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Optimus OLED Keyboard Pre-Orders Start Dec. 12

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the every-key-a-function-key dept.

289

Jupix writes, "After almost a year and a half of public development, the Optimus OLED keyboard is nearing completion. According to the project blog, pre-orders for the Optimus-103 will start on December 12. The price is unspecified at this time, but Art Lebedev has said the keyboard will cost 'less than a good mobile phone' (probably about $400). Don't expect to see those 10 programmable function keys on the left on this first version, though, as they will not make their debut until the Optimus-113, released later."

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289 comments

What key switching tech does it use? (4, Interesting)

vistic (556838) | more than 7 years ago | (#16905998)

Does anyone know what kind of switches it uses?

At that price I'd expect buckling spring switches (like the old IBM Model M) or mechanical Alps switches (like the old Apple Extended Keyboard II). Although I think only Unicomp makes buckling spring keyboards anymore.

I'd be disappointed if keys that look so nice, just have a squishy feel to them like a cheap rubber-dome membrane Dell keyboard.

Re:What key switching tech does it use? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906024)

huh? The squishy feeling is a good thing(tm) Its called a quiet keyboard. I very much dislike the spring keyboards, esp if yo use them for data entry. With quiet keyboards its much easier to press the keys.

Re:What key switching tech does it use? (4, Funny)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906140)

HERETIC!

Buckling springs have ergonomic advantages. (3, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906208)

huh? The squishy feeling is a good thing(tm) Its called a quiet keyboard. I very much dislike the spring keyboards, esp if yo use them for data entry. With quiet keyboards its much easier to press the keys.

Although ultimately it comes down to personal preference, I think that the 'clicky' buckling-spring keys are actually easier to use and less fatiguing. Because there is immediate tactile and audible feedback when the key-switch is actuated, you don't have to press it as far down. When I use a 'soft touch' keyboard, I find that I hit the keys further and harder, because there's not that feedback; I slam each key all the way down instead of (with practice) only pushing each key down as far as is necessary.

The noise of the original IBM Model M's is definitely a downside; if you have to work around other people, I can see how it wouldn't win you many friends. In my opinion, the Apple Extended Keyboard II with the Altus switches is the best of both worlds. It's softer both in terms of pressure and sound than the IBM, but it's not as 'mushy' as a soft-touch (silicone dome).

Re:Buckling springs have ergonomic advantages. (1, Flamebait)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906480)

I hate the sound of keyboards, especially in computer labs or busy offices. My perfect keyboard would provide no tactile feedback at all. Just touch-sensitive with some "mushiness" or "give", so that your fingers aren't pressing against a hard surface. Include a tiny speaker (or use the computer's sound card) for key press sounds for those that want them. You could even use headphones for it if you ran through the sound card. Silent to all around you. The best feedback is the letters appearing on the screen anyway.

Re:Buckling springs have ergonomic advantages. (3, Insightful)

kefler (938387) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906662)

"The best feedback is the letters appearing on the screen anyway."

You must type rather slowly...

Re:Buckling springs have ergonomic advantages. (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906756)

"The best feedback is the letters appearing on the screen anyway."

You must type rather slowly...

At least 35wpm. Haven't checked recently. Computer has no problem keeping up with that though.

Re:Buckling springs have ergonomic advantages. (1)

amazon10x (737466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906816)

At least 35wpm. Haven't checked recently. Computer has no problem keeping up with that though.
You do know that is really slow, right?

Re:What key switching tech does it use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906280)

But much harder to tell if a key has been pressed. The positive feedback from a decent buckling spring keyboard is invaluable.

  When I'm short on cash, I do data entry sometimes (not so much these days, thank krishna/allah/jehovah/zeus/whoever) - but it would be completely unbearable without my model-m-alike.

E-Paper keys? (3, Insightful)

gaspar ilom (859751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906222)

OLEDs are cool and all, and support color...

But if they used e-paper for each key, couldn't this be used in laptops and other low-power devices?

Re:E-Paper keys? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906412)

Yeah. I mean, e-paper would be so much more energy efficient than, uh, a regular keyboard. Oh wait.

Keyboards should have NOTHING on the key tops! It is neither efficient nor ergonomic to be looking at the keys while you are typing. Head up, look at the screen, use touch typing, and spend a tiny fraction of the time you spend at a keyboard to make less mistakes and you will be a maverick typist in no time.

Talk about the right technology for the wrong problem.

Re:E-Paper keys? (1)

teknognome (910243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906530)

Keyboards should have NOTHING on the key tops! It is neither efficient nor ergonomic to be looking at the keys while you are typing. Head up, look at the screen, use touch typing, and spend a tiny fraction of the time you spend at a keyboard to make less mistakes and you will be a maverick typist in no time.
While that's nice in theory, there's plenty of people who do things where where the keys are mapped to different functions than normal. If you only use a program only occasionally, it'd be nice to have the keyboard tell you what CTRL/ALT+a key does, instead of spending the time to look through some helpfile. Or if you're using international keyboard layouts only occasionally (which happens for me, being a linguistics student and needing to type things in a variety of other languages), it'd be nice to not have to look up the keyboard layout, or sit there trying most the keys. There are plenty of uses where learning to touchtype just isn't worth the effort.

Re:E-Paper keys? (1)

alexhard (778254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906448)

why the hell was that modded funny? O_O

Re:What key switching tech does it use? (1)

Wirus from Warszawa (999414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906224)

It looks like it is a quiet keyboard.

Their technical blog [livejournal.com] has a lot of information on the keyboard and its design. Very interesting.

Re:What key switching tech does it use? (1)

olenikm (974109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906290)

Although I sometimes like the clicky feel of mechanical switches, it's worth pointing out that membranes are an order of magnitude more reliable, long lasting and cheaper. No, the $400 is probably for all the OLED displays.

Re:What key switching tech does it use? (1)

cygnus (17101) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906568)

Although I sometimes like the clicky feel of mechanical switches, it's worth pointing out that membranes are an order of magnitude more reliable, long lasting and cheaper.

well, you're right about cheaper, but otherwise you're nuts. Model Ms last forever, and membrane switch keyboards break all the time...

I've never really understood the obsession (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906466)

With the old IBM keyboards. There seems to be this kind of reverence for them on /. and I don't understand why. I used to have one (had an IBM desktop). It was noisy and hard to press the keys. I much prefer my current MS keyboard which has easy, quiet keys. The only potential argument I've heard for the old keyboards is durability. Ok, maybe so, but what kind of stress do you subject them to that makes them break? I have, thus far, never managed to wear out a key on a keyboard. I use the hell out of my computer too, it's pretty much all I do with my time.

So what's the deal with the old IBM keyboards? Is it just some kind of geek-tough guy thing? "Back in my day our keyboards could cause hearing damage and by god we liked it!" I just don't understand what the problem with modern, soft, quiet keyboards is. They don't seem to have problems with breaking even under heavy use, so what's up?

Re:What key switching tech does it use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906712)

Actually the supreme keyswitch technology is electric capacitance [pcguide.com] such as that found on the Happy Hacking Professional [yahoo.net] keyboard from Fujitsu. The keyswitch passes between two metal plates to discharge an electic current that signals a key press. No physical contact takes place nor is necessary so you will have the longest, most consistent life and best responsiveness. This is usually backed up by a metal spring technology (such as the IBM Model M) to give tactile feedback.

If the Optimus doesn't use electic capatitance then it hardly deserves to be the "premium" keyboard. Then again I think the whole OLED thing is stupid and keycaps should be blank except for the bumps on F and J (on QWERTY). Print on keycaps is a crutch and the solution isn't to make better print! People just need to learn how to type. Computers should come with blank keycaps and an on-screen keyboard map so people don't get in the habit of looking at the keyboard and instead learn to look at the screen.

If your system still supports PS/2 and you want The Original then I advise looking into getting an older Model M from Clicky Keyboards [clickykeyboards.com] . I got one of these for about $50. I would get a Customizer [yahoo.net] from Unicomp if my system only supported USB or I wanted to future proof myself against buying another keyboard in the future. Even then the Happy Hacking Professional is just too tempting.

Forced tilt? (3, Interesting)

blitzrage (185758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906036)

Looks like the keyboard is force on an angle. Normally you're able to adjust the height of the keyboard. I generally like my keyboard as flat as possible and my desk/chair set to the right height so my wrists are in a comfortable and flat position instead of being tilted up. Too bad, looks like the keyboard has promise.

Re:Forced tilt? (2, Insightful)

Nerftoe (74385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906060)

Just shim up the front of the keyboard. Problem solved. ;)

Re:Forced tilt? (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906294)

One would hope after dropping a few C-notes on a keyboard you wouldn't have to shim anything.

Re:Forced tilt? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906308)

On that note, I'd rather see the feet in the front of the keyboard. I'm most comfortable typing when my keyboard is inclined with the back of the keyboard down (of course, you need a rather weird desk or posture for it to work well).

I just hope this model comes off a bit stronger than the Mini-3 model. Lacklustre software and the high-pitched whine probably scared off a lot of people - I'd be willing to make a big investment in a keyboard if it's high quality and gives me the functionality. Unlike graphics cards and processors, they last a LONG time, and I might as well have the best of the things that I'm physically interacting with (which is why having dropped $1200 on monitors doesn't bother me much).

Re:Forced tilt? (2)

Penguin Programmer (241752) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906322)

I agree. That said, I love my Microsoft ergonomic keyboard with the 9 degree reverse tilt.

Also, why does every fucking keyboard manufacturer in the world feel that they have to screw around with the enter key at every opportunity? You'd think they'd learn that people want a rectangular enter key, with a rectangular backslash/pipe key above it and a rectangular, full-width backspace key above that.

Re:Forced tilt? (3, Informative)

sc00ch (254070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906394)

Speak for yourself, over here in the UK we have the vertical 2 row (upside down L) enter key. I think there should be various layouts to match the different standards around the world.

Re:Forced tilt? (0, Flamebait)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906488)

What the fuck are you talking about? There is no such thing as a keyboard "standard", unless you're referring to whatever layout happens to be the de facto standard in a particular area. You make it sound like every country has a Keyboard Bureacracy that issues arbitrary decisions on what their keyboards should look like.

Re:Forced tilt? (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906422)

You'd think they'd learn that people want a rectangular enter key, with a rectangular backslash/pipe key above it and a rectangular, full-width backspace key above that.

No thanks. Big enter key please, with a backspace above that, like just about every other computer keyboard I've used in my life.

Functionality Display (5, Interesting)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906042)

Overall changes are one thing (ala Quake), but what I want is to have the display change when I press the CTRL or ALT key.

So that CTRL changes the C key display to COPY and so on. Including the function and specialty keys (arrows, PrtSc).

And an editor that allows me to customize what the keys show, so when I am programming I can set up the display to match my key mapping preferences. With smart focus management to whatever program is in the foreground.

Re:Functionality Display (4, Interesting)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906126)

And an editor that allows me to customize what the keys show, so when I am programming I can set up the display to match my key mapping preferences. With smart focus management to whatever program is in the foreground.

You shouldn't need an editor for this. Rather they should release a good API, so that is it is easy for every program to tell the keyboard what to display when that program is in focus. Since your IDE already knows your keymaps, you shouldn't have to tell the keyboard again (imagine what a mess).

This is beautiful technology, but as with so many other things, the difficulty will be in getting programs to support it.

Re:Functionality Display (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906278)

This is beautiful technology, but as with so many other things, the difficulty will be in getting programs to support it.

I am sure that all the open source apps will have this in short order. (Licking lips in anticipation)

Re:Functionality Display (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906632)

Wouldn't it be easier for the keyboard to come with software to recognize which app is focused, along with community-designed key maps for common programs? And a standard XML key map file that could optionally be generated by apps when you change their key mappings?

Re:Functionality Display (1)

rehabdoll (221029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906136)

The display seems to change with caps. Change with CTRL/ALT would seem natural.

Re:Functionality Display (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906172)

Which is a great idea for grandma, who doesn't know how to use a computer, but really isn't that much of an advantage to an advanced computer user who never looks at their keyboard anyway. Anybody who users a computer more than 2 hours a day, should probably learn the key shortcuts and make their life easier. People depend way too much on the mouse, which is understandable in a GUI environment, but even then, using the keyboard is much faster. I could see this being an advantage with VS.Net, and it showing all the key combinations, but at that point, you're still better off memorizing the shortcuts, because looking down at the keyboard to figure out what you want to do is much slower than right click + select option, or even going all the way to the top menu and selecting something out of there. All this reminds me of WordPerfect 5.1. You could do everything via the keyboard, and it was so much nicer to use than any of the modern word processors, because you spent more time getting stuff done, and less time messing around with mice,drop down menus, and the 50,000 fonts we have now.

Re:Functionality Display (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906258)

All this reminds me of WordPerfect 5.1. You could do everything via the keyboard

I still use my 15 year old keyboard with function keys down the left side...

Re:Functionality Display (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906340)

Anybody who users a computer more than 2 hours a day, should probably learn the key shortcuts and make their life easier.

I agree with this.

However I do not have all the key mappings memorized for all applications. Yes the basic ones like cut/paste are part of my "finger macros", but the more estoric ones are not. So I search through the menu system using the mouse.

Being able to press a control key and having the choices shown on the keyboard would really help, especially since several uses would help me remember them. I do have the key mappings printed out, but a keyboard display would be better.

Re:Functionality Display (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906532)

Which is a great idea for grandma, who doesn't know how to use a computer, but really isn't that much of an advantage to an advanced computer user who never looks at their keyboard anyway. Anybody who users a computer more than 2 hours a day, should probably learn the key shortcuts and make their life easier. People depend way too much on the mouse, which is understandable in a GUI environment, but even then, using the keyboard is much faster.

You contradict yourself in the scope of two sentences. ;-)

Should this become cost effective and widely used, it may be the way away from the mouse, and the most significant development in HID technology since the mouse. (Human Interface Device).

I've often thought that working with mouse was akin to poking an engine together with a stick.

The mouse requires that vast amounts of screen realestate on the primary output device be reserved for input functions. This is historically due to the limitations of our primary input device, the keyboard.
Wouldn't it seem natural to enhance the input device's capability OR move to on-screen keying and abandon the keyboard alltogether?

Having said that I must observe that looking at a vast array of on-screen Icons trying to figure out which one is your the editor is less than obvious or efficient, and I can quickly see that adding another ever-changing array of icons will lead to a great deal of frustration.

Just as mankind was forced to develop standardized character sets on the road to literacy, if we continue on this proliferation of the use of icons, we will be forced to develop standardized icon sets instead of using company logos for icons.

What part of a fox pelt wrapped abound a blue marble screams web browser to the uninitiated?

Re:Functionality Display (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906174)

Who says it doesn't?

Re:Functionality Display (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906296)

what I want is to have the display change when I press the CTRL or ALT key.

It doesn't do this? I thought that's the whole point of this keyboard and the reason why I found it cool. I even had kind of assumed it would include (or at least have planned) a way to make this controllable by the application that has focus, so that, for example, vim or Gimp could display their shortcuts. Not that would be helpful.

Re:Functionality Display (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906330)

Actually, I would be happy with an otherwise-normal keyboard that has those special 10 function keys on the side.

Re:Functionality Display (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906372)

Which was the original design.

Then some idiot designer placed them at the top and that became the standard.

I still use a keybard from 15 years ago which has functions keys both across the top, and down the side. And it has a cursor key pad which is not that stupid inverted T, but rather a square with PAGE-UP/DOWN HOME/END etc in the right places.

The only downfall is that new computers do not have PS/2 ports but are rather all USB, which this keyboard does not work with :((

Re:Functionality Display (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906418)

You do realize you can buy a usb to PS/2 converter, right? Just checking. Hell, any self-professed geek should be able to design and build one in a couple of days, it's not that hard.

Re:Functionality Display (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906460)

Well yes, but I have found that it does not work with all computer/keyboard/mouse combinations.

The keyboard I have has a DIN plug attached to a DIN->PS/2 converter.

Re:Functionality Display (5, Interesting)

Enselic (933809) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906360)

As a hobbyist game programmer, I immediately began to think about what games you could write for the keyboard itself. My general idea is that you could make all the keys act as one big (low-res) screen.

You could have a Whack-a-Mole type game, where a mole would display on the keys and you'd have to whack him by pressing one of the keys the mole occupies.

Or you could make a Snake clone where you would maneuver the snake by tapping on the direction the snake would go.

Or some kind of piano game, á la Guitar Hero.

Pre-orders start December 12? (1)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906062)

Where do I start queueing?! Let's hope it works with my PS3! /sarcasm Anyone miss the days when things just "went on sale"?

Keybords (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906074)

Is this the thread where we say what we wish we had in a keyboard?

I really like the keyboard on my MacBook, I wish I could find one like it for my PC's

Re:Keybords (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906134)

Oddly enough I like my Microsoft Internet keyboard. The keys don't feel as cheap as other keyboards I have used and when it gets dirty it seems to survive complete submersion in water. Although I admit I have not tried mac keyboards, so I don't know what I am missing.

Re:Keybords (1)

sparrow_hawk (552508) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906720)

The Happy Hacker 2 Lite keyboard is about the closest thing I've found to a Macbook (well, iBook in my case) keyboard for a PC -- most of the keys are in the right places, though I had to remap Control to Caps Lock on my laptop so I didn't get confused every time I switched between the two machines. The HH2 Lite has a pretty decent feel for a membrane keyboard.

Best use for this... (3, Insightful)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906076)

I suspect that this won't be used a lot on home computer systems. Where it may be used a lot is in things like automotive dashboards and possibly non-critical systems on aircraft where space is at a premium and touch screens work poorly if you're wearing gloves and/or want some tactile feedback.

-b.

Re:Best use for this... (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906112)

That is exactly what I was thinking when I just saw their upravlator [artlebedev.com] . That thing, although looking unconventional at first, might be a bigger succes than their oled keyboard, especially as it can have direct applications in industries.

Re:Best use for this... (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906566)

Any application where the UI is hotkey driven (or has lots of semi-decipherable icons) can benefit from an Optimus.

Personally, I want one just for Blender [blender.org] . Lots of other graphics apps could benefit from this (Photoshop, even), and certainly there are some video people out there that would like to plug one of these into their Avid systems.

Sadly, the extra 10 side keys could have been put to good use in a Blender key layout.

Can't wait for it to hit mainstream. (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906078)

This is the sort of thing that many users would love to get when the pricepoint is right. Both for easy of use (wouldn't you love a keyboard that could change languages at a single click?) and for increased productivity (that photoshop overlay looked pretty slick).

$400 is over my budget. When it hits $100 it's mine. :-)

Why release it without the 10 programmable keys? (1)

JesusXP (991514) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906104)

Thats basically the only thing that had us excited in the first place! The first release will be lame without it..

Nice, when the price comes down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906116)

The keyboard looks really nice, and would be a cute toy. But, for over $400...(!)

There are opportunity costs in life, and the cost of this opportunity looks a bit steep. If I spend $400 on a keyboard, then I am giving up the opportunity to spend the same $400 on beer. And really, one must admit that $400 can buy you a lot of beer.

Hopefully OLED will continue to come down in price, and eventually this sort of keyboard will be available for around $100. At that price, I may be willing to go for it.

Under $400? (1, Interesting)

kd5ujz (640580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906122)

After looking at the site, the Optimus mini three (three keys) runs for $160USD. I do not see how they can sell 103 keys for $400, when they are selling 3 for $160. I know that the price will get cheaper for the keyboard (still has only one usb controller), but at the 3 for $160 rate, the keyboard with 103 keys would run ~$5493USD. I seriously doubt it will be cheaper than a nice cell phone.

Re:Under $400? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906272)

Well, looks like B&W LCD v.s. color OLED for the time being.

Re:Under $400? (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906344)

It's called "NRE". Non-recurring expenses. As in, the parts for the keyboard might only cost $50; the rest is the NRE cost of the plastic molds and other tooling, as well as the manufacturing costs. For many electronic products, the bill of materials cost is less than 10% of the retail price.

Re:Under $400? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906752)

I belive the the mini helped raise the capital to produce the full sized keybaord.

Staggered columns versus matrix keyboards (0)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906144)

Damn, they created such an innovative keyboard and they destroyed it by using staggered columns. I personally use TypeMatrix [typematrix.com] (QWERTY and Dvorak) and Plum [www.plum.bz] keyboards that have a matrix layout, similar to the numeric keypad. You have to use one to understand how much better it is. I would definitely buy an Optimus keyboard if it had a matrix layout, but I have no intention to return to a staggered columns layout just for OLED keycaps.

Re:Staggered columns versus matrix keyboards (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906364)

I'm glad someone brought up the dvorak layout. This will make switching to dvorak and back family friendly. "One touch dvorak."

Re:Staggered columns versus matrix keyboards (3, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906374)

OMG! They "destroyed it" by supporting the keyboard design the overwhelming majority of people are used to instead of supporting a layout that only two companies feel is important. Those bastards.

Re:Staggered columns versus matrix keyboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906554)

Damn, they didn't think to layout support for a worthless sub-section of the market by turning it into Playschool shit. They TOTALLY ruined it! Why didn't those idiots know that they'd sell many more keyboards if they pandered to a keyboard style that NOBODY USES???

Shut the fuck you up, you moronic cretin. Nobody's impressed by you name-dropping a stupid keyboard configuration.

Minor question - How much? (3, Insightful)

slightlyspacey (799665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906146)

I don't know about your credit card, but when I charge something, they require something a bit more concrete than "less than the price of a good cell phone".

Re:Minor question - How much? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906334)

I'm sure we'll have another article Dec 22 with an actual price, and yet another when pre-orders become just plain "orders", and probably a review after that.

I'll pass, for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906158)

I'll be waiting on the 'Prime' version.

nice eye candy (1)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906166)

I like the look, I like the idea... I've waited a long to see these be available... but, around $400???

At that kind of expense, it better have a 100G drive, about 512M memory, and run Linux. (and for an extra $100 - $200, Windows XP...)

I know it's new, I know price points start high, I'll wait.

'less than a good mobile phone' (0, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906176)

$400 is 'less than a good mobile phone'? Now granted, I'm not a professional consumer like some people are, but what moron pays $400 (or more??) for a phone? Last time I needed a phone, it was either free, or it was like $50. It definitely wasn't more than $100. Are people really dumb enough to pay $400 for a fucking phone?

Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906230)

Are people really dumb enough to pay $400 for a fucking phone?

There's never been a shortage of dumb people. If the marketing is good enough, it'll sell.

Re: 'less than a good mobile phone' (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906300)

Last time I needed a phone, it was either free, or it was like $50

Are you aware of what you signed up for? You probably had to use the same network provider for a year or more, at inflated prices.

Re: 'less than a good mobile phone' (1)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906464)

You probably had to use the same network provider for a year or more, at inflated prices.

Or he simply got himself a model which doesn't run Linux, play videos, do his laundry and make him coffee while organising his socks and rearranging Beethoven's 5th for the kazoo.

I don't know much about the situation in the U.S.A., but around here basic models can easily go for under 50 EUR retail.

Re: 'less than a good mobile phone' (1)

Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906370)

Last time I needed a phone, it was either free or...

Yeah, right. I think you need to think that over before calling other people dumb.

Re: 'less than a good mobile phone' (1)

Cygfrydd (957180) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906470)

Clearly you've never purchased a cell phone and not signed the next two years of your life away on a contract.

Re: 'less than a good mobile phone' (1)

nra1871 (836627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906590)

Sign your life away? Good lord what is so hard about reading the details, and getting a contract which suits you?

Re: 'less than a good mobile phone' (1)

RecordHigh (826643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906734)

I agree that paying $400 for nothing but a basic cell phone would be dumb. However, I believe the original poster was referring to a PDA/Camera/Wi-fi/Bluetooth phone with a full QWERTY keyboard. Paying $400 for a phone like that might be extravagant, but it is definitely not dumb. Dumb would be you for not realizing that.

NB: This keyboard does not use OLED. (5, Informative)

onemorehour (162028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906178)

Read the blog for details. They scrapped the OLED idea in favor of LCD screens to save cost.

Imagine how long the lines will be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906184)

...for an OLED display. The mind boggles.

Yeah but... (1)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906188)

Does it have drivers for linux?
No, really

Re:Yeah but... (1)

elFarto the 2nd (709099) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906496)

Reading their blog, it looks like it'll show up as a mass storage device.

Cool... but functional? (1)

Stinkythe1 (719563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906194)

I personally would love to own this keyboard, even if it did cost around $400. However, I'm not sure how functional this keyboard would actually be. I mean, how many times do you actually look AT your keyboard. I rarely do, unless i'm peking out number on the top of the keyboard or pressing one of the F keys.

I think that the only real good function that this keyboard would have would be for training purposes. This keyboard would be EXCELLENT for teaching someone what the keyboard shortcuts are for a certain peice of software, and everyone knows that if you know the keyboard shortcuts for a program, you productivity goes through the roof compared to using the mouse. However, to someone who is very familiar with the software and already knows the keyboard shortcuts, this keyboard would only be useful for a WOW factor, and that would be about it.

Very cool, but.. (1)

doctor proteus (1028902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906198)

I was kind of hoping for a completely flat, touch sensitive keyboard (think LCARS) so you could completely redesign the key layouts, or even use as a tablet etc...

Would be great for games as well. Maybe ver 2.0

oled keyboard? (1)

unluckier (916763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906202)

do you really look at your keyboard?: doing always the same thing, you already know where the keys are ( i hope you know the quake keys if you're playing quake :/). Do you need a flashing 'COPY' when hitting ctrl + c ?

But of course, it's pretty cool to have a keyboard like that.. I wouldn't mind..

Fast food joints rejoice! (1)

Ruvim (889012) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906204)

Adding new menu items to McDonald's cash register will never be easier!

You're not supposed to look at the keyboard (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906212)

You're not supposed to look at the keyboard. It slows down your typing.

Learn to type on a blank keyboard [daskeyboard.com] .

Re:You're not supposed to look at the keyboard (1)

FORTRANslinger (950850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906602)

I just pissed my pants. Take a $20 keyboard, scrub the print off the keys and sell it for $90. What fucking morons buy this shit?

Re:You're not supposed to look at the keyboard (1)

jadobbins (1028872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906784)

Alright, that is freaking amazing, I almost want one but I already type rediculously fast and without looking. These should be in use in every public school though.

I will be moderated down but.. (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906218)

What is the hype? Isn't it just a keyboard? OK OK, it is cool, LCDs etc. but $400+ for a keyboard? But then I am not rich.

Burn-in (1)

acedotcom (998378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906254)

i just dont know alot about OLED but will it burn an image into the keys? that wouldnt be good...but you could have some pretty sweet screen savers on KEYBOARD!

I wonder if this keyboard... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906260)

Could help bring Dvorak [mwbrooks.com] more into the mainstream?

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906416)

Contrarians are too tiresome. All the smug dvorak twits are doomed to forever live in obscurity.

Interesting. (2, Interesting)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906288)

Since I need to exchange keyboard setups (from Spanish (Spain setup) to English to Japanese and others at times, I can see usefulness in this thing. Looks flashy too, although looks like it's rather expensive.
I wonder if it works in Linux, too?

Great for VM users with deep pockets (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906376)

I can imagine this being nice to have if you're a heavy user of virtual machines. For example, I run OS X. It would be nice to have a standard OS X layout, then switch to a Windows install in Parallels and have the keyboard switch to having a Windows key. Then switch to Ubuntu and see a Gnome-like foot for the menu. Or KDE and have a big K, or...

You get the idea. Price is somewhat hefty though, especially for something that isn't going to have the side keys. I'll wait until I read reviews about how well it feels before I consider splashing out the daft quantities of cash required. Don't get the wrong idea, I wish them well. I'm just not going to be pre-ordering, that's all.

Cheers,
Ian

Bloomberg (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906384)

Have they spoken with Bloomberg about this? They already remap keys (by ordering custom keyboards in all sorts of funky colors) and it causes no end of confusion among a portion of their users who can't find the delete key any more (it's labeld CONN/DFLT (in big upper case) delete (in lower case) on their keyboard). This seems like the best of both worlds. And Bloomberg has plenty to drop a few hundred more on their systems. They've been shipping wireless keyboard/flat screen sets for at least 5 years and the latest keyboard has a print scanner.

Optimus Prime? (5, Interesting)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906410)

Did anyone else notice that the model numbers are primes?

Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16906458)

Why did they have to fuck up the enter key...

Great! (1)

Yeechang Lee (3429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906472)

I can't wait to use the Optimus keyboard with a Phantom console to play Duke Nukem Forever!

"Less than a good mobile phone" (1)

melted (227442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906514)

Remember, folks it's less than a good mobile phone IN RUSSIA. Even subsidized phones aren't subsidized as heavily there, and most phone plans are pre-paid. And it's probably the owner of Russia's leading design studio who wrote that post. For him "a good mobile phone" could easily be $1000.

sick of it all (1)

cygnus (17101) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906516)

is anyone else just sick of hearing about this thing? more than a dozen of my friends have sent me links to this keyboard's site as if i'd never heard about it before. it's going to be grossly overpriced*, and only marginally useful. 99.99% of people won't get one. can we talk about something else now?

* and I spent $100 for my keyboard

400$ yuck (1)

galaad2 (847861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906614)

400$ ???!!

YUCK, no thanks..

i'll wait for the chinese-built version... i bet it will only be 25$ or so maximum.

Who else... (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906650)

Looks at the keyboard when they type?

Better for professional use (1)

jadobbins (1028872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906686)

The features that this keyboard provide are widely unnecessary in comparison to the cost regarding home applications. This keyboard, however, would be absolutely perfect for implications such as the recording industry. In the record business, cost is hardly an issue compared to time, And when you're working with digital audio workstations, such as Pro-Tools [digidesign.com] which has hundreds of key commands that vastly speed up any recording or mixing process compared to just using a mouse, they are often un-intuitive and hard to memorize. A keyboard like this that could intuitively transform its layout upon starting different applications to reveal program-specific commands would be incredibly helpful, and just all around l33t.

OLED Lifetime (1)

Anti_Climax (447121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906766)

I wonder if they'll have some kind of sleep mode for the displays to ensure they won't burn out prematurely.

One of the biggest hurdles I'd heard of for OLEDs was their lifespan, particularly for the blue emitters.

I'm not sure if they have issues with burn in, but a screensaver would be nice too. Perhaps a slideshow that spans all the keys, or Pac Man running back and forth across rows ;)
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