System76 Launches The Launch Configurable Keyboard
Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 13 May 2021. Page 1 of 1. 57 Comments

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.

The System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard is their latest product being designed and manufactured from their facility in Denver, Colorado -- the second after their Thelio line of desktop computers. The keyboard base is an open-source design and milled out of aluminum. The CAD design and drawings are open-source on GitHub for those with the necessary equipment to fabricate your own. The Launch Keyboard also makes use of their own, open-source PCB design that supports individual RGB LED key backlighting and other features.

While using their own in-house chassis and PCB, this System76 keyboard is making use of Kailh MX sockets and Kailh Box Jade or Kailh Box Royal switches. The System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard has an integrated hub providing two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports. This wired keyboard supports connections to the system via USB-A/USB-C. Rounding out this Linux-focused keyboard is an open-source firmware for the keyboard with updates to be distributed via LVFS/Fwupd.

Given System76's limited non-US exposure, for now this keyboard is just available as a ANSI US QWERTY layout. Via the open-source System76 Keyboard Configurator there is support for customizing the layout and lighting of the keyboard. Besides their own Pop!_OS, System76 intends to support the keyboard more broadly not only on Linux but also macOS and Windows.

More information on the Launch keyboard will be available at System76.com along with the ability to order the keyboard. The US-made keyboard does command a high price though of $285 USD (and an additional $35 if wanting a three year warranty instead of one year warranty). We should have our hands on one of these keyboards soon for testing.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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