After repeated delays, setbacks, and a good dose of hype, Art Lebedev’s Optimus Maximus keyboard finally began shipping yesterday. As you might already know, the keyboard is unique in that each of its keys can house an OLED display. This feature allows a single keyboard to be reconfigured for virtually any layout, and it lets users do cool things like bind program icons, graphics, and animations to keys.
One day after the announcement, the folks at Engadget have already obtained an Optimus Maximus and posted a brief review. They have good things to say about the keyboard’s design, its sturdiness, and the OLED displays, which they say are “very bright.” They also praise the configuration software, which is “everything [they’d] hoped it’d be and more,” with functionality like letting users paint onto keys with an image editor of their choice.
However, the Optimus Maximus reportedly fails to deliver something you’d tend to expect from a $1500 keyboard: comfortable typing. The gadget site explains, “As a whole it just requires way too much force to depress keys. And the larger the key, the more force is required, so enter is easier than space, but harder than tab. Let’s put it this way, we sit around and type all day long and this thing wore us out in about 30 seconds to a minute.” The keyboard is better suited for gaming or productivity applications than actual typing, Engadget concludes.