By Evan Ackerman
Yes, it’s the Optimus Keyboard. If anything, it’s more beautiful in person than in all of the press releases (or maybe that’s just because we’re now sure that it actually exists). It works exactly as advertised. And believe it or not, Art Lebedev Studios had several 100% working versions in their booth at CES. Not vaporware anymore, baby… According to the booth dudes, they’ve got about 2,000 keyboards ready to go and are working on producing more.
If you’re not familiar with this keyboard, every single key (in its most expensive configuration) contains a little 48×48 color OLED screen, which you can customize to show a letter, a picture, a movie, or even a widget that updates itself. The keyboard includes configuration software that lets you tweak each key to your heart’s content, and save custom configurations for different programs. We learned a little bit more about the keyboard itself, besides how eye-shatteringly cool and beautiful it is… It stores custom configs on an SD card, sucks down enough juice that it needs it own DC jack, and has 2 additional USB 2.0 ports in the back. The keys should last about 20,000 hours before they start to dim and are not susceptible to stuck pixels like conventional LCDs. Each keyboard includes a 1 year warranty (which extends to the keys themselves) and will come with 3 spare keys.
It’ll be available in gloss black or gloss white with anywhere from one OLED on the spacebar ($460) to a full 113 OLEDs (nearly $1600). But the good news is that the OLED keys are only 10 bucks each and you can plug them in yourself, so just get the base version, and then find 112 friends who’d each be willing to give you a $10 b-day present. They should (should) start shipping by the end of February, and I think it’s actually halfway likely to happen.
Pics of the retail packaging (if you’re interested), after the jump.
[ Optimus Maxiumus ]