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Originally promised to emerge in 2006 for the price of a good mobile phone, the final version of Optimus Maximus keyboard is now set to emerge in February 2008 at $1564, the price point of a high-performance office personal computer.

Even though Optimus Maximus keyboard by Art Lebedev design studio is ready from hardware standpoint, the device currently has no proper firmware or software, which means that the keyboard is not fully functional. While Art Lebedev can deliver keyboards to those, who pre-ordered them, those early adopters will eventually have to install new firmware, a process that may be rather tricky for un-experienced end-users.

“At the moment the first lot of Optimus Maximus keyboards has been produced, but unfortunately we cannot ship them due to the delays in developing firmware and software. […] If you can wait to receive your Optimus Maximus, we can offer to deliver it the end of February,” said Artemy Lebedev, head of the design studio, in his letter to Optimus Maximus customers.

According to Mr. Lebedev, the company ran into troubles developing firmware for a recently released processor by Philips which did not have proper documentation. As a consequence, firmware and software development for Optimus Maximus takes longer than expected. Moreover, Mr. Lebedev warns that the the first batch of Optimus Maximus may have issues with firmware upgrade.

“If experience and patience is not a problem for you, we are ready to offer prompt delivery of Optimus Maximus. The fact is that easy update of firmware will be possible only as the next version [of firmware] appears. So before that replacing the current firmware version with the next one is likely to present certain difficulties. If you do not have professional skills you may run into troubles installing and updating software. That is why we mention experience and patience,” said Mr. Lebedev.

Optimus Maximus is a full-sized 113-keys keyboard with colour OLED screens located inside each key. The screens are 10.1mm² large and have 48x48 pixels resolution, according to its developers. Specially designed software will be able to change images on the colour screens depending on the program running.


Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 12/27/07 06:35:24 AM
Latest comment: 01/03/08 08:40:35 PM
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Does anyone care about this keyboard?


I've seen it get reported on all freaking year long with delay after delay, as though the whole world cares, and not in 1 response did I see anybody show interest in buying this overpriced toy.

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/27/07 12:02:30 PM]
- collapse thread

I'd cared back in 2006 :)

What I like to know is why someone hasn't produced a cheap knockoff yet?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/28/07 09:33:09 AM]
Lol, ok but what can this keyboard be used for? X-bit labs always talks about how the keys can have pictures on the keys that change, but they NEVER say what practical uses it has! I mean what can that be used for?

Change to different language lettering?--- buy a diff keyboard, lots cheaper.

Change to special buttons like triangle, square, circle, for playstation control emulation? lol

Really, what use does this overpriced toy have, other then being a toy children will certainly have fun with =?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/29/07 12:05:09 PM]


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