I "testdrove" it today. Great machine. I just purchased the Mira in June.... nice, huh? Anyway. Everything I found that I disliked at the Mira has been resolved. I personally do not think the stacking has been completely eliminated. To me that question is hard to answer without really having more time to see what it will do. The only machine I hear does that is the Passport from Eclipse. I've not written on it to see. The Passport is not pretty, but does it really matter? Diamante is very light. Writes much quiter than the Mira.
There is a review of the Passport by someone who has had it for 1.5 years as a tester. He gives a pretty detailed account of his trials, tribulations and somewhat positive feedback too. It's on depoman, under hardware. He CLEARLY indicates that he stacks and shadows on the Passport. He says he has to adjust the Passport and that he has had trouble getting that just right after all this time and get this. He said that "If something ever happens and the machine shuts down in the middle of a job..." WHAT?! Shuts down in the middle of a job????? That could happen? Holy Smoley!!!!! Besides that he still doesn't know what he will use those two function keys for that are to the left of the keyboard.
I'm sticking with writing machines from a company that knows what they are doing. And, I'll be at the NCRA convention playing with the Diamante. Who knows? Maybe I'll order one on the spot.
I just got an e-mail saying Passports are available for shipment. They cost $4,695.
Here is a review from a Passport user: (Howard Levine on Eclipse forum)
I have had the Passport for more than two months. I'm a retired official and now an active free lancer. The Passport is a unique writer. I carried my old writer around for a week just in case when I first started using the new Passport, and have left it home since. It has never failed to connect to the computer. It goes all day long without a problem even during long recesses coming right back when needed. The display is very vivid and colorful, and has many variations in brightness, contrast, size of the text and/or the steno, including one steno display that looks exactly like paper notes in the middle of the screen, only larger. It shows shadows in red, making reading back as easy as from paper.
It records. I use the serial to USB connection at this time. There have been four updates to the software since I've had it, each one adding new features and controls. Updates are a 15 second process, and each one is noticeably better than the last.
The touch is totally adjustable. Individual key adjustments are done with a graphlike screen and you can see the key come down to the contact point as you touch the key, and adjust the bottom contact point where you want it by simply turning the scroll wheel.
I have not had a stacking problem since adjusting the antistacking adjusting number to my touch. After years of Stenturas and SmartWriters, this is really a pleasure. I can use the audio on the writer AND the audio on the laptop at the same time.
The Passport is still being refined, but I use it every day, and have had no problems in getting the work done. I have not used the bluetooth yet, or the USB cable. The serial to USB works perfectly, and shortly I will try the Bluetooth.
The Passport took a long time to get here, and I waited because I knew it would be far superior to anything out there, and it is. The updates in the two months plus I've had it were enormous. It is perfectly usable now, and at the rate the updates have been coming, I'd like to say it will be complete in the not too distant future, but I can't say that, because if the Total Eclipse is any indication, there will always be more features to come. Needless to say, I like it. Howard
I had a demostration of the Diamante at my home this week. It is light and has a few more backup features. There wasn't enough time to really write with it to see if the stacking problem has been eliminated, but interesting while I was trying it out, the letter "F" failed to show up at all. After placing a call to Stenograph that evening, I have still yet to hear back why the letter F wasn't working. It is not a writer that you can adjust the letters yourself - only the tension and depth of keyboard.
Overall, I liked it, but quite concerned about disappearing letters....