8BitDo Model M Retro Mechanical Keyboard
Image via 8BitDo

8BitDo appeals to the salarymen with the IBM edition of its keyboard

Your co-workers will be so jealous.

8BitDo has quietly announced that the next version of their Retro Mechanical Keyboard is themed after the PC that accidentally changed the market. The Retro Mechanical Keyboard – M Edition is styled after the ones that came with the ubiquitous IBM line of early computers.

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Previously, we had fun color schemes like NES, Famicom, and Commodore 64. The first PC that I ever had consistent access to was my aunt’s IBM, which I mostly used to play Secret Agent, Duke Nukem, and SimFarm. Even with that association, I have very little nostalgia for the machines.

As its name implies, the color-scheme is based on IBM’s Model M keyboard which replaced the original Model F. Rather than being membrane, dome switch, or mechanical, IBM’s keyboards instead used a design called “buckling spring” for input, which is exactly as it sounds. This style of keyboard is fondly remembered for the dull click of its keys.

Of course, 8BitDo’s Retro Mechanical Keyboard – M Edition still uses mechanical switches like their previous versions. They maintain the video game stylings, as well, which is a bit strange. There are still the two big Super Buttons and the programmable B and A “Supper Buttons” (that’s really what they call them.) It’s not that you couldn’t use a Model M for gaming, but I associate them more with accountants.

They gave me a Famicom edition back when the line first released, and I’m still typing on it today. Right now. During one particular week where I kept spilling drinks on it, I had to pull the keys to get all the liquid out of it, but it still works. Good as new. I’ll keep it forever if I can.

8BitDo Retro IBM Numpad
Image via 8BitDo

Also, they’re releasing a numpad

My biggest complaint about the Retro Mechanical keyboard was the fact that it omits a numpad. That complaint is being addressed, as 8BitDo has also announced that they have matching numpads/calculators coming for each of the keyboard styles.

These are detached numpads, so you don’t need to own one of the keyboards to use one. They can be connected to your PC, or they can be used on their own as a calculator. USB ports are kind of a scarce commodity on my computer currently, but I may need to find a way for one of these.

Both the 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard – M Edition and 18 Mechanical Numpad are arriving on July 15, 2024.

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Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.