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Art Lebedev Mini Six and Optimus Popularis launching at last

Art Lebedev Mini Six and Optimus Popularis launching at last

The relatively short history of the Art Lebedev line of customizable keyboards is a tragic one when you consider how much we've wanted to get our hands on every single one of these OLED screen per-key boards and their subsequent delays, but now we're really getting down to business here in 2012 with not only the Mini Three and the Aux, but the Mini Six and the long-awaited Optimus Popularis as well. The great thing about these boards of keys is that not only are they customizable in their functions, they are each of them their own OLED display*, this allowing you to show yourself whatever you like to tap. While the original Optimux Maximus has been out for some time (2007), we've been waiting for the full expansion for what seems like an eternity.

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Art Lebedev’s Optimus Popularis and Mini Six keyboards ready for pre-order

Art Lebedev’s Optimus Popularis and Mini Six keyboards ready for pre-order

We haven't heard much from Art Lebedev's design studio since, well, the update on the Optimus Polaris last summer. But the Russia design company know for its innovative usage of LCDs on high-end keyboards has announced today that they're taking pre-orders for both its Optimus Popularis and Optimus mini six keyboards, the former priced at 31,500P, or approximately $1086 USD, and the latter at 10,900P, or around $376 USD. That's the hefty price you pay for a sleek Art Levedev piece, indeed.

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Optimus Mini Six hits production; Popularis delayed (again)

Optimus Mini Six hits production; Popularis delayed (again)

Art Lebedev's Optimus Project studios promised that the Mini Six companion keyboard - a compact accessory with six buttons each integrating a user-customizable display - would be here later on in 2011, and now the company has confirmed that it's in the early production stage. In effect a doubled version of the Mini Three, the Mini Six does differ in that it uses new, more compact LCD displays for its keys.

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Optimus Popularis keyboard slims while key-displays grow

Optimus Popularis keyboard slims while key-displays grow

We've been following Art Lebedev's Popularis keyboard project since the first mutterings late last year, and from the scant details we've seen it looks like the company has certainly learnt its lessons from the original Optimus Maximus.  A new image released today shows the comparative key display sizes of the two 'boards: despite being smaller and slimmer than its predecessor, the Popularis will have better sized-keys with bigger, higher-resolution displays.

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Optimus Popularis 3D prototype shot released

Optimus Popularis 3D prototype shot released

After teasing with a foam mockup, Art Lebedev Studios have released the first 3D prototype shot of the in-development Optimus Popularis keyboard.  The keyboard is shorter than the original Optimus Maximus, with the extra row of shortcut keys moved from the left of the main keys to above the function keys.  However it seems to share the same each-key-a-display setup, although the space key display is now full-length rather than the small square OLED on the Maximus.

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