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The latest “HHKB Professional HYBRID Type-S” review, the 8 year-old partner has evolved into a supreme presence! -Engadget Japanese version

■ What is HHKB in the first place?
HHKB is a long-selling model of a high-end keyboard whose first machine was released in December 1996. We have evolved key touch and multi-platform support while inheriting the basic concept designed with a reasonable key layout in a compact size for over 20 years. This year, we also received the “Good Design Long Life Design Award”.

The key switch of this product adopts "Capacitance non-contact method" that detects the change of capacitance value when the key is pressed. The standard grade has a key pitch of 19.05mm, a key stroke of 4.0mm, and a pressing pressure of 45g. The Type-S grade, which aims for high-speed keying and quietness, has a special design for the internal structure of the key. Is tuned to 3.8mm.

Engadget "data-caption =" Engadget "data-credit =" "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-6-3297018-1576039950569 "data- media-id = "e79013d0-7b0c-42a3-8614-d093e440fe4b" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f162cbc0-1bd1-11ea- a269-648ae5b1fc73 "data-title =" Engadget "src =" https://media-mbst-pub-ue1.s3.amazonaws.com/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f162cbc0-1bd1-11ea-a269- 648ae5b1fc73 "/><br /><strong>▲ The 19.05mm key pitch, key stroke (3.8mm or 4.00mm), and key layout will not change at all with this new product.</strong></p>
<p>…… It will be a little difficult to enumerate the specifications, but if you tell it emotionally, the blur when you hit the key is minimal and the feel is easy. The author's favorite Type-S grade HHKB feels like a piano keyboard, just like a piano keyboard.</p>
<p><img alt=▲ In the back is HHKB, which I have been overworking for 8 years and 6 months. The body itself is completely discolored, but there is no mechanical damage. It has enough durability to be active in several years.

■ New product lineup includes 3 grades and 16 models
HHKB is available in 3 grades and 16 models. If you are considering purchasing for the first time, you may be wondering what the difference is, but it is clear from the following presentation materials. In short, the standard model “HYBRID” (30,250 yen including tax) that supports Bluetooth connection and keymap changes, the high-level model “HYBRID Type-S” (35,200 yen) that realizes high-speed keying and quietness, Bluetooth connection, There are 3 grades of the cheapest model "Classic" (25,300 yen) with a keymap change function, each combining an English layout, a Japanese layout, an unmarked key, and black and white colors. However, Japanese layout is not prepared for Classic only.

That's why (3 grades x 3 arrays x 2 colors) -2, so 16 models are in lineup.

Engadget "data-caption =" Engadget "data-credit =" "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-2-122832-1576039950557 "data- media-id = "527f5011-e535-4b3d-9e78-3a927035954c" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f1321ed0-1bd1-11ea- bab7-26c0d48d4aeb "data-title =" Engadget "src =" https://media-mbst-pub-ue1.s3.amazonaws.com/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f1321ed0-1bd1-11ea-bab7- 26c0d48d4aeb "/><br /><strong>▲ Japanese layout is not prepared for Classic, the cheapest model, but if there are many requests, we will consider adding it.</strong></p>
<p>■ Where has the new model changed?<br />The new HHKB has inherited a reasonable key layout, compact size, and superb key touch, and has updated three points: "Interface expansion and evolution", "Multi-pairing function improvement" and "Key customization function evolution" .</p>
<p><img alt=▲ Keyboard surface.

Engadget "data-caption =" Engadget "data-credit =" "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-5-8999838-1576039950566 "data- media-id = "9c17c478-f7b7-4264-80f2-13c2b2d114fe" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f15c3c10-1bd1-11ea- aaf7-aa66c2d52775 "data-title =" Engadget "src =" https://media-mbst-pub-ue1.s3.amazonaws.com/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f15c3c10-1bd1-11ea-aaf7- aa66c2d52775 "/><br /><strong>▲ Bottom. Examples of DIP switch settings and combination key combinations are described.</strong></p>
<p><img alt=▲ Use two AA batteries for power. Operating time is about 3 months when using alkaline batteries. Instead of a built-in battery with a long life, a replaceable battery type is adopted.

Engadget "data-caption =" Engadget "data-credit =" "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-9-3846075-1576039950579 "data- media-id = "b037efff-c6e1-4948-b5a1-12a92cf88ab0" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f1bd47d0-1bd1-11ea- bffe-b166a7ba9918 "data-title =" Engadget "src =" https://media-mbst-pub-ue1.s3.amazonaws.com/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f1bd47d0-1bd1-11ea-bffe- b166a7ba9918 "/><br /><strong>▲ Minimum key layout can be changed with the DIP switch on the bottom.</strong></p>
<p>First of all, regarding "interface expansion and evolution", both USB connection and Bluetooth connection were supported (excluding Classic). Actually, the conventional Bluetooth compatible model could not be connected via USB. Of course, the USB terminal adopts Type-C terminal. There is no need to carry old standard cables and there is no stress when plugging and unplugging.</p>
<p><img alt=▲ USB Type-C is used for the terminal connected to the PC with a cable. However, the cable is not included. Considering the depth, we recommend that you choose an L-shaped cable.

As for “improving the multi-pairing function”, up to four units can be connected via Bluetooth, and another unit can be connected via a plus USB cable. The combination key “Fn + Control + 1/2/3/4” can be switched to the connection destination via Bluetooth, and “Fn + Control + 0” can be switched to the connection destination via USB at any time. By the way, you can switch to a device via Bluetooth while connected to a PC with a USB cable. There is no need to unplug the cable when using wireless.

Engadget "data-caption =" Engadget "data-credit =" "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-8-6128593-1576039950576 "data- media-id = "cba759d7-6ac6-428b-a930-86a9ae787dc5" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f1cf2220-1bd1-11ea- af7f-81367c889cd3 "data-title =" Engadget "src =" https://media-mbst-pub-ue1.s3.amazonaws.com/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f1cf2220-1bd1-11ea-af7f- 81367c889cd3 "/><br /><strong>▲ HHKB supports Windows, macOS, iOS, iPadOS and Androd. Once paired with Bluetooth, you can always switch quickly with the combination key.</strong></p>
<p>With regard to “evolution of key customization function”, a key map setting tool for Windows has been prepared, and control keys and character keys in general can be customized. Compared to the conventional “DIP switch”, the degree of freedom for key customization is much improved.</p>
<p>At the moment, it is only available for Windows, but is currently under development for macOS and will be released next spring. In addition, the key map set with the key map setting tool for Windows is also reflected on macOS, so it is only necessary to prepare the Windows environment at the time of setting even at this time.</p>
<p><img alt=▲ Key assignments can be changed simply by moving the keys from bottom to top. This keymap setting tool also has a firmware update function.

■ Only HHKB gives you the feeling that you and your PC are connected by wire.
For the writer who has been using HHKB for 8 years and 6 months while sometimes cheating on other keyboards, this new product is a supreme keyboard without flattery. All the dissatisfaction felt with the conventional Bluetooth model has been resolved, and we want to use it as the main keyboard in the future. The HHKB is the only way for me to feel like I'm hitting the key and having a wired connection between myself and the PC.

Engadget "data-caption =" Engadget "data-credit =" "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-12-5849721-1576039950586 "data- media-id = "41f64353-7c83-4d85-b615-047c25e9453a" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f2fc3070-1bd1-11ea- ad4e-e626773f0f97 "data-title =" Engadget "src =" https://media-mbst-pub-ue1.s3.amazonaws.com/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-12/f2fc3070-1bd1-11ea-ad4e- e626773f0f97 "/><br /><strong>▲ HHKB, which has been used for many years, can spit out text to Word as if it were directly connected to the brain.</strong></p>
<p><img alt=▲ The compact HHKB seems to be a reliable partner at domestic and overseas exhibitions where long texts must be written on-site. The Type-S is a bit noisy for use at the venue, so it's worth it.

■ I would like a derivative model with a keystroke of 1 to 1.5mm to achieve the best key touch.
However, even the authors of such HHKB believers feel uncomfortable at the beginning of use when using them alternately with recent thin mobile notebook PCs. The keystroke of 1 ~ 1.5mm on mobile notebook PC and the keystroke of HHKB 3.8mm / 4mm are too different.

Again, for the author who writes most of the manuscript on a desktop PC connected to HHKB, immutable HHKB is the best partner. However, for users who use a mobile notebook PC as the main machine, the author says that a derivative model that achieves the best key touch while bringing the keystroke to 1 to 1.5 mm equivalent to the mobile notebook PC is also required. think. That may be the role of other manufacturers and brands, but I would like PFU to work on it.




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