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Friday, May 18, 2007

Optimus Maximus: It's a Keyboard, Not Transformers!

The well-timed pre-release of the long-awaited Optimus Maximus keyboard is just in time to take advantage of the Transformers movie marketing campaign. For those who don't know, a character in Transformers is named Optimus Prime. What's so special about a keyboard?

Designed by the Art. Lebedev Studio, the Optimus Maximus has keys that are actually small displays. They can be changed to any picture you want and mapped to any action. For instance, you could switch the characters on the keyboard from English to Russian, or even tailor it to the control keys for the game Quake. Pre-orders are being accepted starting tomorrow, May 20, at 3 p.m. Moscow time.

It's more art than object, however. The predecessor to the Optimus Maximus is a three-button auxiliary keyboard-informer called the Optimus mini three, which retails for $159.96. To get 111 more OLED (organic light-emitting diode) keys, you'll have to spend a cool $1564.37. This works out to about $14 a key.

Two hundred units will be produced starting December 2007 so it'll be a while before anyone can actually test out the Optimus Maximus, but f you're paying for the most expensive keyboard in the world, would it really be appropriate to actually use it?


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