Optimus primes mini smart keyboard

If you’ve been holding your breath since we featured the Optimus keyboard in the mag last October then expel a little air  – the Optimus mini is

If you’ve been holding your breath since we featured the Optimus keyboard in the mag last October then expel a little air  – the Optimus mini is arriving in a few months to keep you occupied till you get your hands on the big daddy.

The Optimus keyboard, from the Moscow based Art Lebedev Studio, embeds screens into each of the keys, making them application sensitive. So, if you’re playing say, Quake, keys will display the weapon icons, and if you’re dabbling with Photoshop, shortcut keys beckon you to come hither and cut and paste with ease.

The Optimus mini is a little more modest with only three keys. Each key has an OLED screen - a blank canvas on which the Optimus’ Configurator automatically uploads static or animated images for commands for whatever application you’re tinkering with.

The QWERTY-botherer should, though, be able to summon additional functions with modifier keys (ctrl, Alt, Shift) pressed and held on your standard keyboard, giving the little ‘un a fair amount of scope. Sadly, it’ll be Windows-only to start with Mac and Linus versions to follow.  

While the Optimus keyboard is on the cards for December, the Mini Three looks set to pip it to the neon post with a release date as early as May. The exact date is a bit sketchy as is the price - somewhere around the $100 (£60) mark is a rough guide. They are apparently available for pre-order this week, and if you get in before April 2nd, they may be a bit cheaper.