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System76 'Launch Configurable Keyboard' unveiled

by Mark Tyson on 14 May 2021, 13:11

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeqlb

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Linux PC systems specialist System76 has unveiled the 'Launch Configurable Keyboard', its first product for the PC peripherals market. The Launch boasts several aspects that will appeal to a certain niche of PC users. As well as being "fully configurable and engineered for comfort and efficiency," it is 100 per cent open source, both hardware and software, and handcrafted to your spec in Colorado USA. This comes at a price with pre-orders for a base configuration which will ship in June starting at US$285.

System76 touts the following as the biggest selling points for its 'Launch Configurable Keyboard':

  • Comfort with soft, textured keys, TKL design, and split space bar
  • Choice of keyswitches. Uses Kailh MX Hotswap sockets for Kailh Box Jade (click) or Kailh Box Royal (tactile bump)
  • Simple key swapping with key puller and extra keycaps in different sizes, contours, and red and blue shades provided.
  • Deep customisation with key remap configurations save to onboard memory
  • User layouts of up to four layers are savable
  • Per key RGB backlighting
  • N-Key rollover
  • High speed USB hub built-in providing two high-speed USB-C and two USB-A output ports (from one USB-C in)
  • 100 per cent open source hardware, firmware and software
  • Linux, Windows, and macOS compatible
  • Solid aluminium chassis with rubber feet and up to 15 degree incline
  • Physical characteristics: 309 x 136 x 33mm, 948g
  • Handcrafted in Denver USA

In its product pages System76 talks a lot about the comfort and configurability of its new input peripheral. Looking through the specs it certainly seems to have put a lot of thought into these aspects of the keyboard and the open source aspects of the project.

Sure, this thoughtful and compact design and the ergonomics will be very much appreciated by some but even then a portion will definitely be put off by the pricing. At US$285 this is more like an 'instrument' than a mere peripheral. While you can pre-order now, shipments to customers are scheduled for sometime next month.

HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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I love the retro look, but sadly at that price way out of my league.
I know limited runs cost more to produce but I'm honestly struggling to see what's so special about this keyboard to warrant the price.

Plenty of other keyboards offer up smaller form factors and changeable keycaps, most software has keyboard shortcuts already so I don't really see a need for that part either.

I thought the usb fittings on the back allowed for switching between devices but nope, just a hub on each side, so they missed a trick there imo.