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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Keyboard Spotting

IBM 4683 POS matrix keyboard

The IBM 4683 POS matrix keyboard is an ortho from IBM - acquired by SharktasticA.

This is an IBM 4683 matrix keyboard. It's from '80s, the internal assembly is made by Key Tronic for IBM. It also included a template kit and ‘windows’ for use with making labels for the keycaps.

[It] uses Key Tronic’s Foam & Foil capacitive switches – supposed to be the tactile variant but it actually feels like very stiff linears – SharktasticA

The IBM 4683 is noteworthy for being the first PC/'x86'-based point of sale retail system from the company and for being a large vintage ortholinear keyboard/macropad, although even earlier ortho keyboards from IBM are known, such as the 254-key IBM Multi-Shift Kanji Keyboards of the '70s.

(This was succeeded by the IBM Model M11 Modifiable Layout Keyboard in 1993, which was a dome with slider keyboard with an integrated magnetic stripe reader.)

More pics: A comprehensive teardown:

Published on Mon 9th Aug 2021. Featured in KBD #38 (source).


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