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Old Fashioned Typewriter Designs Used as USB Keyboards

Are you a fan of the tactile feel of those lovely mechanical keyboards? Because Etsy shop owner Jack Zylkin has a very nice treat for you. If you thought the satisfying click response of your keyboard was nice, prepare to be blown away by these antique typewriter keyboards! USB Typewriter offers users a chance to get their hands on 'luxury' keyboards for the PC, Mac and iPad platforms.

Made from various antique typewriters, these keyboards are fully equipped for all of your modern computing needs, meaning each keyboard has its own built-in set of modern keys such as alt, control, escape and even the function keys. In addition, users will also be able to insert paper into the keyboard for a physical copy of whatever it is they are typing up.

As awesome as these keyboards may be, they are called 'luxury' keyboards for a reason. With price tags ranging from $699 to $849, these usb typewriters aren't the most affordable peripherals out there, but adventurous hackers will be able to purchase a DIY kit for $74. This DIY kit comes with all of the necessary parts to make your own typewriter keyboard, all you need is an old typewriter and some tools to get started. If you're interested in getting your hands on one of these, head on over to Zylkin's shop here.

Tuan Mai
Tuan Mai is a Los Angeles based writer and marketing manager working within the PC Hardware industry. He has written for Tom's Guide since 2010, with a special interest in the weird and quirky.
  • egmccann
    ... ok.

    I mean, I used to like typewriters like these, and used them a fair bit. But ... wow. And actually using the carriage return (NOW you know why it's called that!) for enter?

    Even considering someone who's a "retro lover," I can't help but think these would be hugely impractical. Maybe a few "steampunk computer desks" will have them (and probably with a nice, real keyboard tucked away somewhere.)

    It's different. I'll give it that, and good work to the people who got this to work. I'd say it's pretty much the definition of "niche market," though.
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    first typewritter with backspace + enter? Sold!
    Reply
  • Ezence
    Do they make authentic typeriter "dook dook dook" sound when you write? :D
    Reply
  • Super_Nova
    It looks very nice indeed but I'm curious about a couple of things.
    Does the paperfeeder at the back moves with each keystroke, do you have to manually move the feeder back to the start and makes it a 'ping' sound at the end of a sentence?
    But more important: can you play and how does it play?
    Reply
  • PreferLinux
    EzenceDo they make authentic typeriter "dook dook dook" sound when you write?It IS a typewriter!
    Reply
  • alidan
    if it was in the 100$ range, i would get one, but this is to expensive for me.
    Reply
  • teddymines
    Impracticable. The instructions (see their web site) indicate that the arrow keys and function keys are accessed through alt key combinations. Also, could you imagine having to buy and install ribbon? If I used one of these at work, I'd get beaten within about 2 minutes.
    Reply
  • trumpeter1994
    last i checked aren't most typewriters taller than the bases on lcd monitors? how am i supposed to lean way back when I'm feeling lazy, the typewriter would block the screen! :(
    Reply
  • jgutz2006
    i'd love to see someone try to play an FPS game with these keyboards! Does holding down a key let you repeat over and over or do you have to tap it over and over like an actual typewriter? (at least earlier ones like the ones above)
    Reply
  • jgutz2006
    Actually, why not make a paper weight for a mouse, just to keep the theme going!?
    Reply