T-Keyboard-S3 4-key USB mechanical keyboard features keycaps with 0.85-inch color display

LILYGO T-Keyboard-S3 is an ESP32-S3 powered USB mechanical keyboard with four keys each equipped with a keycap featuring a 0.85-inch 128×128 color display to show different icons or characters.

We have already covered several programmable small mechanical keyboards/keypads or macropads, so the first time I saw the T-Keyboard-S3 I did not think much of it until I read the $65 price tag on Aliexpress which I found excessive for this type of device. That’s only until I realized that each resin keycap has its own color display that the price made sense, and it makes quite a versatile macropad as you could easily program multiple layouts depending on the use case.

T-Keyboard-S3

T-Keyboard-S3 specifications:

  • Wireless module ESP32-S3-WROOM-1
    • MCU – ESP32-S3R8 dual-core LX7 microprocessor @ up to 240 MHz with Vector extension for machine learning
    • Memory – 8MB PSRAM
    • Storage – 16MB SPI flash
    • Connectivity – WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5 with LE/Mesh
    • PCB antenna
  • Display – 4x 0.85-inch RGB LCDs with 128×128 resolution driven through GC9107 controllers; active area: 15.2 x 15.2 mm
  • Keys – 4x hot-swappable mechanical keyboard switches each fitted with a keycap equipped with an LCD (as above) and connected to a WS2812 RGB LED
  • USB  – 1x USB Type-C power for power, connection to the host, and programming
  • Expansion
    • 3x 6-pin GPIO headers and one 8-pin GPIO header all unpopulated (See pinout below)
    • STEMMA QT/Qwiic I2C connector
  • Misc – Boot button and Reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB-C port
  • Dimensions – TBD
  • Material – Resin, at least for keycaps
Macropad LCD display keycaps
T-Keyboard-S3 pinout diagram

LILYGO says the T-Keyboard-S3 can be programmed with Arduino, PlatformIO, and MicroPython, and provides some examples and instructions for Arduino and PlatformIO on GitHub. The company also mentions the GC9107 is supported by popular Arduino graphics libraries such as Arduino_GFX, TFT_eSPI, and LVGL.

Bear in mind that it should be mostly viewed as a development kit as contrary to some other macropad projects, there’s no example firmware which you can load the keyboard with and configure it through a web interface easily. You’d have to develop firmware and the web interface on your own for the T-Keyboard-S3 to be useful unless some open-source projects like QMK or KMK implement support.

As noted in the introduction, the T-Keyboard-S3 can be purchased on Aliexpress for $64.98 including shipping.

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