The $100 8BitDo Wireless Mechanical Keyboard is a tribute to the Commodore 64

Commodore 64 introduced a generation of future computer experts to personal computing. The 8-bit system was first released in 1982 and was discontinued in 1994. During that time, it left its mark as one of the first and most influential personal computers, and many still remember the computer fondly.

Zoom in / Commodore 64.

Gaming peripheral maker 8BitDo wants to make that nostalgia accessible to people and this week announced… Retro Mechanical Keyboard – C64 Version. 8BitDo is careful not to use the name “Commodore” directly. But with marketing photos showing vintage Commodore gear in the background, press materials saying the keyboard is “classically inspired,” and some design cues, it's clear that the keyboard is a tribute to the PC keyboards of the 1980s.

8BitDo starts out in the beige color you only see on new peripherals these days if the hardware is trying to look old. The rainbow bar runs horizontally and north of the row of functions, as on a Commodore computer. There's a power button with a light coming out of the keyboard case, ready to light up when it receives the signal.

Like the Commodore 64, the C64 keyboard has limited keys, bypassing the number pad. The column of F keys on the right side of the old computer was abandoned in favor of the current standard navigation keys. Naturally, the ports have been updated as well. The 8BitDo wireless mechanical keyboard can connect to a detachable USB-C to USB-A power cable via a 2.4GHz wireless USB-A dongle or Bluetooth 5.0. 8BitDo claims that the keyboard's 2,000 mAh battery can withstand 200 hours of use before needing to be charged.

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The new keyboard also reduces the bulkiness of the real old keyboard. It measures 6.7 inches long and weighs 2.31 pounds. Commodore 64s were About 8 inches Tall and weighs over 4 pounds.

The flippy keyboard should help 8BitDo better appeal to its core audience of gamers. The keyboard also comes with a separate pair of large buttons and a joystick for arcade-themed games. The Super Joystick and Buttons, as 8BitDo calls them, are programmable, including macros, without downloading the 8BitDo software.

The keyboard comes with a joystick and oversized buttons, just like <a href== الخاص بـ 8BitDo"https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/07/nes-nostalgia-at-your-fingertips-100-mechanical-keyboard-honors-80s-console/">NES-inspired keyboard</a>.” src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/5-Super-Stick-and-Super-Buttons-640×427.jpg” width=”640″ height=”427 ” srcset=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/5-Super-Stick-and-Super-Buttons-1280×854.jpg 2x”/><figcaption class=
Zoom in / The keyboard comes with a joystick and oversized buttons, just like 8BitDo's NES-inspired keyboard.

8bitdo

C64 does not support Apple devices; It only supports Windows 10 and Android 9.0 and above. the Programming To reprogram the keyboard and set up different profiles (which you can toggle using the heart button near the top edge of the keyboard) Apple operating systems are not officially supported.

SA keycaps

If you really want to feel like you're writing in the '80s, it's not just about muted shades of beige; It's about how your fingers feel. While there are some design changes that might make the keyboard look more authentic, it's clear that thought has gone into making this 2024 keyboard look like it came out over 30 years ago.

To start, the C64's keycaps are made of ABS plastic with double legends. Some premium mechanical keyboards these days opt for PBT technology, as these keycaps typically provide better grip and resist fingerprint smudging better. But if we're trying to be as accurate to the original C64 as possible, dual ABS is the way to go.

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The keycaps on the Commodore 64 were also noticeably spherical and contoured. The 8BitDo design uses SA-profile keycaps, which are some of the longest keycaps widely available. some Hardcore enthusiasts I could tell difference Between the SA keycaps and the original Commodore 64 keycaps, but this is still a solid choice from 8BitDo, (plus the original Commodore 64 keycaps won't fit modern mechanical switches without some modification).

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