Centerpiece: keyboard with a full display behind the buttons. VIDEO

For many computer users, the keyboard is so commonplace that it doesn’t even matter whether it’s mechanical, membrane, with or without lighting, or whether it includes numeric buttons or not. For others, keyboards can become a real passion, and much of the PC experience revolves around finding the perfect keyboard. Finalmouse, a new company in the peripherals space, is offering a keyboard called Centerpiece unlike anything we’ve seen before: one equipped with a full-area display that integrates its own processor and GPU.

Centerpiece keyboard adopts a completely new design with transparent keys

Centerpiece is one of the most visually impressive keyboards we’ve seen to date. It’s built around a display that can run various interactive animations made using Unreal Engine 5, and the keys and switches beneath them are transparent to allow the effects to be fully visible.

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The keyboard isn’t a wireless one, but uses a USB-C cable to connect to your PC and power it, which isn’t surprising since it most likely consumes more power than any other keyboard on the market. Animations are controlled by its own built-in hardware, and can be configured using a proprietary desktop app.

The switches are low-profile, made by Gateron, with linear travel. They are equivalent to the manufacturer’s Black Ink variants, but are specially made of clear plastic. It looks like a version with Hall Effect magnetic switches will be available later.

Despite the size, the Centerpiece keyboard is a 65% type, so it doesn’t integrate the right numeric and navigation buttons, just the arrows, like a compact laptop.

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As the name suggests, Centerpiece is not the type of keyboard you’d expect high performance in video games, or dedicated to productivity, but rather it’s one to display. The screen that runs animations, or various patterns behind the keys can be integrated into the ambient lighting in a room, and the keyboard can quickly become a topic of conversation with visitors and even serve as a social activity, as it can also run small games that make use of the unusual format that places the keys above the screen.

It’s due to launch in 2023, and the price is surprisingly low for something like this. Finalmouse is asking “only” $350 per Centerpiece, when high-end gaming keyboards like the Logitech G915, with RGB keys and no display, cost $300.

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