$1,200 keyboard. Nope, it isn't April 1st!

Summary:Still looking for some holiday stocking fillers … how about a keyboard? It has 103 keys and can display images on each key using OLEDs (Organic LEDs). Price? If you need to ask the price, this keyboard isn't for you!

Still looking for some holiday stocking fillers … how about a keyboard?  It has 103 keys and can display images on each key using OLEDs (Organic LEDs).  Price?  If you need to ask the price, this keyboard isn't for you! 

Introducing the Optimus Keyboard by Art Lebedev.

Optimus Keyboard - well, as it used to look

If you need to ask the price, this keyboard isn't for you! Well, that's not really it.  That's what the concept keyboard looked like about a year ago.  Back then each key had a full-size color OLED display.  Since then a lot of features have been dropped.  Gone are the color OLEDs, full-key images, and the launcher keys (shown in the image above).  For anyone who's been following the Optimus keyboard with an idea of buying one (as I was initially), Lebedev over-promised and then later under-delivered on features (that's the danger of pre-announcing a product to generate buzz - if you can't deliver, you're open for attack).  The price is just the final nail in the coffin of this project.  The price is set to come down to sub-$1,000 some time next year but even then this is still way overpriced in my opinion.

My guess is (and this is backed up by feedback to Lebedev himself on his blog) is that people are going to hold out until the price comes down or for the color version to be released. If that ever happens … I'm not holding my breath! 

If you like the idea then Lebedev also makes a 3-key version called the Optimus mini three.  This has a slightly saner pricetag of $121.  But it’s only three keys.  (I wonder what three functions I would choose for these keys???)

Optimus mini three

So, a $1,200 keyboard.  Whaddya think?  It's gotta be a geek's toy, and since the "geek quotient" here at ZDNet is way above average this particular bit of kit is aimed squarely at you.  To get an idea of what you think about this project, I've attached two polls to this post:

[poll id=41]
[poll id=42]

Topics: Hardware

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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