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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.


Federal Quota Eligible

158 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 1.2.0 Release Notes

View a comparison chart of APH refreshable braille displays.

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

  • Weight: 1.7 lbs

    Dimensions: 6.69 × 11.4 × 0.78 in

    Federal Quota Funds: Available

    Product Type: Assistive

    • 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 (COMING SOON! a professional, leather carrying case may be purchased as an additional accessory)
    • User Guide (stored on device)
  • Customer Service and Technical Support

    Toll-Free: 800-223-1839 (U.S. and Canada)
    Fax: 502-899-2284
    Hours: Monday–Friday 8:00am–8:00pm EST

  • What is unique about the Mantis Q40?

    The Mantis is a first of its kind braille device providing an all in one solution for users who want to keep braille at their fingertips while utilizing a Bluetooth QWERTY keyboard.  A user no longer needs to carry both a Bluetooth keyboard and braille device, along with their computer / mobile tool,  or choose between choosing braille or not if they are using a QWERTY keyboard.  The Mantis is small enough to fit easily in one’s laptop or tablet bag and has the internal intelligence to be a powerful tool in a classroom or job environment.

    Does the Mantis Q40 come with a carrying case?

    Yes, it comes with a protective shell case which protects the sides and back of the device. A professional carrying case from Executive products can be purchased as an additional accessory.

    What operating systems and screen readers will be supported by the Mantis?

    Mantis Q40 will be 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.

    Does the Apple Watch support the Mantis?

    No, because the Apple Watch does not support Bluetooth keyboards at this time.

    What are the dimensions and weight of the Mantis Q40?

    The dimensions are 29cm x 17cm x 2 cm or 290mm x 170mm x 20mm

    Weight = 786 grams or 1.7LB

    What files are supported on 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)

    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.

    How is the battery charged?

    Via a USB C connection on the left side of Mantis

    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.

    When saving books or note files, can I use external storage devices?

    Yes, the Mantis Q40 offers a USB host port for thumb drives and an SDHC slot for SD cards. In addition the Mantis itself contains 16 GB of internal storage

    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.

    You mentioned that the Mantis can download books. How is this done?

    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 WIFI, 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.

    The Mantis says it’s the first of its kind, however I’ve seen other products with QWERTY keyboards and braille displays. What makes the Mantis different?

    While previous devices did combine a QWERTY keyboard with a braille display, they were designed to be traditional note takers first and keyboards second.  This often resulted in missing keys from the traditional QWERTY keyboard, or compromising on functionality when connected to mainstream devices.  Mantis contains a traditional laptop style keyboard found on other mainstream Bluetooth keyboards.  The Mantis Q40 is the first of its kind to be designed as a fully functioning QWERTY keyboard with external devices, using the HID standard.  This allows the Mantis to function as an external keyboard for devices, even if a screen reader is not running.  In addition, the Mantis is the first device to use Apple’s new Braille HID protocol, allowing it to be used as a QWERTY Bluetooth keyboard with braille output.  And if VoiceOver is not running, the keyboard will continue to control the iOS or MacOS device.  Think of the Mantis as a Bluetooth keyboard first with some internal intelligence.

    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.

    Can I toggle between contracted and uncontracted braille?

    Yes, when setting up your Braille profile you are asked to configure your preference for contracted braille and uncontracted braille. Please refer to “How to create a new Braille profile” if you need to create a new Braille profile. This is a great hidden gem that allows you as a user to control what is shown on the braille display. If you come across a contracted word that you are not familiar with, pressing CTRL+ALT+G will toggle from contracted braille to uncontracted thus expanding the word, allowing you to learn the contraction.

    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 WIFI.  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 10% battery to perform the upgrade. It is advised to plug in the power chord before updating.

    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.

    How do I turn the Mantis Q40 on and off?

    A long press and hold of the power button on the left side of the Mantis will power it on. While powered on, performing a long press will force shut down the device. When powered on you will feel a long vibration, you can select the “Power Off” option from the main menu of the Mantis to shut it down completely. You will feel a double vibration when completely powered off.

    While on, a single quick tap of the power button will put the Mantis to sleep and wake it up.

    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. We expect Mantis to be available internationally near the end of May 2020. Please contact HumanWare for more information about Mantis in your country and language.

    In the menus, if I know what I am trying to get to quickly, is there a faster way to navigate the menus?

    Yes, in any menu, simply press the first letter of the item to jump quickly to it.

    How do I switch between multiple devices?

    If you have multiple devices paired to your Mantis, while using one device, simply tap the home button in the middle of the thumb keys, select the Bluetooth connections item and choose your desired device to switch to.

    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 APH Chameleon 20 and Mantis Q40 can be paired with iPhone and iPads running iOS 13.5.1 or later.

    Please follow these steps on your braille device:

    1. Navigate to the Terminal application from the main menu.
    2. Select “Add Bluetooth device”.
    3. You now see a prompt to activate your device in your host device’s Bluetooth settings.

    Now on your iOS device:

    1. Tap on the settings application from the Home screen.
    2. Tap on Bluetooth
    3. You should now see the APH braille display appearing at the bottom of the list.  Tap it.
    4. Your APH braille device is now paired and you can control your iOS device and receive braille output.

    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”.

    This is currently only supported on windows devices.

    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 re-saved  on your device, it will be saved as a .TXT file.

    I previously paired my braille device with my iPhone or iPad, but now when I select one of those devices from the Bluetooth Connections list, it simply says “Failed to connect”. What can I do?

    There is a bug that Apple is working on with their iOS operating system where the Mantis or Chameleon will sometimes not repair with a previously connected apple product.  IN these cases, we have developed a work around to force a repair. Apple is aware of the issue and has a Mantis for their own validation.

    On the Mantis or Chameleon do the following:

    1. Open the terminal application from the device’s main menu.
    2. Select bluetooth connections
    3. Press your previous thumb key twice and you will see the last item in the list, “Reconnect Devices”.  Activate that and wait for approximately 10 minutes with your iOS device unlocked.  It should force the re-pairing and all works as expected.

    How do I know which refreshable braille display is best for me or my student?

    APH offers a variety of refreshable braille displays. Read our refreshable braille comparison chart to learn more.

    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. Inside find the PKG File and DMG file. Install both, accept all permissions, and then reboot your Mac. Now it will recognize the braille display as an external drive.

    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.

  • Contact Customer Service to discuss your warranty options.