If you were intrigued by the Tex Yoda II’s TrackPoint-plus-mouse-keys layout that (more or less) obviates the need for a mouse and also caters to fans of the original IBM design, it’s time to crack open your wallet. The Yoda II is now available for pre-order; that window will close on July 15, but you should be able to buy one later, too.
You can order one in a variety of configurations. There are multiple switch options, although they’re all Cherry MX--Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Green, or Clear--and you can order one pre-assembled or as a DIY kit. For the latter, you’ll have to solder only the switches and LEDs.
The prices change quite a bit depending on whether you go DIY or not, as you can see below:
|Switches (Cherry MX)||Price||Price|
Aside from the price, the advantage of the DIY kit is that you can choose switches other than Cherry MX if you so desire. If you’re thinking that you’d love to slap on some aftermarket keycaps, however, you may need to tap the brakes a bit. The keys surrounding the TrackPoint are notched, so you can’t just swap them out. You can use different caps on all the other switches, though.
All versions of the Yoda II offer the CNC aluminum chassis, firmware upgradability via USB, 1.5m USB Type-C to Type-A cable, white backlighting (CREE LEDs), ABS keycaps, and support for the HTML5 configurator. They also include the TrackPoint with three different rubber caps.
The fully assembled models are available in US ASCII and EU ISO layouts with support for a 6.25-unit spacebar only. They have Cherry stabilizers and, of course, Cherry MX switches.
The DIY kits offer a metal plate that accommodates different layouts, as well as support for both 6.25- and 7-unit spacebars, as you can see below:
They have Costar-style GMK PCB-mount stabilizers (five total) as well as the requisite screws and rubber and aluminum stands.
Tex expects to ship all units by October 20. The company is shipping worldwide. You can pre-order (and pay) only via PayPal for now. The site Tex put up has odd navigation that makes it a little hard to find the pre-order links, so here’s a direct link to that page.