An interesting new product merging a mechanical keyboard and 12.6-inch touch-screen has rocketed past its funding goal after just a few hours on Kickstarter. For features, it looks like the designers of the FICIHP Multifunctional Touch Keyboard have thrown the kitchen sink at it, which is quite admirable. So, as well as fusing the keyboard and touch screen, you have: RGB backlighting; options for scissor switches or Gateron red, brown or blue mech switches; app-free dual-screen connections with Windows, Android, or MacOS devices; a USB hub; and more.
Dual-screen, or multi-screen setups are increasingly common due to accessibly priced monitors and the productivity boost they can offer. Recognising this growth, Windows 11 has multi-window and multi-monitor optimisations, but device makers like Asus have been pushing portable multi-screen setups with the likes of the recently reviewed Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551, and portable monitors like the ProArt PQ22UC, ROG Strix XG17, and ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT from a couple of years ago.
How do you feel about combining a portable touch-monitor and mech keyboard in your carry bag? If you think that would be a winning combo, the FICIHP might appeal, and looking at the Kickstarter, it appears to be quite popular with little publicity so far. You will want to know the key specs and features, so check below for the official spec summary.
Most of you will be familiar with the mech keyswitch options. These are made by Gateron and have roughly the same characteristics/feel as their Cherry red, brown or blue namesakes. Users have 15 RGB lighting presets to choose from.
The multi-monitor connection can work with Windows, Android or MacOS. FICIHP has various connectivity options to facilitate this; Type-C USB, HDMI, and so on – and the keyboard/monitor can be used as a USB 2.0 hub. Android users need to make use of second screen functionality like Huawei EMUI, Samsung DEX to get the best out of the FICIHP. Another attraction of this keyboard monitor hybrid is that it is plug and play, with no driver required.
There are some key specs I would want to know before pledging support for this project. At the time of writing, I couldn't find any touch-screen specs other than the 1920x515 pixels, 60Hz, at 12.6-inches. It would be good to know the screen type, viewing angles, and brightness/contrast/ colour specs. Ideally, I'd like some flip-up feet to angle the keyboard and screen on a desk (but am not sure if these are present). Data about other physical characteristics would be useful too – dimensions and weight.
- Super Early Bird FICIHP K1 (scissor switches) at HK$1,623, is approx UK£150 or US$210.
- Super Early Bird FICIHP K2 (Gateron switches) at HK$1,856, is approx UK£173 or US$240.
The (super) early bird pricing of the FICIHP Multifunctional Touch Keyboard seems very reasonable. However, a reputable third party review would be very welcome – and for that you might have to wait until after release. The Hong Kong-based project makers plan to ship orders in August this year, but by that time you will miss out on the significant early bird discounts on Kickstarter…