I use a lot of modern keyboards. And for the most part, I have no complaints. Even cheap ones are plenty functional for daily tasks, with only fast-paced games really prompting me to grab a more expensive mechanical unit. Some people, however, are more meticulous with their typing peripherals and we guess they’re the target demographic for these Brand New Model F Keyboards.
A modern replica of the classic IBM keyboard from 1981, the peripheral recreates one of the most beloved keyboards in computing history, with some people arguing its case as being the greatest keyboard ever made. The keyboard gets so much love, in fact, that one person, in particular, went through all the trouble of reproducing the darn things, so you can type out your Facebook tirades in a relic of the pre-internet era of computing.
The Brand New Model F Keyboard is a faithful recreation of the original IBM peripheral, recreating everything from its chunky size and substantial heft to the durable build and its venerated buckling spring switch technology. That’s right, they’re using the same mechanical switches as found in the original 80s terminal keyboards, so it should be as satisfying to use as the industrial-grade peripheral from three decades back, which was largely used in banks, offices, and other commercial settings.
What makes typing using this technology so special? According to its fans, they’re heavier and more tactile than today’s Cherry-style mechanical switches, all while never wearing out through years and years of use due to their all-steel construction. It also uses the same capacitive switch sensing as the original, preventing the key contacts from being directly exposed and significantly expanding its useful life.
Only the F62 and F77 variants of the Model F are included in the resurrected lineup (the others are largely inefficient), so you can get either the 60 percent version, the larger one with the numpad, or both. Since this is a faithful recreation, they’re using actual metals for a whole load of parts, including the case (zinc or aluminum), the top inner assembly plate (steel), the bottom inner assembly plate (steel), and the actual buckling springs (steel). That means, this will come with a good load of heft – a significant departure from today’s mostly plastic typing peripherals.
For better compatibility with modern devices, the keyboards will come with a USB interface. That means, you just have to plug it in to an open USB slot and get to work, instead of having to find a PS/2 adapter as you would with an original vintage model. It’s also compatible with all major computing platforms, including Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android.
The Brand New Model F Keyboard is available for preorders until the end of the month, with the units shipped later in the year in a first-ordered-first-served fashion. If you’re interested, you’ll want to place your orders now, since they aren’t likely to reopen orders until next year (if ever). They’re available in four variants: Classic F62, Classic F77, Ultra-Compact F62, and Ultraa-Compact F77. Price starts at $325.