8BitDo’s Reimagining of IBM’s Model-M Keyboard Draws Reactions Online

“Few computer keyboards are as iconic, as influential, or as beige as the IBM Model-M,” writes the blog OMG Ubuntu adding that it’s “no surprise then that it’s been given a modern reimagining by 8BitDo.”

Following on from their Nintendo NES and Famicom and Commodore 64 homages, 8BitDo has unveiled its latest retro-inspired mechanical keyboard. This one pays tribute to a true computing classic: the IBM Model-M keyboard.

Lest anyone familiar with the real thing get too excited I’ll mention up front that 8BitDo’s Keyboard-M is a mechanical keyboard, using Kailh Box V2 white switches (swappable, of course) and not the buckling spring mechanism synonymous with the original. On Linux you can enable a buckling spring sound effect for every key press though, should you buy this and want the clatter to accompany it…!

Like 8BitDo’s other retro keyboards you can use this over Bluetooth, 2.4G wireless (USB adapter sits underneath), or wired. It has a built-in rechargeable 2000mAh Li-on battery that’s good for 200 hours between charges.

“It certainly looks the business,” writes the Verge, “especially with the slick new wireless numpad / calculator combo pad 8BitDo will sell alongside it for another $44.99.”

And Ars Technica adds that “The M Edition’s color scheme, chunkier build, and typeface selection, including on the Tab key with arrows and elsewhere, are nods to IBM’s Model M,” (noting that the Model M first succeeded the Model F keyboard in 1985). “Of course, the keyboard’s naming, and the IBM behemoth and floppy disks strategically placed in marketing images, are notes of that, too…”
“The M Edition also comes with the detachable A and B “Super Buttons” that connect to the keyboard via a 3.5 mm jack and are programmable without software.”

“The paint job is pretty faithful to the original,” notes Windows Central, “with a combination of gray and white throughout, right down to the accurately recreated LED status panel in the right-hand corner. There are even two key caps with an IBM-inspired blue font on them. It’s just tremendous.”
Ars Technica offers this advice to unconvinced purists:
If you want a real Model M, there’s a market of found and restored models available online and in thrift stores and electronics stores. For a modern spin, like USB ports and Mac support, Unicomp also makes new Model M keyboards that are truer to the original IBM design, particularly in their use of buckling spring switches.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.