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Altair & Altair-X by CannonKeys / ai03 - Group Buy


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From £310.00 GBP
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Description

After half a decade of development and over two years of use as a daily driver, Altair and Altair-X represent ai03’s current benchmark in keyboard design for productivity and comfort. Going beyond just internals or mounting methods, the Altair family blends a fully-split ergonomic key layout with high-end keyboard visuals and internals to take typing comfort to the next level.

The Altair (5-row version) and Altair-X (4-row version) group buy is from April 29th to June 3rd. Estimate Shipping: Q1 2025

Check out the IC - https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=122278.0

Extras available here

ALTAIR & ALTAIR-X

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After half a decade of development and over two years of use as a daily driver, Altair and Altair-X represent ai03’s current benchmark in keyboard design for productivity and comfort. Going beyond just internals or mounting methods, the Altair family blends a fully-split ergonomic key layout with high-end keyboard visuals and internals to take typing comfort to the next level.

GROUP BUY INFO

The Altair and Altair-X group buy will be live from April 29th to June 3rd here on Mechboards, as well as our worldwide partners.

MEET THE FAMILY

ALTAIR
5 row, split ergo
Starting at only £325

ALTAIR-X
4 row, split ergo
Starting at only £315

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IN THE BOX

Each Altair and Altair-X will come with the following

  • Left and right aluminum keyboard case
  • Brass weight in each side
  • Left and right Hotswap PCB and DB
  • Ribbon cables
  • Left and right PC plate
  • 3' USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Custom carrying case
  • Silicone feet
  • Poron gaskets
  • Screws and hardware for assembly

ALTAIR KEYCAPS

In collaboration with NicePBT, ai03 has announced two keysets designed by RHHDailo that are tailor made to be used with Altair and Altair X. These low moq sets will be available as an addon during the group buy, and cost only £32.50 for Altair-X, and £35 for Altair!

Shop Altair Keycaps

ALTAIR

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ALTAIR-X

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ALTAIR ADDONS

We have several addons available for the Altair & Altair-X to customize how you experience your keyboard. We've highlighted some below, but to view everything we have to offer you can check out the complete altair collection using the button below.

Shop Altair Addons
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Wrist Rest
This wrist rest works with both the Altair & Altair-X, and is made from black walnut. It has a lacquered finish and two pieces are included with each purchase of the wrist rest. One for each side!

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Plates
Addon plates are available in polycarbonate, FR4, and aluminum.

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Foam
Foam is an addon for the Altair & Altair-X. Each purchase of the foam kit comes with PCB, plate, and case foam. Spare Gaskets and feet are also available as addons.

THREE PILLARS

When designing the Altair family of keyboards, ai03 used three pillars to act as design beacons. These three pillars can be seen throughout the keyboard design and philosophy.

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Ease of Learning
While visually unique, Altair closely matches a typical keyboard in general key positions.

Care has been taken to make sure that anyone can learn the layout quickly, while also being able to jump between Altair and other keyboard layouts when necessary.

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Typing Excellence
Altair’s key placement matches natural finger movement ranges closely, minimizing both finger and hand-movement during use.

 This in return minimizes typing effort and strain, while also contributing to higher possible typing accuracy and speeds.

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The Ergo Advantage
Altair’s layer switching keys are conveniently placed right next to the spacebars, allowing for convenient layer switching with minimal finger movement.

 Taking full advantage of Altair’s split design, an extra column has been added to the inner side. This allows the use of more macros, dedicated brakcets for programming efficiency, or even a duplicate set of alphas.

FORM MATCHES FUNCTION

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Carefully drawn curves wrap around the keys, integrating the ergonomic key layout into part of the visuals. A unique mix of soft organic curves and bold straight edges create a dynamic aesthetic, allowing Altair to stand out visually.

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A bottom emblem weight adds the final visual touch, while also serving as an acoustic damper and a crucial mass to anchor the compact board to the desk.

SCULPTING AND ENGINEERING IN TANDEM

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Altair features a unique PCB gasket mounting system. Small gasket columns hold the PCB from below around the rim, allowing for even vibration and impact absorption with no rigid spots close to mounting points.

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Special screws act as columns that keep the internals secured and aligned within the single-part case, making the gasket mount possible without the need for multiple case parts.

THE POWER OF TWO

Each half of an Altair has its own MCU and USB-C ports, making it effectively two keyboards. Each half can be placed close together, far apart, and anywhere in between. Simply connect them with a USB-C cable and you're good to go. You can even use just one half as a stand alone keyboard/macropad.With Altair, you control the typing experience.

NO COMPROMISE SOLUTIONS

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Altair takes custom to the next level. Custom case. Custom PCBs. Custom Daughterboards. Each piece working together in perfect coordination to make the unique layout possible without compromising form or function.

The PCB edge bends to perfectly match the case, and the daughterboard precisely angles its USB connectors to match the rear curvature while minimizing interior cutouts.

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Altair cuts no corners with high-end tuning and optimization. Its 7° incline and a front ledge that drops down as low as 16.7mm at its tip allows the keyboard to remain comfortable to use even without the assistance of a wristrest.

SPECIFICATIONS

Altair

  • 7° typing angle
  • ~1200g total weight
  • Aprx 144 x 127 x 30mm
  • 1.2mm hotswap PCB
  • Aluminum chassis
  • Choice of plate
  • Brass weight only
  • PCB gasket mount
  • E-White, Dark Grey, and Rose Gold

Altair-X

  • 7° typing angle
  • ~900g total weight
  • Aprx 144 x 108 x 28mm
  • 1.2mm hotswap PCB
  • Aluminum chassis
  • Choice of plate
  • Brass weight only
  • PCB gasket mount
  • E-White, Dark Grey, and Rose Gold

THE FIVE YEAR JOURNEY

Starting with the Altair predecessor Orbit back in 2018, ai03 has spent 5 years iterating and fine tuning the design of the Altair family. With projects of passion like this one, we feel it's incredibly important to share as much of the story as possible. Below is a timeline that goes over a fraction of the over 1,000 days that went into making the Altair and Altair-X a reality, as well as a brief Q&A.