Reviewing the Mantis

The Mantis is a braille display produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). For those who don’t know, a Braille display, in its simplest form, shows users the text displayed on a computer or mobile device in braille. In my view, the Mantis is the best braille display for a professional.

The Mantis is a 40-cell braille display. It’s best feature is the qwerty keyboard. I believe the combination of being able to type on a qwerty keyboard and read what you are typing and/or editing in braille is what makes the Mantis the best display for a braille reader who works a desk job. It’s truly amazing to be able to use all of the traditional Windows key commands, those I use with screen readers, and simultaneously reading braille.

The documentation says the Mantis can connect to five bluetooth devices and one USB device at the same time, but I don’t take advantage of that functionality. I most often use the Mantis as a USB device connected to my work computer.

Under it’s “online services,” the Mantis allows you to download materials directly from BookShare and NFB Newsline. Before the most recent firmware update, downloading from either site, especially NFB Newsline, was difficult. But the new firmware has fixed that issue. Now, reading newspapers and magazines on the Mantis is very easy.

If you are a braille reader and you regularly use a computer, The Mantis will make your life much easier and your work more efficient.

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