Art Lebedev has reveals an image of the new keyboard with screens inside every key. The new device will be smaller, sleeker and promises to be less expensive compared to the original Optimus Maximus released a couple of years back.
The Optimus Popularis keyboard will resemble that of a notebook and will feature neither programmable keys nor extra keys for computing. Besides, the size of the keys themselves (the size of the foundation) will also be shrunk to 15mm x 15mm from 20mm x 20mm of the original Optimus Maximus. However, since Optimus Popularis will have different form of the keys and short travel distance, 15x15mm keys should be rather comfortable to use. In addition, the new keys will have “screens” with 64x64 pixels resolution, up from 48x48 on the Maximus.
In fact, the new Optimus Popularis has nothing to do with the initial concept design of the Popularis demonstrated two years ago. Nevertheless, it looks like the main concept of the device remains untouched: the keyboard will be based on a large touch-screen with keys installed above it.
“Now every key - even the space key - has as much screen real estate as possible. There's also additional screen area between F-row and the rest of the keys. Optimus Popularis comes in compact form-factor without the dedicated numeric keypad section. We have special Fn key in the lower left corner that turns right part of keyboard into the page-up and num-lock keys, as well as the numbers arranged in a familiar calculator layout,” explained Artemy Lebedev, the head of the design studio primarily known for its keyboards and keyboard concepts outside of Russia.
As usual, Art Lebedev makes rather bold promises concerning availability of the Optimus Popularis. The studio expects to ship the device “at the end of this year/beginning of next year” for less than $1000 with pre-orders starting “sometime later this year”.