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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Electronic Notetakers (Braille)

Electronic notetakers are small, portable devices for storing information with the use of braille or typewriter keyboards. The stored information may be accessed through a built-in speech synthesizer, a braille display, or both. In the past, similar devices that were less powerful and less versatile were referred to as braille notetakers, which were used for storing names and telephone numbers, keeping track of appointments, and taking notes. In addition to these functions, the latest electronic notetakers provide advanced word processing, web browsing, and other functions. At one time, these devices were referred to as "accessible PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) because they allowed users to perform most of the functions of a standard PDA. Since smartphones and tablets (like the iPad) have become so prevalent, most people in the general public no longer use PDAs, so we have returned to the term electronic notetaker even though the device allows the user to do so much more than just take notes.

Electronic notetakers allow you to get rid of a lot of scraps of paper or cassette tapes you have used for trying to keep track of information. No electronic notetaker with a screen has been developed for people with low vision, so a person with low vision should consider an electronic notetaker with speech output. Someone who knows braille will probably be more comfortable using a device with braille output. For your convenience, electronic notetakers with braille and speech output are listed separately here from electronic notetakers with speech output only.

Current electronic notetakers are based on Microsoft’s Windows CE operating system, a version of Windows specifically designed for handheld computers. They generally include a simple word processor, calendar, address list, and e-mail functions. Data entered into an electronic notetaker may be transferred to a larger computer with more memory, reviewed using the built-in speech synthesizer or braille display, or printed on a braille or inkprint printer. A basic electronic notetaker without a braille display costs between $2,000 and $3,000. An electronic notetaker with a braille display is typically double the price.

There are a number of questions to ask when purchasing electronic notetakers, including the following:
•   How does the electronic notetaker connect to your system?
•   Does it have expandable memory?
•   Is add-on software available for it?
•   Do you require multi-language support?
•   Do you need one-handed mode?

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There are 15 Products in the Category

Product Table

Product NameProduct DescriptionDistributor ContactImage/Multimedia Available?
Braille Lite M20 and M4020-cell (M20) or 40-cell (M40) PDA with a built-in 56K modem...
Braille Plus 18 Second GenerationBraille Plus 18 combines a high-quality braille keyboard and...
Braille Sense U2Notetaker that allows user to create and read documents in a... sales@hims-inc.com Image
Braille to Go (B2G)The Braille to Go (B2G) is a 20-cell, 8-dot braille computer...
BrailleNote Apex BT 32 Built-in options are at your fingertips to access Web pages,...
BrailleNote TouchThe BrailleNote Touch allows you to enter braille on the tou...
Braillino with BluetoothBraille PDA that can be connected to off-the-shelf mobile ph... info@handytech.us
Canute Electronic Braille ReaderThe Bristol Braille's Canute Braille reader is a multi-line ... info@bristolbraille.co.uk
ElBrailleElbraile is a full mobile portable computer running on Windo...
NeoBrailleThe NeoBraille is 32-cell, 8-dot Android-based unit sports 3... https://irie-at.com/content/neobraille-notetaker
Orbit Reader 20The Orbit Reader is a 20-cell, 8-dot display and simple note...
PAC Mate Omni BX400Portable PDA with a braille keyboard. A detachable braille d...
PAC Mate Omni BX420Portable PDA with Perkins-style braille keyboard with a 20-c...
PAC Mate Omni BX440Portable PDA with Perkins-style braille keyboard with a 40-c...
Pronto!Pronto! is a portable braille notetaker, that is offered wit... Sales department at BAUM USA

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