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Mantis Q40

Keep braille at your fingertips anytime, anywhere, with the Mantis™ Q40: a Bluetooth® keyboard and 40-cell refreshable braille display.

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Shipping Limitations: This product only ships to the United States through APH. Please contact our partner, HumanWare, for international shipping options.


Federal Quota Eligible

308 in stock (can be backordered)

Catalog Number: 1-08470-00

Product Description

With the Mantis Q40, users no longer need to choose between a keyboard or a braille device – at the same time a student or professional is typing on the Mantis, the refreshable braille below the keyboard is providing a multimodal braille complement to the screen reader, making it easier to participate in, and succeed at, school or work.

Contains the following built-in applications:

  • Basic editor to function as a user’s pen and paper.
  • Book reader to download and read books in braille.
  • Calculator to perform basic mathematical calculations.
  • Clock to check the date and time.
  • File manager to organize one’s work.
  • HumanWare signature thumb keys and home button.
  • 15 hours of battery life with rechargeable, removable batteries.
  • 16 GB of internal storage.
  • SD card slot and USB host port for flash drives.

Compatible with:

  • Windows 8 and above using JAWS 18+, NVDA, and Narrator
  • MacOS 10.15.+ Catalina
  • iOS 13.5.1+

Download the Braille Terminal Tools application below to install the Mantis driver on versions of JAWS earlier than 2020. If you are running JAWS 2020, ensure it is running the latest update, as the Mantis driver is included in JAWS 2020. For versions earlier than 2020, simply download and run the Braille Terminal Tools.exe file, and follow the prompts, ensuring that Mantis Q40 is the selected braille display when asked. After installing the driver, you will need to restart JAWS.

Please join our Chameleon 20 and Mantis Q40 community of users by visiting our mailing list on FreeLists and following the sign-up instructions.

Mantis Q40 Release Notes

To get the most out of your Mantis Q40, review this audio documentation produced by Mystic Access.

Purchase replacement Mantis Q40 batteries from our partner HumanWare at the following link:

Learn more about this product with the Getting Started with the Mantis Q40 course on the APH Hive!

Mantis Terminal Mode Update

This update adds the feature of a simplified terminal mode to the Mantis. This simplified terminal mode, or terminal only mode, can be turned on and off. When in this mode, the device operates as a terminal display with simplified options. In terminal only mode, the device only allows one USB and one Bluetooth connection, with the USB connection taking priority. The simplified options give users more flexibility to tailor their device to best fit their needs.

To turn on terminal only mode use the following steps:

  1. With the power supply disconnected, press and hold the volume up key while powering on. On the Mantis Q40, press and hold the menu button while turning on.
  2. The device will prompt with the starting message but will soon shut down.
  3. Power on the device as normal, and you will be placed in the diagnostic menu.
  4. Navigate in the menu to an item called “Terminal mode only off/on”.
  5. Press Enter to toggle the status.
  6. Once done, select the close item, and the deice will shut down.
  7. Turn device on and the display will be in terminal mode only.

Note: If you have no connection, the message “braille display” will be on the display. To turn off terminal only mode, repeat the steps above.

    • All-in-one, full-size QWERTY laptop-style keyboard and built-in 40-cell refreshable braille display – students and professionals no longer need to sacrifice the use of braille when using a keyboard
    • Supports up to 5 Bluetooth connections at once, along with one USB connection
    • Functions as another device’s keyboard when connected via USB or Bluetooth; functions as a stand-alone device when not connected
    • Toggles between QWERTY and Perkins-style input.
    • Supports .doc, .docx, .txt, .brf, and .brl files.
    • Thin and lightweight (1.7 lbs).
    • Fits in a laptop bag or backpack.
    • USB-C charging cable with power supply (works with any USB charger, but may charge slower)
    • Green TPU case (A may be purchased as an additional accessory)
    • User Guide (stored on device)
  • What operating systems and screen readers are supported by the Mantis?

    Mantis Q40 is compatible with:

    • Windows 8 and above using Jaws 18+, NVDA and Narrator
    • MAC OS 10.15+ Catalina
    • iOS 13.4+
    • Android and Chrome OS: Pending approval from Google and BRLTTY.

    What file types are supported by the Mantis Q40?

    The Mantis Q40 supports several file formats.

    The editor application supports:

    • DOC
    • DOCX
    • TXT
    • BRF
    • BRL

    The Library application supports:

    • BRF
    • PEF
    • TXT
    • HTML
    • DOCX
    • NISO
    • RTF

    Is there a maximum file size that can be opened on the Mantis Q40?

    Yes, the maximum file handling size is 100MB. If a file exceeds this size you will receive a “file too large to open” notification.

    What are the file size limits for the editor?

    The file size limits for the editor will vary depending on file type. These are the limits for each file type:

    • Microsoft Word 97-2003 documents .doc (2000 KB)
    • Microsoft Word 2007 documents .docx (2000 KB)
    • .txt (2000 KB)

    Since BRF and BRL files are translated when opened in the Editor, the file size is based on number of characters and is much smaller than print files.

    • .brf (221000 Characters)
    • .brl (221000 Characters)

    Is there a way to open BRF files without the file being translated by the onboard braille translator?

    Yes, to avoid BRF files from being translated open the BRF file using the Library application. This can be very useful if you want to read a BRF file as it is without any further translation. Example of this could include braille music or simply a BRF file that contains a mix of braille tables (Contracted and uncontracted).

    You can edit a braille file without it being backtranslated by using the Braille Editor app.

    How long will the battery last?

    Mantis’s battery will provide you at minimum 15 hours of usage and is user replaceable with the removal of two screws on the back of the device.

    I lost my charger. Is there a particular charger I should buy to replace it?

    Only a USB-A charger with the following specifications should be used to charge your display: an input of 100-240VAC and 50/60HZ 0.5A and an output of 5V-2.4 Amp. Using a charger with different specifications can damage your display and void your warranty.

    When typing in the editor, is it possible to switch between QWERTY and Perkins style input?

    Yes, the F12 key acts as a toggle between QWERTY and Perkins style braille input. When using braille input, the FDS keys serve as dots 123, and the JKL keys serve as dots 456.

    Do I need to eject thumb drives and SD cards before removing them?

    Yes, it is recommended that you eject external drives before physically removing them. The hotkey for eject is Ctrl + Alt + E. You will then be shown a list with all currently connected external drives. Press enter on the one you want to eject and then you will get a confirmation message and may physically remove the device.

    Can the Mantis download books?

    Books can either be read from one of the available storage media, (USB thumb drive, SD card, or internal storage), or by connecting your Mantis Q40 to an available wireless network. Once connected to Wi-Fi, you can download books from Bookshare or NFB Newsline.

    Are DAISY books supported in the book reader?

    Yes, Bookshare books can be downloaded and navigated using the DAISY elements.

    If someone gives me a file to read, can the Mantis Q40 read standard document formats, such as Microsoft Word files?

    Yes. Providing a thumb drive or SD card with files in the .doc, .docx, .txt, .brf and .brl format can all be read using the Mantis’s internal applications.  Mantis has an internal braille translator and provides fantastic forward and backward braille translation.

    Am I able to type and read in other languages, and ensure the braille and print is correct?

    Yes, thanks to Mantis’s multiple language profiles, you can set multiple language options depending on the language you are typing or reading. If you need to go to a Spanish class for example, you simply change your language profile to Spanish from within the Mantis settings, and the braille and translation will be changed to your preferred Spanish braille table.

    If I have multiple language profiles available, is it possible to quickly toggle between them?

    Yes, if you have previously created multiple language profiles you can simply press CTRL+ALT+L to toggle through your created profiles. This is extremely useful if while in a document you wish to change your braille reading to a native foreign language such as French or Spanish.

    Are the keyboard keys replaceable?

    No, if keys have become dislodged or completely removed please contact APH technical support for assistance.

    What do the four thumb keys do?

    The thumb keys’ functions are, from far left to far right, up, left, right, and down. The two outer thumb keys move you up and down in a document or menu, while the left and right thumb keys pan the display left or right one display width.

    How can I check my firmware and update if needed?

    From the device’s main menu, navigate to the settings menu and activate it with enter or a router key. Navigate to the About option and activate it.  From within this menu, you will see the version number.

    You can update the Mantis in two ways. The simplest is by connecting it to WI-FI.  When connected, the Mantis Q40 will automatically recognize there is a new firmware available, and prompt you to download and install it. Alternatively you can put the .SWU file you download from the APH web site to a thumb drive or SD card, insert them into the Mantis, and within around 30 seconds the device will restart and you will see a progress indicator.  Do not remove the storage media or power off the Mantis Q40 during the update process.

    Please note, the Mantis will need a minimum of 50% battery to perform the upgrade and you must plug in the power chord.

    What size SD card can I use with my Mantis Q40?

    The recommend maximum size of SD card is 64 GB.

    What is the circle button in the center of the thumb keys?

    This button acts as the device’s home button. When accessing local content on the Mantis, the home button will bring you to the device’s main menu.  When connected to an external device such as a computer or smartphone, pressing this button will bring you back to the local interface where you can change devices, or access the internal applications of Mantis.

    How many devices can I connect the Mantis Q40 to at once?

    Mantis can connect to up to 5 Bluetooth devices at once along with one USB connection. To switch from one device to the next, simply tap the center circle home button between the thumb keys, and select your desired device to toggle to.

    I live outside the United States, can I still purchase the Mantis Q40?

    APH has partnered with HumanWare for the international distribution of the Mantis Q40. Please contact HumanWare for more information about Mantis in your country and language.

    How do I switch between multiple devices?

    If you have multiple devices paired to your Mantis, while using one device, press the Home button + Next thumb key or Home button + Previous Thumb key to switch between connected devices.

    Can I wake up my iOS device from my Mantis?

    Yes. Pressing the home command of alt + ctrl + H, on the Mantis with your iOS device locked, will wake it up where you can enter your passcode. This allows you to keep your iOS device in its bag or pocket while you use the Mantis as its controller and output.

    I am trying to connect my Chameleon or Mantis to my iPhone, how do I do this?

    The Mantis and Chameleon can be paired with iOS and iPad devices running 13.5.1 or later but you’ll want your Apple device to be as up to date as possible for the best experience.

    When pairing, ensure that you use the Bluetooth menu and not the VoiceOver menu since this device uses the new Braille HID standard.

    As a TVI I need to review some of the documents that have been created on the Chameleon or Mantis’s storage, what would be the easiest option with limited braille experience?

    For simplicity, the best way to review documents stored on the device is to connect it to a PC or laptop. To connect the Chameleon 20 to a PC, insert the provided USB C cable into the Chameleon and the USB A to the PC/laptop.  On connecting the Chameleon to the PC/LAPTOP it will automatically create a media storage under “My computer”.

    If I create a new document in the editor, what file format is it using?

    When creating a new file in the editor it is creating a .TXT file.  This also is the case if you edit a file that was a .DOC, or .DOCX file.  When saved on your device, it will be saved as a .TXT file.

    Can I use the Mantis as an external drive with a Mac?

    Yes, to use the Mantis as an external drive with a Mac, download the “Files for Mac External Drive” zipped folder. Follow the instructions inside that folder to start using your Mantis as an external drive with your Mac.

    What is Government Mode?

    Government Mode is a limited state for your Mantis device that must be set when the device is ordered. Once the Mantis is set for Government Mode, it cannot be taken out of that mode for any reason by anyone. Government Mode limits your device to just the Terminal app and lets you access the Terminal via USB only. As a result, you lose all local functionality, and you cannot connect to the Terminal via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This mode is useful only if your job demands very high security and requires devices to be locked down in this way. High-security jobs include working for the government, a credit card company, or a health insurance agency. Please see this short Government Mode Explainer for more information.

    What is the difference between Government Mode and Exam Mode?

    Government Mode and Exam Mode put the same limitations on your braille display: no local apps and connection to the Terminal only and via USB only. Both modes also disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The difference between the two is that Exam Mode is temporary and can be set by the user at any time, while Government Mode is permanent and can only be set by the manufacturer and only when the device is ordered.

  • Manuals


    • JAWS Drivers for Mantis and Chameleon (ZIP)
      Size: 2.18 MB, Uploaded:

      Catalog Number: 1-08470-00

      Braille Terminal Tools application to install the Mantis and Chameleon drivers on versions of JAWS earlier than 2020.

    • Files for Mac External Drive (ZIP)
      Size: 1.31 MB, Uploaded:

      Files and instructions required for connecting the Mantis/Chameleon as an external drive with a Mac.

    • Mantis and Chameleon Braille Reader Software Update 2.2 (ZIP)
      Size: 213.91 MB, Uploaded:

      Braille Reader Software Update 2.2 for Mantis Q40 and Chameleon 20.

    • Mantis Legacy Update File (ZIP)
      Size: 244.51 MB, Uploaded:

      Catalog Number: 1-08470-00

      Available for those early units that haven’t been updated. If your version number begins with 1, save this file to a USB drive and transfer to your Mantis to manually update your device. To begin the process, power on your Mantis with the USB inserted.

  • Weight: 1.7 lbs

    Dimensions: 6.69 × 11.4 × 0.78 in

    Federal Quota Funds: Available

    Product Type: Assistive

  • Contact Customer Service to discuss your warranty options.