Technology

HHKB celebrates 25th anniversary with a $ 350 wireless keyboard with no arrow

hhkb-celebrates-25th-anniversary-with-a-350-wireless-keyboard-with-no-arrow

Enlarge / Can you spot the anniversary keycap?

Happy Hacking Keyboard (HKKB) has made a name for itself among keyboard enthusiasts since its introduction in 1996. Today the brand stands for arrowless 60 percent designs, the use of luxurious Topre switches and premium price tags. The 25th anniversary keyboard is no different.

The HHKB layout omits the number pad and navigation keys, including the arrows. It is aimed at programmers, engineers, and writers with its symmetrical, shrunken form factor designed to make it easier for your fingers to reach the keys.

The keyboard can be reprogrammed using the Windows software.Enlarge / The keyboard can be reprogrammed using the Windows software. HHKB celebrates its 25th birthday with a new version of the HHKB Professional Hybrid Type-S Bluetooth keyboard. The new edition is called Snow because of its completely white ABS plastic housing and the bright white PBT keycaps. This differs from the original models, which are available in “Charcoal” (with or without legends) or “White”, which is really more of an off-white, with matching gray keycaps in a retro look. The keycaps of the Snow version are sublimated with black legends so that they are permanent.

That’s good news because those legends need to be visible to see what makes this keyboard really solemn. The right Fn key is stamped with the number 25 along with the suffix “th” on the bottom, where some keys have a secondary function printed on them. The HHKB logo is also on the cap and adds a little splash of color.There's a detachable USB-C to USB-A cable for charging and connecting to a PC.Enlarge / There’s a detachable USB-C to USB-A cable for charging and connecting to a PC.

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All in all, it’s a bit of a twist on the keyboard. There’s not much lightning here to celebrate the keyboard maker’s silver anniversary. But it also means the keyboard doesn’t come at an outrageous premium when compared to other hybrid Type-S keyboards. This is still an HHKB keyboard with Topre switches.

The programmable memorial keyboard is currently priced at $ 350, compared to $ 337 for the other colors. However, a crossed out MSRP on the online store of Fujitsu, a distributor of HHKB who announced the keyboard, suggests that it could potentially have an MSRP of $ 400. We have contacted Fujitsu about pricing and will update this story if we hear anything.The anniversary keycap and white color scheme cost an additional $ 13. Enlarge / The anniversary keycap and white color scheme cost an additional $ 13.

Like the other hybrid Type-S keyboards, the 25th anniversary option uses Topre electrostatic capacitive switches, known among enthusiasts for their exemplary tactile feel and high price. The switches should be quiet here and require 45 g of force to operate.

The wireless keyboard has four Bluetooth profiles so you can wirelessly pair it with four macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android devices instead of using the USB-C to USB-A cable. We’re seeing a gradual increase in wireless keyboards with three Bluetooth profiles, like the recently reviewed Razer Pro Type Ultra, but four profiles are less common.The anniversary edition currently costs $ 13 more than the standard version.Enlarge / The anniversary edition currently costs $ 13 more than the standard version.

It is unclear how long the HHKB Professional Hybrid Type-S Snow will be available, but Fujitsu’s announcement called it a “limited number”.

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