System76, the company better known for its Linux laptops, has launched an open-source hardware, configurable keyboard. Meet System76 Launch.
The keyboard firmware, schematics, and mechanical files are all open-source. Launch ships with an ANSI US QWERTY layout but can be customized through a configuration program for Windows, Linux, and macOS, and a key puller is included to easily replace/change keycaps as needed.
System76 Launch keyboard specifications:
- Open-source custom PCB
- Individually addressable RGB LED backlighting
- N-Key Rollover to detect all keystrokes no matter how many keys are pressed simultaneously
- Sockets and Switches
- Kailh MX Hotswap Sockets
- Kailh Box Jade or Kailh Box Royal Switches
- Key Caps – PBT plastic, dye sublimated legend, XDA profile
- Layout – ANSI US QWERTY
- Integrated USB hub with 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C (Up to 10 Gbps), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A (Up to 10 Gbps)
- Open-source milled chassis design with detachable lift bar to adjust keyboard angle by 15 degrees
- Dimensions – 309 x 136 x 33mm
- Weight – 948 grams
First, I did not know keyboard specifications could be so complicated, so if you don’t understand half of it, don’t worry, you are not alone!
System76 Launch keyboard ships with alternatives keycaps with different colors, a key puller, and USB cables to connect to the host device. The four USB ports allow you to connect devices like thumb drives or USB SSD’s to the computer/phone/board via the keyboard.
The QMK firmware running on the USB keyboard is also compatible with some other keyboards, and you can also access the KiCAD hardware design files, and CAD files for the chassis on Launch’s Github repo, while the Keyboard Configurator is part of pop-os repo.
Launch is a high-end keyboard and with pricing to match, as System76 sells the keyboard for a whopping $285 plus shipping.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.