much as everyone was impressed by Art Lebedev's Maximus OLED keyboard, due to the insanely high price, we doubt a lot of them were sold. Now there's an option for those that want a keyboard with keys that have OLED displays behind them, as UnitedKeys has finally launched its promised keyboard, almost a year after it was announced.
The limitation in this case is that you only get nine keys to play with, although you do have the option to buy them integrated into a keyboard, or you can buy them on their own in a number pad style packaging.
Unlike the keys on the Maximus, these keys are only monochrome rather than full color. Each key measures 2.54x2.54cm and has a resolution of 64x64 pixels. You can program them with your own pictures and tie them to whatever application you want, although the software only works with Windows XP and Vista. A neat feature is that the software comes built into the keyboard or keypad, so you install the software after attaching the keyboard to your PC.
On the upside, the OLEDs draw power from the USB connector, so no extra power adapter is needed. The keyboard and keypad also features side-mounted blue lights, which are meant to make it easier to see your keyboard in the dark and UnitedKey claims it's a feature that was developed after a visit to Nvision and watching games played in the dark there.
You'll have to fork out US$259.99 for the keyboard and US$199.99 for the keypad, which seems expensive, but when you consider that the Maximus is retailing for US$1,600, it's not so bad, if you're into this kind of thing, that is. Oddly enough, UnitedKey's claim that this pricing is 25 percent lower than they think they should be selling these for and if we're reading the site right, then they'll increase the price to this level come March 2009. You can order the keyboard and keypad directly from their Website.