μTRON Keyboard from Japan

, , …,

A design review of the μTRON Keyboard. This is a keyboard from Japan.

utron keyboard
“μTRON Keyboard” img src
utron keyboard 02
“μTRON Keyboard” (img by webwit)

This is a excellent design. The only design issue i found is that it doesn't have dedicated function keys. The function keys are merged with the number keys. However, the other quality design makes up for it. (For why dedicated function is important, see: Function Keys in Computer Keyboard. For why the μTron is a excellent design, see: Keyboard Hardware Design Flaws.)

utron keyboard 06
excellent quality LEDs. (img by webwit)
utron keyboard 09
A keyboard with such a physical logo on it means it's EXPENSIVE. Also, here you can see the quality of the keycap labels. Probably by a process called Dye Sublimation, a very expensive process. The label will NEVER rub out because it's part of the plastic. (img by webwit)

μTRON Keyboard Layout

Here's its manual utron_keyboard_manual.pdf.

utron keyboard layout normal mode
Normal mode. (img by webwit)

μTRON keyboard has 2 modes. Normal mode, and the TRON mode. For each mode, it also has Japanese mode and English mode.

utron keyboard layout tron mode
TRON mode. (img by webwit)

μTRON vs Happy Hacking

μTRON compared with Happy Hacking (HHKB) Keyboard.

utron vs hhkb keyboard 1
The μTRON is slightly smaller. Note that, the width of four keys (ASDF) on HHKB measures 7.5 cm, but 6.8 cm on the μTRON. (img by webwit)
utron vs hhkb keyboard 2
Sizes of Keys, and also showing the Topre key switch underneath. (img by webwit)

The key switch mechanism is Topre switch, which is even better than the famed Cherry MX switches. 〔☛ Guide to Computer Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms

utron vs hhkb keyboard 3
(img by webwit)

Video Intro & Official Website

〈はじめてみようμTRONキーボード〉 (img by webwit)

Official website: www.personal-media.co.jp.

The list price is JPY$52500, which is about USD$515.

Where to Buy

Here's ways you can buy it:

Unboxing

utron keyboard 03
utron keyboard 04
utron keyboard 05
utron keyboard 10

All the big photos are by the keyboard expert webwit, at http://webwit.nl/input/utron/ and http://forum.hardware.fr/hfr/HardwarePeripheriques/Clavier-Souris/unique-clavier-mecanique-sujet_6902_27.htm. Used with permission. Thank you webwit for real quality photos.

TRON Operating System & Encoding

Note that TRON is a operating system kernel design, from Japan. See: TRON Operating System & Encoding.

For 1990's version of the TRON keyboard, see: Japan M-Type keyboard, TRON keyboard.

Alternatives

if you like μTRON, then alternatives for you are probably:

blog comments powered by Disqus