Re: Orbit Reader 40 review? Thoughts?

Joe Orozco

Here’s the link to the Facebook Group. Below it I’ll include the
thread on the Orbit 40. If the link doesn’t work, you should be able
to run a search for Braille Displays in Groups and see it pop up.

First the link:

And here’s the short thread. I’m leaving soon and can’t properly
format, but hope it helps:

Christina Vining, profile picture
Christina Vining
I just got mine two days ago, so it's a bit early to say much. If
there's anything specific you'd like to know, I'll try to follow up.

My other display is a Braille Edge, so coming from that, the Orbit is
a bit of a challenge. Unlike the Edge, I couldn't just switch on and
start pressing
buttons and set preferences. It isn't quite obvious what buttons to
press to make things happen, as with the Edge, so I've had to keep
referring to the
manual...which I did skim before the Orbit arrived.

It's also an adjustment to get used to the style of pins. They don't
refresh as a complete line, but one by one. Rapidly, so it's quick
enough for comfortable
reading, and there's an autoscroll feature, but it's quite a unique
experience to read on this display. You probably already know it makes
a little bit
of noise; someone compared it to the sound of a rain stick, and that's
an excellent description of the pins' sound.

When you open a file it is in reader mode, by default, but you can
change to edit mode with a Chord-E. No need to close the file. So the
two modes are
not separated into designated sections on the notetaker, like the
Library and Editor, as on the Mantis. I appreciate that.

You have the option of pairing a bluetooth keyboard with the Orbit40;
I haven't yet done that, but this was a main reason I bought the
Orbit. I do wish
it also could connect with a wired keyboard.
1 mo
Joe Orozco, profile picture
Joe Orozco
Ah, we meet again!

Thank you for that thorough review. A few questions, if I may:

How would you describe the portability? I know that at 40 cells, we’re
not talking about a palm size device, but have you found it light and
slim enough
to easily carry about?

How much of a delay do you experience with the cells refreshing
individually as opposed to simultaneously?

How have you found the writing experience? I like the Bluetooth
compatibility, but as a standalone device to read and write files,
have you found it sufficiently

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!
1 mo
Christina Vining, profile picture
Christina Vining
Following up, and I'm sorry this took so long! I had trouble finding
this post again.

After using this every day for a bit over two weeks, I am very
impressed by this display, and especially for this price. I used it
for a week and a few
days before it required charging again, and that's comparable to my
Braille Edge. It charges using USB C connection, and although I don't
have one, it
can use a magnetic charging cable. Orbit just started selling these
for it, but it will work with any standard such cable you buy.

It is the same width as probably any 40 cell, and it's a tiny bit
narrower side to side than the Edge, so 11 inches. It is thicker,
however, and feels
a bit like a Braille Lite, but with more rounded edges and corners. I
think it's small and easily portable, but I don't find 40 cell
displays to be bulky.
I'm keeping mine in a 12-inch netbook-size laptop case, at the moment;
of course it doesn't need a case quite that roomy, but it works. Orbit
does not
yet have a case available, but they say one will be, this month.

The feel of the Perkins keys on this is a bit more tactile and clicky
than the keys on the Braille Edge. This makes it easier to write, for
me, I find
this to be an advantage. It isn't obnoxiously noisy, but with that and
the sound of the pins, it isn't a silent display, if that matters to
you. With other
people talking around you, or a TV on nearby, you wouldn't really
notice the Orbit sounds.

The way the cells refresh won't affect anything, it's very rapid!

The panning keys are rocker type keys, or are shaped that way, and are
on the top of the display at either end, not on the front edge like
Humanware thumb
keys. The spacebar is located below the braille cells, on the
front/lower edge of the display, so that's an adjustment. I wasn't
pleased with that, but
I've gotten used to it, and since the spacebar is used to stop and
start autoscroll, it's well placed so that it's quick to access the
spacebar. (I believe
on the Orbit20, the space is in the usual position, in relation to the
other six keys, so I'm not sure why this choice was made for the 40.)

This display can use standard SD cards, and USB flash drives as well.

There is an Orbit list on, if you want to ask questions, or
just get other opinions. It is not a list created by Orbit, so

I have noticed that Orbit is very responsive to communication, and
addressing any issues users report. When I called, a person answered
the phone and answered
my questions.

There is talk from Orbit of updates coming soon. Among the updates
will be the ability to use the Orbit 40 with a wired keyboard, which
I'm really happy
3 wks
Joe Orozco, profile picture
Joe Orozco
Thank you so much for that comprehensive review!
3 wks
Joe Orozco, profile picture
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Mohammad Niaz Aldalain, profile picture
Mohammad Niaz Aldalain
I think there is a demo for how the braille dots sound like on the 40 cell
It is posted on applevis

1 mo
Joe Orozco, profile picture
Joe Orozco
Hi, here’s that audio demo for anyone interested:

On 4/22/21, Cristóbal <> wrote:
I'm not on Facebook.


-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Joe
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 3:14 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Orbit Reader 40 review? Thoughts?

Hi, if you're on Facebook, there's a Braille Displays group where I think
people have posted their thoughts. If you're not on Facebook, let me know,
and I'll see about hunting down the thread and posting it here.


On 4/22/21, Cristóbal <> wrote:
Hello list,

So I was thinking of upgrading to the Orbit Reader 40 display, but
haven’t really been able to come across any reviews on the product.
Write ups on the Orbit Reader 20 Plus yes, but not much for the 40.
Can I just assume that they’re the same, but for amount of Braille

There was one review I came across on Apple Vis but it was more
focused on the device's sound
-volume-level-examples> than anything else. I did find one YouTube
-volume-level-examples> video,
<> but it’s in French and
well… I don’t speak French.

I was thinking of the Mantis 40, but honestly, I’m pretty happy with
my mechanical keyboard for my desktop and I already have an 80 cell
display connected to it, so this would be a more portable option for
my laptop and iPhone for reading mostly. I don’t need another keyboard for

Anyway, if anyone’s got an Orbit Reader 40, I’d be curious to know
their thoughts on how it’s holding up and general usage.



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