Honey, you are my centerpiece…
You’ve tried RGB keyboards, but how about a keyboard with an integrated display? Finalmouse has just shown Centerpiece, a mechanical monster that hides a screen behind its transparent keys. The display is powered by a dedicated CPU and GPU, and plays custom animations via Unreal Engine 5.
This is, frankly speaking, one of the most ridiculous ideas we’ve ever seen. But for just $350, the Centerpiece is sure to reach some level of popularity. Plus, it looks like a pretty effective keyboard, with custom “self-lubricating linear” switches made in collaboration with Gateron. (These switches are based on Gateron’s Black Ink linear switch. The typing sound is similar to “smooth marble raindrops”, whatever that means.)
It’s hard to see the keys in the Finalmouse teaser video. But from what we can tell, this keyboard uses a 65% layout – it seems to lack a function row and a numpad. The keys seem a bit flat, with legends printed on the shaft of each key, facing the user. If you can’t type without looking at your keyboard, you should probably skip this product.
Anyway, we’re not sure what kind of screen is under this keyboard (maybe it’s LCD, maybe it’s OLED). But Finalmouse says that you can save up to three video skins at a time. Each skin is processed locally, without using your computer’s resources (and it all runs on a single USB-C cable). Interestingly, some skins are interactive: pressing a certain key can trigger an animation, like a wave of water or an explosion.
There are new video skins available on “The Freethinker Portal”, which is a really wicked name for a mechanical keyboard app. Most of the skins seem to cost money, and interestingly enough, creators can sell their custom skins through the “Freethinker Portal”.
Because this keyboard uses transparent keys (which are backed by a glossy display), I’m assuming dust, crumbs, or grease will stick out like a sore thumb. I’m also concerned about repairability; How are you supposed to fix a keyboard that contains a display, a CPU, and a GPU?
Centerpiece launches in early 2023 for $350. Customers also have the option of ordering this keyboard with Hall Effect switches, which provide an analog input method with customizable actuation. If you want to try Finalmouse todayCheck out the company’s boutique gaming mice.
Sources: final mouse