Just stumbled over this chance to buy an old fashioned IBM-style keyboard.
Built like in the old times, but only for a limited time (and in China; designed in USA).
The keyboard layout and color can be customized in many ways.
But the prize is hefty, starting at $ 346 (but reaching more than $400 quite easy).
Take a look here:
Here’s a picture:
Though they are not for me, since I am used to the ergonomic keyboard and would not want to miss this.
Here is the German newspaper article, that made me aware of this keyboard:
(They do as well mention the Model M by Unicomp, that @AnotherElk is rightfully linking to in post #4. [thx for that])
For anyone salivating at the idea of owning one of these: you can get the originals at thrift stores and they work just fine - they do type very comfortably.
But why anyone would want to live life without function keys, I’m sure I don’t know! Gotta have my F12 to toggle the terminal!
With this keyboard you don’t have to live without function keys.
You can get one with a number pad and all F77 and F62 keyboards have function keys! They are the function layer of the top row of keys. You can have the keys printed with F1, etc. on them or leave the printing normal (for the F1 printing please order the extra set of 12 F1, etc. keys in the store item). There are 6 available number pad layouts, 4 of which are premium options available through the “extra keys” store item.
Source: F77 product page
Well, of course that’s not exactly the same like a separate row of keys.
When I was looking for a new PC keyboard a while ago, I stumbled upon Unicomp, who apparently used to build keyboards for IBM back in the day …
(I didn’t buy from them, but I found it interesting, and layout-wise they cover quite the range.)
Good god. You can get a new Model-M from Unicomp for $99. This one is insanely expensive.
People who received and use it also say that’s the Best. Keyboard. Ever. That’s from people who own dozen of keyboards (check the forums linked from the home page of the website). The firmware in the keyboard is also fully open-source. Another specialist keyboard firmware, QMK, was also ported to it a few months after the first people received their unit. That’s a strong point as to the durability of the hardware. Quite the same as LineageOS, as ported to FP2, increases its lifespan.
I’m eager to finally receive my F77, but it’s still waiting for the printing of keycaps. That’s another point about this keyboard : the project manager wants everything to be perfect, whatever the delay.
These new Model F may not be “fair” or “sustainable”, they are made to last forever, ie. much longer than any smartphone of the same price.
Nota : don’t be fooled by the time limit mentionned on the website. The project is here to stay at least a few more years. The time limit is pushed +1 month every month. That leave you time think about the layout, the build quality, etc. There will be a second round of manufacturing later on. The first round is not finished yet, with a second container still heading to the US, where the project manager will prepare your keyboard as if it was a diamond.
Thx for the insight.
You seem to know the makers firsthand.
I really would buy into it, if I would not be used to the ergonomic split-keyboard. I really don’t want to go back to the old style, though I am regularly p…ed by the mediocre quality of this plastic device.
I was obsessed with keyboards at one point, it’s the switch mechanism that makes the keyboard great. You can mod a keyboard practically indefinitely, I owned cherry blue and brown, brown are tactile and quiet, blue are most fun but loud. If I would go back into my keyboard obsession I would just stop at topre realforce r2. There are some real keyboard psychos out there I tell you.
And here I thought using a HyperX Alloy FPS with Cherry MX Red switches as a simple enough ISO layout board, replacing the crappy original keycaps entirely with EnjoyPBT Extended 2048 ones was expensive.
I feel better immediately looking around here .
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