Perkins Mini

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Review Category


3 Stars


The Perkins mini is a 16 cell display that works with Windows screen readers and mac OSX 10.7 and later. It's also compatible with iOS from 6.0 on. It has both USB and bluetooth capabilities, and also has very similar functions to the Braille Edge. It can take notes, read books, has a calendar, a calculator and supports the reading of brf and txt files. That's where the similarities end though.

The Perkins Mini has a braille keyboard, that, in my opinion is not comfortable to type on. When the 8-dot keyboard is facing furthest from you, you have the cursor routing buttons and then the display below that, and then the spacebar underneath the display. At each end of the display, you have a joystick. The keyboard is slightly elivated from both the display itself and the spacebar. With the spacebar being so far away from the keyboard, and at a different hight, (level with the display), this made it awkward for me to type on.

Unlike the Edge, the Mini uses micro SD cards for its memory. I have a hard enough time keeping track of standar size SD cards, so would hate to try to do this with the Micro SD cards.

The price of the Mini is $1549. If you can become comfortable with the keyboard, don't mind micro SD cards, and want basic note taking functions, this may be the display for you. It does have a lot of functionality built in. It costs $50 more than the Focus 14, but for that $50, you get 2 more celss and the above mentioned options. It's also $250 less than the Refreshabraille 18, which has 2 more cells than the Mini, but no aditional functions just like the Focus 14.

Also, unlike the Refreshabraille, it comes with a carrying case, designed specifically for it. With the Refreshabraille, you must buy a case separately, which also is made for holding both the display and the Braille Plus First generation.

All that said, what makes it a deal breaker for me is the keyboard. I use a lot of braille input, and that is more of an essential feature to me than the notetaking, which I can do with a bit less convenience with the Notes app. It's another option out there for those who enjoy it's sleek design and aditional features over other displays. Some individuals more comfortable with the BrailleNote PK seem to enjoy this keyboard, so if you are familiar with its keyboard lay-out and liked it, this is going to be something to seriously consider.

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Submitted by mehgcap on Friday, July 20, 2012

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
I recently looked at one of these, and didn't like how it felt. It is 16 cells, but it is at least as wide as an 18- or 20-cell model and is very thick for its size. The display was recessed, with the rest of the display sort of above it, which seemed an awkward placement. I have not yet seen any other displays like this so I can't compare, but it just didn't strike me as a comfortable or well-designed unit.