Saturday July 08, 2017

The Best Keyboard Ever Is Back

Is the IBM Model F really the best keyboard ever? As someone who prefers flat, scissor-switch keyboards, my answer would be "no," but IBM’s 1981 buckling-spring keyboard is inarguably legendary and has legions of fans. It is so popular that one enthusiast decided to start selling faithful Model F reproductions.

The second coming of the high-quality Model F (not to be confused with its more affordable plastic successor, the Model M) isn't a throwback attention grab from IBM, nor a nostalgia play from Big Keyboard. Instead, it's the longtime work of a historian in love with the retro keyboard's unparalleled sound and feel, but frustrated by the limitations of actual decades-old tech. The Model F Keyboards project, now taking preorders for the new line of authentic retro-boards, was started by Joe Strandberg, a Cornell University grad who's taken up keyboard wizardry as a nights-and-weekends hobby.