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System76 Launches The Launch Configurable Keyboard

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  • System76 Launches The Launch Configurable Keyboard

    Phoronix: System76 Launches The Launch Configurable Keyboard

    For months Linux hardware vendor System76 has been teasing their own in-house designed and manufactured keyboard with open-source firmware and various innovations. Today the embargo lifts on the System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard so we can share more about this new open hardware product.

    https://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=30189

  • #2
    Manufactured in Denver is actually a pretty big deal. Unicomp and System76 keeping US-made keyboards alive. I wonder about the PCB.

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    • #3
      This is exciting, ive been looking for a diy keyboard that is properly customizable without needing reflashing.

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      • #4
        This is very cool, but isn't the point of keyboard backlighting to see the keys at night? They look like solid caps.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ThoreauHD View Post
          This is very cool, but isn't the point of keyboard backlighting to see the keys at night? They look like solid caps.
          Lights on expensive keyboards never made much sense to me anyway. Are there a lot of people who can't touch type but still spend almost 300usd on a keyboard?

          I actually use a 'custom' keyboard pcb that lights up, but could never figure out the point, and put it inside an opaque keyboard case with opaque key caps.

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          • #6
            I like the keycaps, a decent typeface has been used. Too many PC mechanical keyboards include a terrible gamer typeface.

            I find it a little odd how the keys indent a little on the left, like it's some 70s teletype.

            There won't be a UK variant because they haven't left enough space for the return key in an alternative design, unless it's razor thin like a macbook keyboard return key.

            The lettering doesn't let the light through, so the lighting is unnecessary (a simple backlight would be enough), but I guess these days per-key lighting is cheap enough to implement.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sykobee View Post
              I like the keycaps, a decent typeface has been used. Too many PC mechanical keyboards include a terrible gamer typeface.

              I find it a little odd how the keys indent a little on the left, like it's some 70s teletype.

              There won't be a UK variant because they haven't left enough space for the return key in an alternative design, unless it's razor thin like a macbook keyboard return key.

              The lettering doesn't let the light through, so the lighting is unnecessary (a simple backlight would be enough), but I guess these days per-key lighting is cheap enough to implement.
              Seriously, the typeface on some of these keyboards are so terrible... I bought a 'retro style' (read beige) keyboard that looked really nice, but the typeface on the keys drove me nuts... I finally decided to order it anyhow, as I don't often look at the keyboard anyhow.

              Is a full-sized Return key a thing still anywhere? I miss the big key.. also miss it being called a Return key instead of Enter... Granted on my current Roccat keyboard, it just has the bent arrow symbol :P

              I also agree with the 'wtf, why is this not a through key with the lighting?' Hopefully they bring that as an option. I also think this looks like a C64 keyboard, wonder how hard it'd be to convert it to one with the proper keyboard layout...

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              • #8
                I appreciate the effort in spirit but I've never been one for those cut down layouts. Besides, if I wanted to replace my pre-2013 (standard) 104-key layout Unicomp Classic, and a cut down design was acceptable, I'd probably spend the extra ~$70 for a modern Model F.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
                  I appreciate the effort in spirit but I've never been one for those cut down layouts. Besides, if I wanted to replace my pre-2013 (standard) 104-key layout Unicomp Classic, and a cut down design was acceptable, I'd probably spend the extra ~$70 for a modern Model F.
                  I actually like my cut down (missing the calculator keys) keyboard that I'm using now. However, the one they show here is missing even more keys, and I don't think I'd like using it very much.

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                  • #10
                    If the product can last for many many years, and also is repairable, and maybe even upgradable (like switching the board for one with a chip that complies with future standards), then I don't see the problem at all with the price.
                    A regular keyboard costs between 10-40$. A mechanical one from $60-200 depending on the specs.
                    Most cheapo mechanical keyboards I know won't last that long. Basically you need to be spending around $150+ for something decent.

                    Changing keyboards all the time is creating waste, so if this keyboard has a 10+ years lifespan, then bravo.

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