I normally don’t trust Amazon-only electronics brands with names made up of randomly generated characters, but the Ficihp K2 mechanical keyboard caught my eye when Gizmodo first reported on it. This wacky keyboard has a massive built-in smart screen attached to the top of the keyboard for extra productivity. Think Apple’s much-hated Touch Bar, but set to 11.
Not that the Ficihp (fai-kip? Fee-keep? Fai-cheep?) K2 deserves the same level of society-dividing controversy heaped on the Touch Bar. After all, this keyboard is clearly more gimmick than functional and I don’t expect to see any out in the wild. The screen itself is meant to be used as a secondary display for your smartphone rather than a strip of function keys.
Still, there could be room for such a contraption in everyday use, particularly for gamers and those involved in creative work such as music production. Imagine yourself receiving messages, and replying to them, directly on the keyboard while you’re knee-deep in Red Dead Redemption II. I can see this being useful for some.
The keyboard’s screen is a 12.6-inch touchscreen HD panel. It puts out a respectable 60Hz. It’s as if Fagomfer, the manufacturer of the Ficihp K2, stuck a fully functional tablet to the top of an RGB backlit mechanical keyboard and called it a day.
And a tablet is really what this screen is. It opens up a world of functionality. You can pull down commonly-used Photoshop functions and have them on the keyboard, a quick tap of the finger away. Or you could use it to take notes during a video conference call by dropping OneNote or Apple Notes into the display. Or you could simply play a game on the display while your boss sees you hard at work on the call. You get the idea.
There are some drawbacks to the screen. For starters, it only has a 10-point touchscreen display, and only if you’re using Windows. This means you can only tap 10 places on the screen. It won’t register anywhere else. It gets worse if you’re using a Mac because now you’ve only got a single center-aligned touch point. This pretty much limits you to using one app.
Also, at $390, the Ficihp K2 is impractical. You could get a much cheaper keyboard and a second display for much less. Of course, you lose out on portability, which I suppose is what they were going for with this thing. Or perhaps they’re simply trying to show Apple how to do keyboard touch screens the proper way?
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