Gemini Revolution Grand first (and second) impressions

After a lot of deliberating and stalking all the information I could get on the Grand, I finally went for it. I was a little weary, since I had bought the LightSpeed last year and ended up returning it. I have a ganglion cyst in my wrist that returned after surgery, so I know that anything I can do to minimize stress on it is going to help lengthen my career.

So anyway.. when the Grand first arrived, I spend a few days practicing with it when I could, and would flip flop between loving it and being insanely frustrated with it. I'd get writing and then all the sudden I'd starting fumbling all over the keys, mistraning all over. After a couple of weeks, I decided it just wasn't going to work for me. I started to compare it to my 8000 and realized that part of the design of the Grand is that the vowel keys bars are extended, so the keys sit out further from the other keys. Because of that, the vowels press down further than on my 8000. I have really small hands, and extending my thumb is one of the most aggrevating things for my wrist. So I packed it all up, sent Jason an email saying it wasn't working, and planned to ship it back to him.

Jason got back to me the next day and we ended up talking on the phone about what tweaks would make it work for me. He suggested that we try raising the vowel keys up to the level of the other keys. So for the next couple days, I triple stacked the keypads on it and tried it out. It was a little awkward with that many pads, but I could tell it felt a lot better. So I sent it back, and now I've had it back and been practicing on it for a few days, just an hour or so a day, and it's PERFECT! It doesn't feel awkward or even different anymore, and my wrist feels great.

A couple other thoughts.. I LOVE the split number bar. I've always bit a bit sloppy with the number bar, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn't like it, but it's actually helping my numbers to be cleaner. The "semi metallic" color I got isn't really metallic at all. I was afraid to go with the metallic colors because I didn't want it to look like a bass boat, but if I was to do it again, I'd go metallic. The German silver that I picked does look nice though, and it's very sleek and professional looking. I was also pleasantly surprised that it came with a good quality Linksys bluetooth adapter for my laptop, so I didn't have to go buy one of those. And it can connect to eight bluetooth devices, so I can use it to add a wireless keyboard or mouse.

Bottom line, I highly recommend the Grand. The quality is great, the flexibility that they offer for customizing it awesome, and the customer service that I got from Jason even before I committed to buying it was great. I think they're the only company that I've dealt with in the steno world that responds to emails either the same day or the next day. Sometimes even within an hour or less. Thanks Jason!

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Super, thanks! I have been very interested in trying one of these. I have two Stenturas and they keep working and not giving me a good reason to get to spend the extra money. But it is a strong want of mine and I am sure I will get to make it happen sometime in the next year. I look forward to it!!!
So did they move your vowel keys up, or are you just using it with the stacked pads?
Yeah yeah, good question! I would like them to start making it with the vowel keys raised, or at least have that option. I am hoping they adjusted it for you!
Yeah, Jason changed them and sent it back with like a one-day turnover. I'll post pics later if people are interested.
Veronica, thanks for the great post. And Heather, yes, please post some pics! Would love to see it.
Well, I looked at the ad, but got to thinking. I'm a captioner and I think the caption machine would be cheaper than what the person posting the ad would be willing to sell for, but I am going to look into that, too. So, we'll see!
Kelli, there's pictures attached to the post right after this one here in this thread. It REALLY helps my wrist with the vowels up like that. I think Jason can do a rental/loaner program when he has them available if you're afraid to take the plunge without seeing it. I just went for it without trying it first and was scared to death I was making a bad decision, but it was the best decision ever. Like I've said a few times, if your wrist does start getting sore, you just give it a little change in the angle and you're okay again. Feel free to post more questions, me and the others here love to share our joy, lol. Make sure you check out the other post up right now about the Grand vs. the Mira. Jason has an AMAZING deal right now with lots of goodies.

Heather
I LOVE my Gemini Grand! I have pics at my page and blogged about it, if you look back. The Grand is awesome. Had a Jury trial today and can easily pick up my machine/tablet and go into the other room, keeping Case running on the tablet! The battery would go for 1.5-2hrs, if I needed it, on the tablet.
Kelli, he definitely has a loaner program when he has them available. I forget what it costs, but I do remember you get most of it towards a credit if you buy one. He just keeps the cost of covering the shipping. Send him an email or a message here. He's awesome about responding and he's very helpful.. and he doesn't mind stupid questions, lol.

Heather
Hey Kelli we do offer a Rental program, Here is the good and the bad about that.

Its a great deal. For $200 you can use a Revolution grand Captioner's version for 2 weeks. Essentially you become our customer for that time frame.

Now if you decide to purchase with 15 days of expiration of your Rental we will apply $150.00 of that original $200 to the purchase price.

The way our rental program works is that we send out a rental form which, you fill in and fax back to us at 303-374-2777, I have attached and then it is first come first serve. Once we have the rental in hand we are gogin to send you we will give you a call and get your software type, your key preferences and change the machine to fit you. We really take pride in being the only company that gear ourselves to giving you the machine you want and need rather then trying to force you into a the machine we sell.

Now the downside the earliest we could ship a rental machine to you is the end of August, maybe even early September depending on when the the first of that group comes back. every one of them is booked until then. We haven't even announced this part of our service on our web site and we can not keep them in house.

We have a huge uptake only two people who have used the rental program have not bought. One was the very first rental we did and that was of our beta machine before we really had the program working and one was recent she was using a LS. But other then that we have replaced, SmratWriter, Light speeds, Mira's, 8000's etc. Name a machine and we have somebody who used to be on it.

Whether you go with the killer deal we are offering thru the end of July (which you can find in the Mira Vs. Rev Grand Forum). I think our customer here really do represent what we do and how we do it. We make a very good machine and we put even more effort into making sure the machine works for you. And as you already know if you have any pain, want to lighten what you take, this really is the best answer on the market.

Jason
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Heather, it's a good thing he doesn't mind stupid questions. I'm always calling him to tell me how to do something or other for the umpteenth time, and he just laughs at (with) me and explains it once again.

Veronica
Kelli, that is the problem I have all the time, tendonitis. I can't write on a straight keyboard at all. With the Grand, I have eliminated the issues with writing with my wrists twisted. That is exactly what aggravates the tendonitis is the twisting while using your fingers. You definitely need to try one out. I GUARANTEE you it will reduce your discomfort and lengthen your working hours. As far as the raised vowel keys, some people swear by them. I don't have them and my machine is comfortable as it is.

If you have any questions, I'm always very happy to help.

Veronica

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