Optimus keyboard to come at lower price

Written by Phil Cogar

November 6, 2007 | 13:41

Tags: #artemy-lebedev #expensive #keyboard #oled #optimus

Two years ago, the world was teased with images of the Optimus keyboards. The images provoked the want need for such a beautiful keyboard from millions around the web - until the price was announced. Coming in at just over $1500, the keyboard became unobtainable for many, but now there is hope. A sub-$500 version has been announced.

Announced in the summer of 2005, the Optimus keyboard was originally a concept design found on designer Artemy Lebedev’s website. They concept featured a sleek keyboard, on which every key is made out of an OLED display. Each display is a 48x48, 10.1mm by 10.1mm display capable of 65,536 colours and a 10fps refresh rate. In addition to the standard 107 keys, all with custom-programmable OLED displays, the Optimus has ten programmable function keys on the left of the keyboard.

After an immense amount of interest from all over the web, production was finally announced on May 20th 2007. Starting in the beginning of December this year, 200 units will be manufactured. By the end of December the 200 units will ship, and by January 2008 another 400 units will be manufactured and shipped.

However, here’s the catch: the keyboard costs $1564.37 and the conversion rate is direct, meaning €1256.86, or £788.25. The first lot has sold out already, so the demand is obviously there.

Luckily for those of us who aren’t hemorrhaging money, the Optimus project LiveJournal has announced that sub-$1,000 and sub-$500 models will be produced, and multiple concepts are to be announced each year.

Unfortunately they’ve also announced that the fust run “will be somewhat functionally limited,” but they are planning on monthly firmware updates to allow owners to upgrade their keyboards. This may come as a let-down to the 200 who have already dropped enough for a MacBook Pro on the original units, but promised firmware upgrades should keep them working at the top of their potential.

Is the Optimus keyboard affordable enough for you to grab one or is it still a little too rich for your blood? Leave your thoughts over in the forums.
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