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Images courtesy of Engadget
Russian studio behind Optimus OLED keyboard unveils name, photos of much delayed keyboard

The Art.Lebedev Studio, the company responsible for the vaporous Optimus keyboard, unveiled press shots of the Optimus Maximus, the newly re-named $1,490 keyboard featuring OLED keys. 

The Maximus will have 114 keys, some of them featuring 32x32 pixel full-color OLED displays that are replaceable and customizable by users.  Production of the keyboards began on February 7, 2007, the company announced.

The company is not showing the keyboard during CeBIT in Germany, even though it appeared that a working unit would be presented during the event.  Furthermore, the release date of the pricey keyboard will be pushed back until this December.  Interested customers were able to start placing pre-orders for the keyboard last December, with an expected launch date sometime spring 2007.

Artemy Lebedev, the lead designer of the Maximus, first announced the keyboard in January of 2006, receiving large amounts of press coverage due to the concepts behind the keyboard.

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Do they mean Monopoly Money?
By osalcido on 3/15/2007 5:28:41 PM , Rating: 5
because 1400 Monopoly Dollars is totally worth it

RE: Do they mean Monopoly Money?
By das mod on 3/15/2007 5:58:42 PM , Rating: 1
LOL ...
funny thing is ...
only the F keys appear to be OLED ....
....1400 ?? only if they accept my sister's food stamps ...

RE: Do they mean Monopoly Money?
By GaryJohnson on 3/15/2007 6:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
Every key of the Optimus keyboard is a stand-alone display showing exactly what it is controlling at this very moment.

Better Pictures:

RE: Do they mean Monopoly Money?
By GaryJohnson on 3/15/2007 6:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
Err, that's not the same keyboard, my apologies.

RE: Do they mean Monopoly Money?
By NainoKami on 3/16/2007 3:22:07 AM , Rating: 2
By GaryJohnson on 3/18/2007 2:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
The link I posted up is the Optimus, the article is about the Optimus Maximus (formerly Optimus-103?).

They have different key layouts.

RE: Do they mean Monopoly Money?
By TheBaker on 3/18/2007 1:21:34 AM , Rating: 2
OK, after seeing those pics, I will say that, while not worth as much as they are asking, that is one smokin' keyboard. When the price of OLED's comes down, this is how all keyboards will be made.

RE: Do they mean Monopoly Money?
By dice1111 on 3/16/2007 8:10:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'll just trade them Boardwalk and Park place for it. Maybe thow in a "get out of jail free" card...

RE: Do they mean Monopoly Money?
By masher2 on 3/16/2007 11:56:15 AM , Rating: 3
$1500 is a bit steep, but I'd easily pay $500 for such a keyboard. Hopefully someone else will step in in a couple years and offer one.

By darksilicon on 3/16/2007 8:12:06 PM , Rating: 2
This is where we need Meizu to come in...

wouldn't buy one until...
By Chernobyl68 on 3/15/2007 6:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
let me know when they've got an ergonomic version of it...

RE: wouldn't buy one until...
By PrezWeezy on 3/15/2007 6:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
Come on guys, all you have to do is find a PS3 somewhere and then it's only $300. Seems like a reasonable price to me. But I'm with you Chernobyl, it's not work a penny to me if it's not ergonomic.

RE: wouldn't buy one until...
By DOSGuy on 3/16/2007 12:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
The offer was that if you could find a PS3, he would pay you $1200 for it, so I think the $1200 is gross, not net. Once you've bought the PS3 for $600 + tax, you should have a $550 profit. Now all you need to do is find a PS3 and $950 and you can have an OLED keyboard. I'm still not interested.

RE: wouldn't buy one until...
By Belard on 3/16/2007 12:25:18 AM , Rating: 2
I was in Fry's a few hours ago... There were 6 PS3 standard boxes in the middle of the isle... ready to go.

I should get 2 OLED keyboards... ;)

On the serious side.

Once OLED tech is cheaper in general and production ramps up (the original price was $1000) - the OLED keyboard should become cheaper. I think once the price is well under $500 (like $200) they'll sell a ton of them.

Hopefully they could put some molded plastic/glass on top so that it has the CURVE of desktop keyboards. Many notebooks are almost flat - some are completly. While the FLATNESS looks better - they're not great.

RE: wouldn't buy one until...
By DOSGuy on 3/16/2007 2:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I was thinking about the problem of QWERTY, Dvorak, and international keyboards many years ago and came up with the idea of an "LCD Keyboard", which I attempted to patent in 2001. When I searched the USPTO database, I saw that someone had already beaten me to it. 6 years later, there may finally be a product based on that idea. If I could afford one, I would certainly love to have this keyboard. I missed out on the money, but at least I can feel some pride in having had an idea that was 6 years ahead of its time. In the world of technology, that's not easy to do.

RE: wouldn't buy one until...
By kitchme on 3/15/2007 7:23:55 PM , Rating: 3
You'd pay $1500 if it was ergonomic? Right.

RE: wouldn't buy one until...
By ElJefe69 on 3/16/2007 9:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
lol nice. :)

i could see 300 for this keyboard. It doesnt DO anything that is different technically. It is the best keyboard I have ever seen and if you were an international student with rich parents, this would be the keyboard to own. Of course, the dumb jock/short wearing moron in the winter white kid would nab your shit and you'd be ownd.

RE: wouldn't buy one until...
By BladeVenom on 3/16/2007 3:24:44 AM , Rating: 2
Didn't they say a long time ago that it wouldn't be more expensive than a cell phone? I know my phone didn't cost $1,490.

I don't get it...
By Snowy on 3/15/2007 6:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
What's so special about this keyboard? Does it grow money or something? Seriously, why would anybody want to pay fifteen-hundred dollars for a keyboard?

RE: I don't get it...
By oab on 3/15/2007 7:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
Because, the keys change their display based no the application that you are using.

I.E. If you fire up photoshop, the keyboard will not have the alphabet layout, but instead will be displaying all the shortcut keys for photoshop.

RE: I don't get it...
By isaacmacdonald on 3/15/2007 7:13:01 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure who the target market would be. Anyone who needs to use keyboard shortcuts (generally "power users" that do more than just fool around) has probably already memorized them.

Photoshop is a great example of a program where shortcuts save massive amounts of time. I use it all the time at work and can tell you it took maybe a week for me to have them down pat. Looking down at the keyboard to figure out what the shortcuts are would be useful to people just learning them, but after a short time the feature would be superfluous. The only people I can imagine getting a decent amount of utility from this would be tech schools.

RE: I don't get it...
By akyp on 3/15/2007 9:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but don't you have to type in text sometimes in Photoshop? If you click on the text tool and the alphabet layout would appear again, that'd be neat, but I can't see that happening without support from Adobe.

RE: I don't get it...
By darksilicon on 3/16/2007 8:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
I am assuming that there will be trigger key for you to press to instantly change keyboard layouts. If that's true, when you click the text tool, then click the trigger key, and then start typing, it wouldn't be so bad.

Jaggies on the X key
By rupaniii on 3/15/2007 6:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, there are jaggies on the X, and i think on the C as well
should all be OLED.
At least they delivered.
What's the quality like?
Can i slam and jam them like gaming keyboard for years and it not break?
looks like a hard cover ontop of them.

RE: Jaggies on the X key
By Thmstec on 3/15/2007 8:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
supposedly they only last about 3 years under normal use....that sucksfor 1400$

RE: Jaggies on the X key
By Samus on 3/16/2007 12:11:21 AM , Rating: 2
5 years normal use, 3 years around the clock 24/7, and like many keyboards of its kind (the G15) it probably turns off after not being used, and as soon as you touch a button it wakes up, much like a screen saver, making it outlast the tackle feedback of the keys (10 years)

Besides, by the time this thing 'wears out' there will be something way newer and cooler. 3-5 years is a long time in IT.

I like it, and will be buying one for $1400 when available.

RE: Jaggies on the X key
By ElJefe69 on 3/16/2007 9:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
my keyboard has been alive since 2 years before diablo1 came out. whenever that was.

it was 15 dollars. yeah. its grotesque now.

RE: Jaggies on the X key
By ultimatebob on 3/20/2007 10:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
My hunch is that the frequently used keys would start failing after about a year of heavy use, since LCD screens weren't designed to be pounded on. At least they're replaceable.

If Only
By Quiescent on 3/15/2007 9:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
I would only buy this keyboard with that amount of money if it lasted for longer then say... Oh... 10 years. I would also it buy it if was under a decent warranty. $1.4k for a keyboard is a lot, so it better last a long time.

RE: If Only
By aurareturn on 3/16/2007 2:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
Don't spill juice over your $1.4k keyboard.

Who would have ever thought that your keyboard can be more expensive than your highend PC?

RE: If Only
By thegrimreaper3 on 3/16/2007 4:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
A "high end" will usualy run you more than $1,400.

The Whole thing Can be OLED.
By Thmstec on 3/15/2007 6:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
The pictured keyboard is ALL OLED. The have mentioned that they can offer different classes of the board. Each key can either be OLED, Back-lit, or normal. And the OLED keys only cost 10$ a peice, AND they are easily user-replaced.

Some rants of my own- Might be pretty nice to have this board with just OLEDs on the application buttons and the rest back-lit. Upclose these OLED buttons are anti-aliased pretty badly, just because there are so few pixels.

RE: The Whole thing Can be OLED.
By JonnyBlaze on 3/15/2007 6:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think I'll wait for the 4xAA version

By kyleb2112 on 3/16/2007 5:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
Future models will forego the multiple OLED design in favor of one large OLED displaying an impressive bank balance. The single OLED design will more efficiently fulfill the core purpose of the Optimus Maximus.

Or maybe it does represent a 50X increase in productivity over my $30 keyboard.

great, but i want more.
By Visual on 3/17/2007 8:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
it is a great idea, but not worth the high price as it is now.
they could've innovated some more... or at least borrowed a couple ideas from other exotic keyboards.

they went with user-replaceable keys anyway, so why keep the base grid on which keys are placed fixed?
having this together with oled displays would be a great combo.

also, i'm thinking of having a single touch-sensitive oled display to use as a keyboard. you won't be able to 'click' it as a real keyboard, so it will take a while to get used to, but i think it will be way cooler. typing on it will be similar to using a projected keyboard like this:

and can't they make flexible oled displays yet? i think there was talk about such ideas even a decade ago... if not oled, something else like e-ink or whatever... the end result can be something like but with customizable graphics, totally cool.

who looks at their keyboard?
By mayaman on 3/17/2007 5:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
Might be interesting if software companies come out with drivers that support it, or if its easy to say set it up to work with all the keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Photoshop. I pretty much remember a keyboard shortcut after I use it once or twice so I'm not sure this makes a big practical difference in the use of software.

But as far as being rich and having nothing better to do with yer money then here is yet another way to show off yer wealthiness.

By ultimatebob on 3/20/2007 10:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
I'm curious if this is actually a working prototype, or yet another photography mockup. Either way, I doubt that they'll meet their target ship date.

By Seer on 3/21/2007 12:52:52 AM , Rating: 2
This is straight from , the blog of one of the company's lead developers (Artemy Lebdev, for whom the studio is named). Post is dated Mar. 15

It's a 114-key keyboard.

It has 10 extra keys on the left for all the controlling/monitoring functions.

Every key, including the space bar, has a display.

Each display is 32x32 pixels full-color OLED.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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