Why it matters to you
We’ve seen all kinds of keyboards here at Digital Trends. There was the emoji keyboard aimed at those for whom typing out actual letters was a little too much to bear; the bonkers beer keyboard where you could type out a message and then drink the keys; and the rather cool waffle keyboard which, although not an actual keyboard, turned out to be as tasty as it looked.
On the slightly more sensible side of the fence, retro-styled keyboards seem to be growing in popularity. We recently came across the Lofree and Ncore Retro keyboards, while the latest design hoping to spend some clackety-clack time on your desk is the Penna, a Bluetooth device with a retro look.
The fact that the Penna has almost quadrupled its $50,000 Kickstarter target suggests your fingers could be caressing its keys as early as August, 2017, when it’s due to start shipping.
The Penna will be offered with a variety of customizable options. For example, you can go with a more conventional set of square keys “for more accurate typing,” or opt for the more impressive chrome-edged keys “to maximize the retro styling.” However, the suggestion appears to be that typing on the second model might take a little longer to master.
You can also choose the kind of key response you want with the Penna, from soft to hard. The former offers a quieter sound perhaps better suited for office environments so you don’t wind up your co-workers with a repetitive and audible clacking noise the whole time.
Penna’s California-based maker has built a smartphone/tablet stand into the device, too, so you can rest your iOS, Android, or Windows device upright for a more comfortable user experience. In addition, it comes in five different colors, and there’s a cool-looking wooden design that you might want to check out, as well.
A neat inclusion is the Macro Bar on the side of the Penna that lets you knock out frequently used words or phrases with a quick press. Finally, the keyboard takes a couple of AA-sized batteries that should keep it powered for up to six months.
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“We’ve been waiting long for a beautiful keyboard, and when we couldn’t any more, we started this project to make what we wanted,” maker Elretron says of the Penna.
It’ll sell for a pretty reasonable $99 though it still has some early-bird deals left at $89 a piece. If you’re tired of your boring plastic keyboard and fancy something a little more stylish, the Penna may be a bit of kit worth considering.