updated 02:35 pm EDT, Tue June 29, 2010
Optimus Popularis to have status bar, ship in 2010
Art Lebedev Studio today took the wraps from the finished design of the Optimus Popularis. The new design is much more compact than the Maximus but adds an always-active status bar below the F-keys; in an example, it shows common info such as weather, stocks and new mail. As hinted at earlier, the Popularis brings more efficient key design that has the customizable displays occupy nearly the entire key surface even as the area itself is smaller.
The design scraps the traditional number pad, but a function key automatically changes keys on the right side to a traditional layout without needing to turn to software. Other details weren't mentioned, but it's likely to still use USB and support both Macs and Windows PCs like its predecessor.
Art Lebedev has moved up the launch and now hopes to have the Optimus Popularis on sale before the end of 2010. Pricing is only given a very wide below-$1,000 target, but pre-orders should start later in the year.