There are some computer peripherals that you use so frequently that you sometimes forget that they have the potential to be more than just a utility. How many times have you given a second thought to your computer’s keyboard? Unless you’ve switched machines and had to deal with a funky new layout you probably don’t think too much. But maybe your fingers deserve more, especially when they make contact with this input device hundreds of times each minute. Enter the Optimus Maximus Keyboard, a keyboard so advanced that it makes your computer feel insecure.
Usually when something is customizable, you can change one or two things about it. You might get to put your favorite color on there, or if it’s really fancy you may get a little additionally functionality. The Optimus Maximus looks at those pitiful little peripherals and laughs out loud. On Optimus Maximus, you have 113 tiny OLED screens, each one customizable completely. You can use your own custom graphics for infinite custom-ability. Eat your heart out Pimp My Ride.
I really can’t stress how cool the potential is here. Photo and video editors can customize hot keys with special graphics. You can even use animated GIF images for something so futuristic that you’ll swear your Apple Time Machine actually took you to the future. The keys will change from lower to upper case when you press caps lock or hold down shift. You can map custom keys with various power functions to monitor your custom rig or launch programs or run macros… to infinity, and beyond! Since each of the 113 screens can be individually programmed to perform one of a series of functions, your imagination is the limit. Don’t worry about losing standard keys you’re used to using for some custom mapped keys either, there are 10 additional keys for customization goodness waiting on the left of Optimus Prime (I mean Maximus).
There are also various system monitoring functions which can dynamically display on a key, so for someone using Optimus Maximus on a custom built rig you have CPU Usage & Temperature, Network Speeds and Memory Usage all displayed without taking up your monitor’s real-estate. If you prefer stock hardware (I love my MacBook Pro!) you still have these power options letting you get the most out of your computer while still treating it like it deserves.
Design Your Own
One of the really cool features is the ability to design your own keyboard with any image editor of your choice. That means you can paint a standard QWERTY keyboard layout to look any way you like. Somebody call the veterinarian because this is one sick puppy! If you are multilingual or international the Optimus Maximus has you covered too, because you can use any language wit the appropriate image keys. Even Ancient Greek is available, not that a bible college student needs any more debt… (Optimus Maximus is VERY expensive). Aside from the keys, the keyboard has a built in USB 2.0 hub as well as a SD slot to make it more multi-functional than a Swiss Army knife.
What You Need To Run It
Some of you might be wondering with all this functionality… what do you need to run Optimus Maximus? You don’t need an All-Spark, all you need to run Optimus Maximus is either a PC with Windows XP or higher (sorry to all you Windows 95 power users) or Mac running OS X 10.5.1 or higher. If you have a spare $1,799.99 laying around for a keyboard, I don’t doubt your computer is probably up to spec. Optimus Maximus does need at least 20MB of free space and at least 256MB of RAM, but with that many little displays all running at the same time, go ahead and assume that you’ll want more than the bare minimum.
- Keyboard Dimensions: Length 537 mm, Width 173 mm, Height 38 mm
- Key Dimensions: 20.2 x 20.2 mm
- Display Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.1 mm viewable area on each key
- Display Resolution: 48 x 48 pixels per key
- Frame Rate: 10 FPS
- Color Depth: 65,536 Colors
- Viewing Angle: 160 degrees
The Final Say
Would I buy Optimus Maximus? Heck no, I can’t afford to. But if you can, it’s really cool. I can’t expect that something this high tech designed by Russian studio Art Lebedev is a product for the masses, but for those chosen few who can afford one; this is something you’ll fall in love with. After using Optimus Maximus all keyboards after will feel cheap and inferior because relatively speaking… they will be in comparison.