Blind Bargains

#ATIA19: Humanware Refreshes the BrailleNote Touch with Faster Hardware, Android 8.1


Less than three years after its original release, the BrailleNote Touch is getting a makeover.

Humanware announced 18 and 32-cell editions of the BrailleNote Touch Plus at the Assistive Technology Industry Association conference this past week in Orlando. They feature the Snapdragon 820 (APQ8096) paired with a Quad-core Kryo 2.2 GHz 64-bit CPU.
Memory is doubled from 2GB to 4GB, while internal storage also doubles to 64GB. The storage is now built-in to the unit as opposed to being on a removable memory card. The removable cards allowed users to move to a new unit if theirs was damaged by inserting the card, but Humanware says that a backup utility will be available.

Other modern conveniences include Wi-Fi 802.11AC with both 2.4 and 5GHz support, Bluetooth 4.2, and USBC for charging. The size, weight, and battery appear to be largely unchanged.

On the software side, the Touch Plus will run Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, and be more likely to get updates to Android in the future because of the use of more mainstream parts. Android 8.1 also brings with it support for the Google Assistant, the Chrome web browser, and enhanced printing capabilities.

The units can be ordered now, with the 32-bit version available for $5,695 and the 18-cell going for $4,195. These are both a slight $200 bump over the original touch.

Current Touch users can transplant their braille cells to a new model for $1,295. Users who recently purchased a BrailleNote Touch may be eligible to receive further discounts or a free upgrade.

We'll have more about the new BrailleNote Touch Plus in a forthcoming ATIA 2019 podcast interview. What do you think of this new notetaking option? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Humanware BrailleNote Touch 32 Plus
Category: News
Displaying 1 comment.
cw Wednesday, 06-Feb-2019 09:46 AM ET:

Looks interesting. Wish I could afford it, but the price is too high for me. I am happy that they updated the hardware and software to something that is currently acceptable, but the price of upgrade from the first BrailleNote touch to this one is a bit high. Kind of highlights the strengths and weakness in my few. The main strength, mind you, is the main stream OS with the keysoft UI, but that is also the weakness. Another weakness is the major upgrade costs of the hardware, but the hardware, in this case, makes the BrailleNote touch stand out. Yes, I wish I had one, but I cannot justify nor afford the price at this time. If I had a good reason to have this instead of the android phones on the market, I might be tempted to set up a go fund me page, but my IPhone is pretty much meeting my on the go needs, and my old pacmate still works reasonably well for writing stuff down (surprisingly). As a side note, you think people would take my desire for a display for my IPhone as a good enough reason? LOL. Just kidding. Yes, I enjoy playing around with tech. Just not good at programming said tech mind you. Yes, the PACmate kind of burned me on main stream Oss when it comes to blind tech. If you remember, the PACmate sort of faded away when MS went to windows phone 7. Now days, mS is out of making the mobile os business. Now days, OS updates on mobile devices seem to be coming a lot faster too. So, forgive me for not suggesting people to go to the braille note touch first. I pretty much suggest that people to see if a smart phone with a braille display would be good enough first unless there is needs that the smart phones of today cannot meet. Education is one said need per say. Of course, not to many ask.


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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.


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