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System76 introduces open source Launch Heavy keyboard with numpad

พฤศจิกายน 26, 2022 11:00

System76 will soon release a larger version of its Launch mechanical keyboard. Unlike previous versions this Launch Heavy variant comes with a numpad. The pcb and case are once again open source.

The System76 Launch Heavy gets a full-size-like design with a total of 84 keys. New is the addition of a numpad which was missing in the Launch and Launch Lite. This makes the keyboard also larger than the previous variants with dimensions of 393.7x135.1x27.9mm. The Launch Heavy weighs approximately 1.315kg.

System76 ships the keyboard with Kailh Box Jade Royal Silent Pink or Silent Brown switches from Kailh as standard. However the Launch Heavy also features Kailh hot-swap sockets allowing users to swap the switches without having to solder or unsold them. The Launch Heavy also gets an integrated USB hub with two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A connectors. The keyboard comes with PBT keycaps with an XDA profile.

Like previous Launch keyboards System76 open source the pcb design and keyboard case schematics. Users can therefore possibly produce the keyboard themselves if they have the necessary equipment. The keyboard uses open source firmware based on QMK. The layout of the Launch Heavy can be customized with the System76 Keyboard Configurator software for Windows macOS and Linux.

The Launch Heavy will be System76's third Launch keyboard. The original Launch had a tenkeyless design with no numpad and the Launch Lite released this year had a 65% layout with no function keys. System76 confirmed earlier this year in an interview with Softrill that the company will eventually will have a distribution center in Europe where it will sell its keyboards among other things. The company also wants to produce ISO variants of its Launch keyboards. It is not known whether this also applies to the Launch Heavy.System76 does not yet share a concrete release date or suggested retail price for the Launch Heavy. The company says it will provide more details "soon".

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