a braille display that I'd like to call a smart display. This is because, while it is a braille display, it also has the ability to take notes independently, has a calendar, time and date, and calculator. It also has the ability to load and save files on an SD card, which can then obviously be used to transfer files from one platform to another. It supports SDHC up to 32GB. The display is crisp like all the other HIMS products, and it is as stable as all the others as well. While the Edge does not work with iOS 5, it is compatible with iOS 6 and later. The Edge does work with JAWS and Window-Eyes, and is reported to also work well with NVDA. The display has 8 buttons, 4 to each side of the keyboard, which Windows users can utilize to take more control of their computers. Since this is an Apple site though, I won't elaborate on this particular feature, other than to say that these buttons also offer increased functionality for both Mac and iOS users. The keyboard itself I found very comfortable to type on for a long durration, and also quite quiet. Among the changes in firmware version 1.1 of this device, is that the user now has the capability to use "terminal clipboard". This feature allows the user to type something on the display and then send it to whatever device it's connected to. This comes in handy because you can send notes that have been taking on the display to your iPhone, for example, and you can also edit files without having to use the quirky braille translator offered by Apple. All of these extra features for $200 more than the cost of the Focus 40 Blue, and at the same price as the Humanware Brailliant BI 40. For more details in the updates in firmware version 1.1, see My review of the new firmware and case The few draw-backs to this display are that the carrying case is designed only for carrying it from one place to another, not to be able to type on the device while on the go with it strapped to your shoulder. This is a somewhat huge disadvantage for those like myself who wish to be able to use the Edge on the go in places like subways or on buses. Executive Products has developed a sleek case for the Edge, which costs $87.50. For more details, see this link Also, the Edge is slightly more heavy and a bit longer than the Focus 40, thus making it slightly less portable. However, with the Executive Product case, the added functionality of a word processor, and at a slightly higher price, I would say this is the best bang for the buck in terms of 40 cell displays at the moment.

Devices Accessory Was Used With

iPhone
iPod Touch

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Comments

Submitted by Chris Foster on Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I spent a considerable time with the Braille Edge at the recent NFB 2012 national convention and really liked what I saw. I had been dissapointed in the last few years because I really didn't want to have to carry my iPhone and an independent braille interface device just to take notes. Now with the edge, I can either take notes on the fly or I can interact with my iOS device or my windows machine almost seemlessly. This is really exciting and I plan to work towards getting one as soon as possible. thanks for the great review.

Submitted by Jim D on Friday, August 17, 2012

While this is a great review of the BrailleEdge, it does not mention one of the best features of the product. That would be the switch to go from Bluetooth to USB. I've been using Bluetooth displays for a while now. I always hate having to go in to some convaluted menu to switch the display from Bluetooth to USB. The Edge simplifies this process by simply providing a hardware swich on the side of the unit. One side even has a Brailled b so you know that side is Bluetooth. It is a great feature. A couple of other things. I've been using the Edge for a while now and I actually don't mind the case. True, you can't use the product while it is in the case, but it is easy to throw the case over your shoulder and pull out the display when you arrive at your destination. I am looking forward to using this unit with iOS 6 as I saw the product demoed with iOS 5.0 at CSUN and was quite impressed. Jim

Submitted by Rycharde on Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Braille Edge 40 I have had mine now for about 45 days and I am amazed with the unit's capabilities. Scott's review was dead on center and was influential in my selection. This device makes a great deal of sense if you are going to let the iOS device do nearly all of the heavy lifting in terms of connectibvity rather than the display apart from braille input and output. I do recommend getting the Executive Products case for the unit because of its flexibility.

Submitted by Smiling Sunshine on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Does anyone use the Perkins keyboard on the Braille Edge 40 to input text in Pages on the Mac?
I've tried but it types things other than what I'm brailling. Thanks for any help.

Submitted by JoanneStark6 on Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I know this topic was posted several years ago, but I have had the same question about text input from the Braile Edge rather than from the on-screen or computer keyboards on the Mac and iPhone respectively.

Submitted by Kelsey Nicolay on Sunday, April 30, 2017

Hello,
I almost brught one, but I decided to pass because I felt like there were too many buttons for my taste. However, I am curious as to how easy it is to pair the Edge with an iphone or ipad and if you have to enter a pin code when doing so. Also, is there any lag when the display reconnects to an Ios device?

Submitted by Crysania on Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hello

Does this product have a warrantee? My braille note just broke, and I am so tired of paying out-of-pocket to repair it.

Thanks a lot.

Submitted by Wenwei on Monday, October 11, 2021

I'm on the market for a braille display and am considering the newest Brailliant because it seems stable! I had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with the Braille Edge and I've been impressed by its performance and stable connection, even in 2021. Perhaps this is because I haven't had the chance to test out the newer displays released in 2020 and was primarily relying on a 10-year-old Brailliant...

My question is, is the Braille Edge still relevant in 2021? Or since the price difference isn't that significant, should I just buy the newest and greatest?

Thoughts?

Submitted by Jim D on Monday, October 11, 2021

I don't know that the Braille Edge is still being sold by HIMS, but yes, this is an excellent display which works really well. I've had one for a number of years and it is rock solid. I use it with a MacBook Pro and my iPhone and I couldn't be happier. I don't use the onboard features, like the notepad and other apps, but for connecting to external devices, you can't go wrong with this display.
Hope this helps.

Excellent. Thank you for your comment. I will seriously consider the Braille Edge if it's still being sold and the price is right. I'm like you - never used the onboard features either, and I really appreciate both the switch on the unit to toggle between pairing modes and the ability to choose terminal mode to display when I turn on the device.