Braille Display and iOS V.S. Notetaker

Braille on Apple Products

First, if there is a similar forum post that is recent please feel free to link it in the comments.
I am trying to figure out what the best refreshable braille option for the money is. I know a braille display is cheaper and I know a notetaker is likely functionally better, but in the end is a notetaker worth the higher price tag? I am debating between geting a Braille Note Touch or a Focus 14 to use with my iPhone and/or my Windows PC. Iwd like it primarily for reading books and for taking notes, and I would primarily use it with speech completely disabled on my device. Any input is appreciated.



Submitted by Justin Philips on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

You can read books on it and also take notes on it.

Submitted by Nicholas Stanford on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The lack of curser routing buttons and slow refresh rate would drive me nuts. Also I plan on using it in a school and/or professional setting and, if I remember correctly, the braille refresh sound of the Orbit would be a distraction in this setting.
While I appreciate the advice on alternative equipment I have done research enough to narrow it down to the two set-ups I mentioned above, bringing me back to my original question. Is the more affordable option of getting a braille display to use with my phone going to be good enough, or would I be better off investing in a notetaker that I would be more familiar with?

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Wednesday, September 2, 2020


I have used both set-ups you mentioned in your original post, and there are pros and cons to each of them. It's not a black-and-white decision; it's a careful consideration that has to be made, if that makes sense. From my experience, the BrailleNote Touch is a wonderful machine that is well-optimized and I enjoy working with it in Google Docs and other such programs. Since both the iOS and Windows operating systems, though both having Braille support, are not fully optimized to take advantage of it, working with Braille exclusively is clunky and a lot of workarounds need to be figured out. On one hand, iOS devices and certain Windows machines are faster and more streamlined than Braille notetakers could ever be, but that doesn't mean that they perform better under all circumstances. However, Braille notetakers, while very good at what they do, are extremely expensive and aren't guaranteed support for as long as iOS and Windows machines. If you need the highest quality Braille support at all costs, go with a BrailleNote or BrailleSense device, but if you are willing to tolerate finicky connections and poorly executed user interfaces buying a cheap Braille display could serve you well. Keep in mind, though, that Braille notetakers can function as Braille displays for other devices as needed, and certain Braille displays have basic word processing and file storage abilities which might be all you need. Hope this helps and good luck.