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Optimus Maximus

Updated on August 7, 2007

Tech blog sites everywhere have been going crazy over the Optimus Maximus, and I couldn't figure it out. It's kind of like one of those products like Rogaine, where you are expected to know what it is before the ad begins. I found out that it was a keyboard which costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500 USD. My first thought was: "Somebody must be trying to cash in the new Transformers movie to call it an Optimus Maximus."

Then I actually heard what it does. The Optimus Maximus is not just an ordinary keyboard, but a keyboard display. And what is that? Brace yourself, it is a keyboard where every button is a stand-alone display showing the function it is currently associated with.

Okay, that might have been too anticlimactic for an introduction such as "brace yourself", but I can't help but think that a keyboard with 113 keys that I can program myself would come in handy. Of course, its layout is just like a regular PC keyboard with proper spacing for letters and the spacebar. However, the website advertises that you can have any key be any key. So if you want two "F" keys, you can go for it. Even though I would probably never program my keyboard for anything else than a typical QWERTY, it is nice to have something to experiment with. Maybe I can create a keyboard that lets me type 10% faster. Who knows?

Especially when each key is an OLED full-color display. This is especially handy for when you need to change your keyboard to a different layout, such as the Cyrillic, Ancient Greek, Georgian, Arabic, or any language. The software is an Optimus Configurator that will change the keyboard into anything you want.

I think I would really get a lot of mileage out of the eight keys to the left. Normally, they are reserved for the "F 1-10" keys, but I don't really use the "F" keys anyway. Now, I can put icons for programs that I can access at the touch of a button. For example, I could access Word, Excel, or other HTML codes. I am assuming that I could access any website that is programmed in there.

The keyboard itself has two USB 2.0 ports, a USB and DC input, as well as an optional K-lock. It also contains an SD card for layout storage, and has 20 MB of free space on the hard drive, as well as 256MB of RAM.

To this writing, the Optimus Maximus is available for pre-order only. Good luck trying to get your hands on it now.


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