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HHKB celebrates 25 years with arrow-less $350 wireless keyboard 

Enlarge / Can you spot the anniversary keycap?

Happy Hacking Keyboard (HKKB) has made a name for itself among keyboard enthusiasts since launching in 1996. Today, the brand is synonymous with arrow-less 60 percent designs, the use of luxurious Topre switches, and premium price tags. Its 25-year anniversary keyboard is no different.

The HHKB layout drops the numpad and navigation keys, including, boldly, the arrows. It targets programmers, engineers, and writers with its symmetrical, shrunken form factor that’s supposed to make it easier for your fingers to reach the keys.

The keyboard is reprogrammable via Windows software.
Enlarge / The keyboard is reprogrammable via Windows software.

HHKB is celebrating its 25th birthday with a new version of the HHKB Professional Hybrid Type-S Bluetooth keyboard. The new edition is dubbed Snow for its all-white ABS plastic chassis and stark-white PBT keycaps. This differs from the original models that come in “Charcoal” (with or without legends) or “White,” which is really more of an off-white, with retro-looking gray keycaps to match. The keycaps on the Snow version are stamped with black legends via dye sublimation, so they’re permanent.

That’s good news, because you’ll need those legends to be visible in order to spot the thing that really makes this keyboard celebratory. The right Fn key is stamped with the number 25, along with the suffix “th” on the bottom, in the spot where some keys have a secondary function printed. The HHKB logo is also on the cap, adding a small splash of color.

There's a detachable USB-C to USB-A cable for charging and connecting to a PC.
Enlarge / There’s a detachable USB-C to USB-A cable for charging and connecting to a PC.

All considered, it’s a small twist on the keyboard. There’s not a lot of flash here to celebrate the keyboard maker’s silver jubilee. But it also means the keyboard doesn’t come at an outrageous premium—compared to other Hybrid Type-S keyboards, that is. This is still an HHKB keyboard with Topre switches, after all.

The commemorative programmable keyboard is currently $350, compared to the other colorways’ $337. Although, a crossed-out MSRP listed on the online store of Fujitsu, a distributor of HHKB that announced the keyboard, suggests it may eventually have a $400 MSRP. We’ve reached out to Fujitsu about pricing and will update this story if we hear back.

The anniversary keycap and white color scheme will cost you an extra $13.
Enlarge / The anniversary keycap and white color scheme will cost you an extra $13.

Like the other Hybrid Type-S keyboards, the 25th anniversary option uses Topre electrostatic capacitive switches, known among enthusiasts for their exemplary tactile feel and high price. The switches here are supposed to be quiet and require 45 g of force to actuate.

The wireless keyboard has four Bluetooth profiles, so you can wirelessly pair it with four macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android devices instead of using the USB-C to USB-A cable. We’re seeing a gradual increase of wireless keyboards with three Bluetooth profiles, like the recently reviewed Razer Pro Type Ultra, but four profiles is rarer.

The anniversary edition is currently $13 more than the standard ones.
Enlarge / The anniversary edition is currently $13 more than the standard ones.

It’s unclear for how long the HHKB Professional Hybrid Type-S Snow will be available, but Fujitsu’s announcement called it a “limited-quantity” run.

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