The Qwerkywriter: a delightful Bluetooth keyboard based on a manual typewriter

I blogged the announcement of the Qwerkywriter more than a year ago, when the company was retooling from its successful kickstarter to full retail production. I've had one of the production models in my office for a couple of months now and I've been very impressed! (I wrote this review on it).

Qwerkywriter is a solid, aluminum-alloy-framed keyboard, and the keys themselves have a delightful, clicky tactility that reminds me of typing on a Das Keyboard. The typing experience also reminds me of my beloved Datamancer keyboard (RIP).

Though I've mostly used Qwerkywriter with my laptop on my office desk, it's really meant to be used as a tablet keyboard, and sports its own built-in tablet stand. I'm not much of a tablet user, mostly because of the frustration of data-entry — Qwerkywriter goes a long way to solving that (and it's just as easy to pair with a tablet as it is to pair with a laptop), but it's necessarily bulky and thus unsuited to taking in a shoulderbag with a tablet for some work in the park or at a cafe.

I have no complaints about Qwerkywriter: it's got the build-quality and design smarts that you'd want from a kickstarted labor of love. In some ways, it epitomizes what crowdfunding can do: fill niches that are too small and weird for mainstream industry to approach. It's quirky.

The downside of small production runs and high quality parts and builds is the cost: the Qwerkywriter costs $350, and that's the launch price; full price is advertised as $400. That is a lot of money to spend for the (admittedly wonderful) aesthetic experience of typing on a fun, thoughtful, handsome keyboard. I enjoy using the programmable platen-return arm as a shortcut for sending emails (in truth, "enjoy" is too mild a phrase for the emotion I experience when I send emails by banging that lever!), but I don't know that I'd shell out my own money for that enjoyment.

The Qwerkywriter would make a great gift or a great indulgence: something to buy yourself when you finally finish that novel, a graduation present for a budding writer, etc.