If you’re like me and miss the feel of an old-school mechanical keyboard, when using the virtual keyboard on your tablet or the flat keys on your sleek notebook computer, then you might be interested in the Qwerkywriter.
The brainchild of Brian Min of Walnut Creek, Calif., the Qwertywriter is a mechanical keyboard that takes its inspiration from a typewriter.
Min recently closed a successful Kickstarter campaign for the device where he received US$129,164 for a goal of $90,000.
Min explains in a video on his website that he originally first typewriter-keyboard mod was part of a steampunk-style workspace that was featured in a Lifehacker blogpost in January of last year. He took an extra Razer BlackWidow gaming keyboard he had, spray-painted it copper, added a base-frame of plumbing parts and replaced the keys with necklace discs he bought at a craft store.
In a second video, he explains how he made another typewriter keyboard that still had a vintage look, but was less steampunky and more compact. Called the Mark III USB Typewriter Keyboard Concept, this clearly served as the prototype for the Qwerkywriter. It used 84 keys, styled in the vein of an Underwood typewriter. And the frame he “Legoed” together from two typewriters.
Like the Mark III, the Qwerkywriter comes with 84 keys set up in a QWERTY layout. (Sorry to you six Dvorak lovers out there!) And it can purchased either with the U.S.-standard layout (which we also use here in Canada) or with the international ISO layout (which basically just moves some of the symbols around).
And it even comes with a return, though that is for purely aesthetic purposes.
The Qwerkywriter connects via both USB and Bluetooth so it can be used with a desktop computer or a mobile device. (It has a built-in stand that can accommodate a tablet up to 15.88 mm thick.)
You can also use it with a laptop, though the built-in keyboard would likely make using it a little awkward.
The keyboard has the dimensions of 31.75 cm by 19.05 cm by 8.89 and weighs roughly 1.36 kg so it’s a little bulky for a peripheral if you plan on carrying it around with you.
While Kickstarter has ended, the devices are expected to ship by August 2015, so it’s still a ways off. But you can preorder the device from Qwerkywriter.com for $309."Qwerkywriter - a typewriter-inspired keyboard for your tablet",