Optimus Maximus Keyboard Hands-On

[CES 2008] We played with the (elusive) Optimus Maximus OLED keyboard from Art Lebedev and here are our first impressions: as we expected from the previous photos, the keyboard is quite bulky. The keys feel like one of the older mechanical keyboard (think IBM), which I personally like. Just as reported before, each key features a 10.1×10.1mm that displays clearly a letter/icon. They look great and the keyboard is very readable. Optimus Configurator, an image editor lets the user edit/add key icons/letters. In the back, you can find. To power the displays, there is an AC plug in the back. An anti-theft lock is also a nice detail. (See it in the photo gallery)

The keyboard runs on Windows/Mac and Linux and Art Lebedev is currently shipping pre-ordered keyboards. New orders will ship next month. 104 languages are currently supported (the image keys are stored in the SD card) and they keys are removable (that can come in handy if the tiny displays die).

Optimus Maximus is a unique keyboard, but for now, it is quite pricey ($1500) and bulky (537x173x38mm). Itwill be great for specific applications and I’m sure that some power-users will buy it, but even if the average user loves the OLED keys idea, the form-factor and the price will have to be worked on. The keyboard costs $1500 and there is a cheaper version that features less OLED keys.


  • Each display
  • 10.1×10.1mm
  • 48×48 pixels
  • 10 fps
  • 65536 colors
  • 160 degrees viewing angle


  • 537x173x38mm
  • 2xUSB 2.0
  • SD slot

System requirements

  • Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.4.8+, (We’ve been told that there is Linux support)
  • 20MB of free disk space

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