System76 Teases the Launch Lite Open-Source Configurable Keyboard, Coming July 14th [Updated]

System76 Launch Lite

Linux hardware vendor System76 took to social media today to tease us with a new variant of their configurable mechanical keyboard called Launch Lite, which will be available to pre-order on July 14th.

“Launch Lite is the everyperson’s keeb — comfortable, portable, and configurable.”

As its name suggests, Launch Lite appears to be a light version of the Launch configurable keyboard that System76 launched more than a year ago. As System76 says, Launch Lite is like Launch, but lite, offering everyone a comfortable, portable, and configurable keyboard for all their computing needs.

Highlights of the Launch Lite keyboard include System76’s open source milled chassis design with a detachable lift bar to adjust the keyboard’s angle by 15 degrees, ANSI US QWERTY layout, and System76’s open source PCB design with individually addressable RGB LED back-lighting and N-Key rollover.

Launch Lite also lets you customize layout and lighting in firmware via System76’s Keyboard Configurator utility, a USB Type-C 2.0 port, System76’s open source QMK firmware, USB-C to USB-C and USB-A to USB-C cables, XDA profile, dye sublimated legend, and PBT plastic key caps, as well as Kailh Box Jade, Royal, Pink or Brown switches.

The main differences between Launch Lite and Launch are the single USB C input instead of the SuperSpeed 4 port USB hub, 70 keys instead of 84 keys, and of course the smaller form factor.

The keyboard measures 12.07″ x 4.23″ x 1.19″ (306.5mm x 107.5mm x 30.25mm) and weighs 1.8 lbs (816.46g). The firmware is upgradable with fwupd 1.8.2 or later firmware updating utility for Linux systems.

System76 plans to launch the Launch Lite configurable keyboard later this week on July 14th, 2022. The company will also introduce new switch colors for all Launch models, including the tactile Silent Brown switch and the delicate Silent Pink switch, which are recommended for those who type for long periods and want to minimize fatigue.

There’s no word on the price of the Launch Lite keyboard yet, but it should be a lot cheaper than its bigger brother Launch, which currently has a retail price of $285 USD. If you want to be the first to get the new Launch keyboard, sign up for notifications on the official website.

Update: System76 officially launched the Launch Lite keyboard for a retail price of $199 USD. The company also revealed the fact that the Launch Lite’s smaller form factor results from merging the function row keys with the number row. Launch Lite can now be ordered from the official website.

Image credits: System76

Last updated 2 years ago

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