Update and Announcement!
For those people interested in the status the Mini M, i.e. the tenkeyless, the unfortunate news is we are not ready to ship it this month. But we are very close. All of the molded parts are in Lexington. We have over a thousand sets of those parts. The rest of the parts are “design complete” and are in various stages of pre-production. We estimate we are about 6 weeks away from beginning production and delivering first orders.
Of course, the Mini M is quite different from the current products and, as such, has some new features. For example, the membrane layout is focused on reducing the possible number of phantom keys. No, it doesn’t have N-key rollover, but we believe it will be better suited for gaming given the new layout.
Another new feature, shown below, is the detachable keyboard cable. The cable itself will have USB Type A connectors on both ends and the end plugged into the keyboard is latched. The connector can be released from the keyboard by depressing the release located just above the connector with a small screwdriver. Replacement cables are available commercially or from Unicomp.
I know we have disappointed a few people by missing the March date. But we really are getting close to starting production. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even through the haze that COVID-19 presents. Hopefully you will grant us your patience just a little longer.
So, not all of our news today is dour. We are announcing the release of the New Model M, a 104/105 key keyboard which is the same width and height as the Ultra Classic but is roughly ½ inch deeper made possible by extending the ledge behind the function keys by that amount. Injection molding tooling for the covers and the feet is all new. Also, the baseplate fabrication process is new. The finish of the covers looks very nice -- particularly when you compare it to the aged covers of the Ultra Classic. It’s difficult to see the grain of the top cover finish in the picture below but take a look. Zoom in close. I don’t think you’ll find a blemish!
Also, the cover design is much more robust than previous designs. Witness the front edge of the New Model M below. It is very clean with no “smiles” like we see sometimes on the Ultra Classic these days. Given this new cover design, the weight of the new keyboard ( 3 lbs. 11 oz.) is nearly ½ pound heavier than the Ultra Classic. Even though the footprint of the Classic is much larger, the New Model M is within 2 oz. of the weight of the Classic! We believe this new cover design gives us a much more rugged keyboard than we have available today.
Just to be clear, the New Model M has the attached USB cable and the same membrane layout as the Ultra Classic. The Mini M features previously described are not in the New Model M. Perhaps, sometime in the future, we might blah, blah blah….. no plans for changing this cable design or membrane layout right now.
The New Model M will be available for sale on March 31 in the colors you see in the pictures. The covers will only be available in black. Initially, button colors and language support will be limited. If you have specific language or button needs, describe what you want in a ticket at support.pckeyboard.com and we’ll work to give you a scheduled build date for your configuration.
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