Art Lebedev’s Optimus Keyboard never saw mass commercial success. However, it set the bar for the computer peripheral, at least when it came to eschewing the traditional keyboard. In fact, the Internet was practically set a fire when they announced plans for a set of keys whose face could be programmed with just about any image one desired. But due to the high cost and manufacturing hiccups (if memory serves correct), the Optimus eventually faded from the spotlight (they had plans to release a smaller version this past June).
Well, if you’re still looking to satiate your Optimus keyboard thirst, look no further than Razer’s Deathstalker Ultimate Keyboard. It’s targeted at gamers, but should appeal to anyone that bought the first iPhone. In addition to chiclet style keys, tri-color backlighting, 1000Hz Ultrapolling, and a dedicated gaming mode, the Deathstalker Ultimate includes 10 display keys that can be programmed with the imagery of your choosing. There is also a 4.05-inch touchscreen that can run a variety of widgets (Facebook, Gmail, web browser, YouTube, gamer timer, etc), or can be used as a multigesture trackpad. So far Razer has partnered to create two specific game apps for “Star Wars: the Old Republic” and “Battlefield: 3.” And if that isn’t enough, Razer has developed software called Synapse 2.0. It’s a cloud server that runs presumably in the background and ensures that the Deathstalker Ultimate Keyboard has access to all your keyboard profiles regardless of the gaming convention you’re attending, and that the latest firmware has been installed.
The Razer Deathstalker Ultimate will arrive September for $250. A lesser version, the Deathstalker, which lacks the programmable keys and LCD screen, will go on sale sometime in Q4 and cost just $80.
Bottom Image Source: Engadget