Machenike's KT84 Keyboard Packs a Low-Res "Pixel Screen" Alongside a Compact High-Res Panel

A high-resolution but compact TFT is joined by a 490-dot RGB LED matrix, for custom pixel art animations.

Gareth Halfacree
26 days agoHW101 / Displays

Gaming peripherals maker Machenike has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a retro-styled mechanical keyboard that includes a programmable LED matrix display, dubbed a "pixel screen," above the function key row.

"After the huge success of KT68 Pro [keyboard], we've received a ton of incredible feedback. How can we elevate the keyboard experience for everyone? That’s the question we've been focused on, and it led us to create the all-new KT84," claims Machenike's Wai Fung Chan. The company's answer, as embodied in the KT84? Screens. Two of them, to be precise.

What's better than one screen on your keyboard? Two screens, of course. (📹: Machenike)

At its heart, the KT84 is an 84-key mechanical keyboard, featuring the usual features you'd expect to see in such a thing: N-key rollover, hot-swappable switches, RGB LED backlighting, and a choice of black or white cases. There's an internal 8Ah lithium battery, allowing it to be used either wired or via proprietary 2.4GHz or Bluetooth wireless connections — the latter two offering a claimed 110 hours of operation with the backlight off, or 22 hours with it on.

What makes the KT84 interesting isn't the keyboard itself, though, but what's above it: a pair of displays, including what Machenike calls a "pixel screen." Built around a 7×70 array of RGB LEDs, the 490-dot display — measuring 6.9" in an ultra-wide aspect ratio — is designed to be programmed with the user's choice of pixelated animations.

Next to the large, low-resolution display is a much smaller yet ironically high-resolution 1.47" color TFT panel. This, the company says, provides easy access to features including keyboard settings, connected computer metrics including temperature, a clock, and even weather forecasts.

Machenike is currently funding production of the keyboard on Kickstarter, with rewards starting at $199 — down from a claimed retail price of $249 — for the first 300 "Super Early Bird" backers. Devices are expected to ship in September this year, the company says.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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