IBM's iconic Model F keyboard is making a comeback. Debuting in 1981, It was the first keyboard to use the buckling spring mechanical switch. Most modern mechanical switches are said to be based on its mechanism.
A keyboard enthusiast and long time Model F owner, Joe Strandberg is taking preorders for his new Model F Keyboards Project. According to him, many people consider the buckling spring the best keyboard switch for typing. Unfortunately, it's very hard to find a keyboard with the switch these days.
Buckling springs provide an incredibly tactile response when pressed. It's very similar to Cherry's MX Blue and MX Green switches but, unlike them, the spring buckles slightly instead of contracting vertically. It's worth mentioning that Cherry MX key switches are very popular in the market and many manufacturers have started to make their own Cherry MX clones.
The project aims to initially deliver four different keyboard models. The two F77 variants follow the 'tenkeyless' design although they retain numeric keys above the arrow key cluster, while the F62 models leverage the 60% layout. The keyboards are more compact compared to the original Model F but they still retain its tank-like, all metal build.
The base configuration of each model starts from $325 and can go up to $399 after customization with preorders for keyboards open until July 31, 2017. Although the first batch of the keyboards is in production already, the shipping date is yet to be announced.