If you think RGB LEDs dancing upon your keyboard’s keys is distracting, you might want to look away from Finalmouse’s upcoming mechanical keyboard. The Finalmouse Centerpiece announced Saturday is a mechanical keyboard that has its own display showing animated visuals through the keyboard’s transparent keycaps and switches for a look that seems as dazzling as it is distracting.
Finalmouse is known for making PC mice with detailed designs and, often, limited availability. It typically goes after PC gamers looking for something unique and exclusive-feeling for their setup. Now, Finalmouse is announcing its first keyboard, which takes detailed design to a new level.
Finalmouse hasn’t shared many details on the display running underneath the Centerpiece’s switches. We don’t know its exact size, brightness, resolution, or refresh rate, for example. However, the screen is said to be powered by “interactive skins” using Unreal Engine 5. It’s unclear how many skins the Centerpiece will launch with, but in its video, Finalmouse showed a variety of possibilities, from swimming koi fish that scurry away when you press a key, to a rippling water effect, a lion grazing, and 3D animations.
Mechanical keyboards are some of the most customizable peripherals you can find, but Finalmouse’s Centerpiece is way flashier than most, even Asus’ ROG Strix Flare II Animate, which boasts 312 customizable Mini LEDs.
We’ve seen mechanical keyboards with a display near the keys before, but the Centerpiece’s display is front and center. As such, we can see the animations being exceedingly distracting, especially for non-touch typists and people playing competitive games. Wisely, a brightness knob on the side of the keyboard lets you turn off the display.
Interestingly, Finalmouse says the Centerpiece uses its own CPU and GPU, so powering the display doesn’t use up the connected system’s resources.
Finalmouse claimed artists can submit skins to play on the Centerpiece’s display and have the option to monetize them. More details weren’t provided, however. Finalmouse’s announcement said people would be able to submit different skins for the Centerpiece to use via a Finalmouse Steam app called The Freethinker Portal, allowing Centerpiece users to download designs and toggle across up to three via a dedicated switch on the side of the keyboard.
The Centerpiece is said to rely on what Finalmouse is calling its Laminated DisplayCircuit Glass Stack. As you might imagine, glass isn’t a material often used in mechanical keyboards. Inside an aluminum chassis, it should be decently protected; although there are still plenty of questions around durability and how this all works. Finalmouse, of course, claims the keyboard is tough enough to withstand extreme use.
Further, the company claims that the glass stack is sandwiched by gaskets making for “typing acoustics and feel unlike any other.” Finalmouse’s announcement said the keyboard’s sound profile has been described (it didn’t say by whom) as “soft marble raindrops,” but we’ll just need to hear it for ourselves to know for sure that’s a good thing.
Beyond its wild display, the keyboard also uses mechanical switches based off Gateron’s linear Black Ink switches. Gateron’s switch has 4 mm of travel and actuates with 60 g of force. The switches in the Centerpiece keyboard are supposed to actuate more quickly and have “slightly” different travel specs, Finalmouse said. The company will also sell a version of the keyboard analog switches using Hall-effect sensors, so users can select the switches’ actuation point (somewhere within the switch’s total travel) themselves.
The Centerpiece, with its truncated layout, outlandish design (including keycaps with only side-printed legends), and high price, will be limited to those seeking a bold PC accessory to transform and dominate their setup and keep themselves or, perhaps online viewers, wowed. Finalmouse said the keyboard will be available early next year for $349.
You can view Finalmouse’s video showing the Centerpiece’s effects below: