United Keys Offers OLED Keyboards on the Cheap
December 27th, 2008
If you’ve been craving the light up keys of Art Lebedev’s OLED Optimus Maxiumus Keyboard, but don’t want to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy one, now you can get yourself a taste of programmable OLED goodness without breaking the bank.
United Keys OLED keyboard keep their prices on planet Earth by including only monochrome displays, and letting you program just 9 of the keys.
Each keyboard comes with a 3×3 matrix of custom keys, each of which contains a tiny 0.7″ yellow OLED screen with a bright high-contrast 64×64 pixel display. The keyboards ship with a OLED Manager software (Windows XP/Vista only) which lets you create custom icons and save macro functions for each key. The coolest part of the software is that you can set the keys to load in a unique profile for each application (as well as a default key set), so you can set different macros and icons for Photoshop than you do for Excel, and so forth.
The only real downside to OLED screens are their relatively short life span. With just a 40,000 hour display life (at 50% brightness), you’ll end up throwing this keyboard in the trash after about 4-1/2 years of continuous use.
United Keys keyboards are available in either a full 103-key keyboard ($249 USD) with the function keys on the left side, or in a standalone 9-key keypad ($199 USD), which you can set on either side of your current keyboard. While they’re definitely no Maximus, they’re definitely the cheapest OLED keyboards you can get at this point.
[Looking for something more colorful and don’t care if it’s OLED? Don’t forget about the Luxeed RGB LED keyboard.]