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System76 tease the new Launch Heavy keyboard

By - | Views: 30,718

Want a fancy new keyboard from a Linux vendor that makes their own? System76 are adding the Launch Heavy to their line-up that includes a full NumPad.

They've put up a teaser website, which gives some of the details on what to expect from it. Just like the previous two models, it will be fully customizable with their open source Keyboard Configurator app. Considering the excellent build quality of the original Launch Keyboard that I reviewed, I have high hopes for this one and the full size is great.

 

From the public details the chassis continues to be open source, it has a detachable bar on the bottom to lift it up at an angle, it has an open source PCB design, RGB LED lighting that you can customize, a few different types of switches you can choose from, 2 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C (Up to 10 Gbps), 2 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A (Up to 10 Gbps) and open source firmware.

Certainly sounds like something great. What do you think?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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32 comments
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ElectricPrism 27 Nov, 2022
@GeoGalvanic -- exactly, delete and insert are essential to programmers and vim users. I use home/end pgup pgdown all the time too though I admit their naming schema is confusing as to their function -- "First" and "Last" or "Beginning" and "End" would be more appropriate -- certainly pressing the "Home" key on a Linux computer doesn't open the "~/" "$HOME" directory.

At a second glance tthe pause/play doesn't have a mute or volume either so it feels incomplete if you are going to have those functions.

Fair point on having a tweaked hand and using the R Shift
Kimyrielle 27 Nov, 2022
The layout looks unnecessarily condensed to me. It's a desktop keyboard. Am I the only one who doesn't care if they are a few inches wider if it makes them more comfortable? And instead of an ergonomic layout it's got...LEDs! Apparently a keyboard intended for gaming isn't a keyboard if it has no LEDs.

Pass.
shadow1w2 27 Nov, 2022
Personally I just don't feel right without a numpad.

I like how customizable this is and it's usb hub ports.
I carry an old Mac keyboard for various things just for the usb hub and range of keys.
This would make a nice replacement.
Especially if it pairs well with the steam deck.
If only it could pass power through it too but that might be outside it'a scope.

I'd lkke it in black also.
Mountain Man 28 Nov, 2022
Quoting: mattaraxia
Quoting: TuxeeI have yet to understand the usefulness of lighting with opaque keycaps...

(Apart from that I wouldn't like the cursor keys arrangement and the lack of a proper ins/del/home/end/pgup/pgdown block.)

It's actually really great. When you hit either function key to activate another layer, just the keys active in that layer light up, with a different color for each layer.

(I have the first gen launch, and love it so much I registered just to answer that question.)

The complaint is not about the RGB lightning but that the keycaps are not shine through, so you can't see the legends in the dark. The key caps also appear to be a non-standard size, so you can't replace them with something off the shelf.
slaapliedje 29 Nov, 2022
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Quoting: Mountain Man
Quoting: mattaraxia
Quoting: TuxeeI have yet to understand the usefulness of lighting with opaque keycaps...

(Apart from that I wouldn't like the cursor keys arrangement and the lack of a proper ins/del/home/end/pgup/pgdown block.)

It's actually really great. When you hit either function key to activate another layer, just the keys active in that layer light up, with a different color for each layer.

(I have the first gen launch, and love it so much I registered just to answer that question.)

The complaint is not about the RGB lightning but that the keycaps are not shine through, so you can't see the legends in the dark. The key caps also appear to be a non-standard size, so you can't replace them with something off the shelf.
Yeah, it completely ruins the idea of having backlit keys. Same reason I had to go through several keyboard covers for my macbook because too many of them are not transparent enough for using the keyboard in the dark.
AciD 29 Nov, 2022
Well, still lacking basic features and not as good as the TypeMatrix...pass.


Or even better in Dvorak:
dvd 29 Nov, 2022
Why would you buy an expensive keyboard that's not even split?
slaapliedje 30 Nov, 2022
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Quoting: dvdWhy would you buy an expensive keyboard that's not even split?
I want to know why there are not many split mechanical keyboards out there, especially of the ergonomic variety. I did end up finding one for work, but I mostly switch between various mechanical ones and that one.

I will say my favorite are the IBM Model M and Unicomp keyboard that I have, but I don't use them very often as they offend coworkers.
ahoneybun 1 Dec, 2022
Quoting: ElectricPrism@GeoGalvanic -- exactly, delete and insert are essential to programmers and vim users. I use home/end pgup pgdown all the time too though I admit their naming schema is confusing as to their function -- "First" and "Last" or "Beginning" and "End" would be more appropriate -- certainly pressing the "Home" key on a Linux computer doesn't open the "~/" "$HOME" directory.

At a second glance tthe pause/play doesn't have a mute or volume either so it feels incomplete if you are going to have those functions.

Fair point on having a tweaked hand and using the R Shift

You could but a Mute function on Layer 2 for the Play/Pause button and Volume up and down for the next and previous buttons if you wanted to. Right now those should be on Layer 2 for PgUp and PgDn.
mattaraxia 2 Dec, 2022
[quote=Mountain Man][quote=mattaraxia]
Quoting: TuxeeI have yet to understand the usefulness of lighting with opaque keycaps...

(Apart from that I wouldn't like the cursor keys arrangement and the lack of a proper ins/del/home/end/pgup/pgdown block.)

Quoting: Mountain Man
Quoting: mattaraxia
Quoting: TuxeeI have yet to understand the usefulness of lighting with opaque keycaps...

(Apart from that I wouldn't like the cursor keys arrangement and the lack of a proper ins/del/home/end/pgup/pgdown block.)

It's actually really great. When you hit either function key to activate another layer, just the keys active in that layer light up, with a different color for each layer.

(I have the first gen launch, and love it so much I registered just to answer that question.)

The complaint is not about the RGB lightning but that the keycaps are not shine through, so you can't see the legends in the dark. The key caps also appear to be a non-standard size, so you can't replace them with something off the shelf.

No I get that, that's the point. I'm not sure how to put this that doesn't sound a bit snarky, but I thought it was implied -- people who need to see the keys to type aren't exactly this keyboard's target audience. I interpreted Tuxee's point as, given that, why bother with lighting?

It's a really niche device. It's ok if it's not for you. I can hit the key I want just as well blindfolded (it does have old school little ridges to help you find the home row) but it is sometimes nice to visually see what layer I'm on.
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