CES2008: Optimus Maximus on Display and Functional

Walking into the conference for the first time, we were greeted immediately by the Optimus Maximus. The Optimus Maximus is a keyboard with every key having an OLED display on it with a 48x48 resolution. The keyboard features a SD card slot to hold the background images of the keys as well as external storage, two USB 2.0 ports, K-Lock, external power source, and it connects to the computer via USB B.

They had three units up with one in demo mode, and the other two fully functioning. The functioning ones were in heavy use, so we looked at the demo. Our first impression was the keys are way too shiny. The glare off of them made it difficult to see the keys at many angles. Also, the feel of the keyboard was 'cheap', not to say it is, as the base model comes in at near $500 USD. Out of the glare, however, the keyboard looked amazing.

One nice feature demonstrated was all of the keys are modular. You can buy the base model and upgrade each key as you want. They weren't sure on per-key pricing yet, but guessed around $10. The keys are plucked out with a tool similar to a fuse remover in cars.

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Link: Optimus Maximus Official Site

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