Perhaps over-egging the proverbial hype pudding, those masters of self-promotion over at Art Lebedev have declared “the most exciting news this year”: that the 103 Keyboard will have user-changeable keys. Perhaps to counter those critics who have suggested a full array of tiny colour OLED screens will push the final price-tag somewhere in the region of the stratosphere, this will enable the company to hit different (still likely high) price points depending on configuration.
A base model, then, could merely have the F-keys as displays, moving up to the full QWERTY layout being OLED, and finally all 103 as in the original concept renders. Three types of key are described: standard plastic, backlit single-function and OLED. They also intend to sell them individually should you wish to upgrade or replace.
This all fits in well with the discussion surrounding where exactly the cost comes from; Lebedev has always insisted that initial expectations for compact OLED prices proved too conservative. While low-end models will lack some of the “wow” effect, it should hopefully open up the market for the company.
103 Swappable Keys [Optimus Project blog]