TENET

By Metakey

PROLOGUE

Looking back at the project, it has been over a year since we started it. How do we give the design a sharp and defined personality? What would make a keyboard "unique"? To what extent can we consider a design as complete? Time and again, we've hit a wall and climbed over it, and with that inertia, we have pushed hard past the narrow doors to seek our answers.

TRANSFORMABLE LAYOUT

You can quickly switch to match your desire. The completely horizontally symmetrical design of the mounting mechanism for the bottom weight to the lower case, as well as the split PCB design for the different areas, allow for a more harmonious appearance and a better typing experience.

One keyboard with two layout configurations

It also serves another unique purpose: to allow transformable layout configurations. The ability to switch between a Regular (directional key section to the right of the main keys) to a Southpaw (arrow keys to the left) layout. The trouble with 80% layouts with the isolated arrow and macro key section, while clean and more straightforward to use, inadvertently steals from the mouse's effective area of movement. In order to give the mouse more space, the southpaw layout was designed with this in mind. Rather than being torn between the tradeoffs between each layout, the TENET70 allows you to use both. To switch between the two layout configurations after assembly, all the user has to do is to undo the screws holding the upper and lower cases together, disconnect the cables between the PCBs, and switch the different area PCBs around, disconnect the bottom weight from the lower case, then rotate the upper and lower case by 180° and reassembling the keyboard as such. Although slightly tedious, the whole switching process doesn't damage the keyboard and can theoretically be switched as many times as desired without affecting lifespan.

▲ Hotswappable: Supports both regular and stepped caps lock key

▲ Solderable: Supports ISO, Split Backspace and Split Shift.

► Dimensions: 374 x 115 x 30mm

► Materials:
- Full Aluminum: Aluminum Case and Weight components
- Aluminum Case + Brass Weight: Aluminum case with Sandblasted Brass (main weight component), Sandblasted Gold-plated Brass (weight component with USB outlet)
- FE: To be determined

► Colorways:
- Anodized: Black, Navy, Light Green
- Coating: Red, Pink
- Electrophoresis: Warm white, Yellow
Colors are TBD and not yet confirmed, renders may use colors that may not appear in the actual GB.

► Layout: Regular or Southpaw - 70% (FRL, no keypad, extra function keys on both sides of the arrow keys)

► Plate material: PC

► Mount: Isolated Gasket Mount

► Multifunctional OLED Screen: 7 screen mode (see above “PCB Software and OLED Interface” for detail)

► PCB:
- Integrated Dual PCB - main and func&direction region
- Hotswap with per-key RGB underglow
- Soldered with ISO, Split Backspace, WKL row and Split Shift Support
- USB-C daughterboard

► PCB and OLED Screen Software: HEXCORE ObinsKit. Fully customizable. All OS Supports: Windows, MacOS, Linux

► Typing angle: 8°

► Front height: 18mm

► Transformable Layouts: layout can be quickly interchangeable between Regular and Southpaw Layout

EXTERNAL DESIGN

▲ 0.5u Bezel Size

0.5u (9.525mm, 3/8") bezel is half of the keycap width. Provides a very good balance between the bezel and key area. The front look of the bezels is not too thin, which allows the color of the case to complement the keycaps and reduces how thick the keyboard appears, eliminating a sense of "heaviness". In practice, the bezel isn't so wide as to affect the typing experience, and there is no change of the edge touching the palm of your hand while you are typing on it.

▲ Large brass weights

Optimizes the typing feel and sound as well as enhancing the overall atmosphere of the board. The brass surface on the main bottom weight is sandblasted and coated to maximize the brass's sandblasted texture as well as prevent oxidation. The other bottom weight with the USB port outlet is sandblasted and plated with 24K gold, two processes that together create a unique and beautiful texture.

▲ 18mm front height

The thinner chin makes the keyboard not only aesthetically cleaner, but also makes extended typing experiences more comfortable.

▲ Full Symmetrical Weight Design

The mounting of the bottom weight to the lower case has been designed to be horizontally symmetrical. This allows the keyboard to be built in both regular and southpaw layouts.

▲ 256 x 32 pixel Customizable OLED Monochrome Screen

The screen is sized to fit perfectly above the directional key area, and after many tests and redesigns, this is the largest size for a screen that can fit this keyboard without widening the bezel of the board. Second highest resolution used on a custom keyboard (the board with the current highest resolution is Mountain by Equalz, which utilizes a 256 x 64 pixel screen). The screen interface and keyboard drivers were designed collaboratively with HEXCORE, the team that designed the Anne Pro keyboards, which are well known globally. There are 6 different screen modes available (c.f. below), and additional modes can be added via drivers later.

▲ Centered USB-C port Design

The centered USB-C port design allows the ability to let users swap to their desired layout, and the centered USB port offers a lot of convenience. The separate USB-C daughterboard design allows for easy replacement in the event of damage, enhancing the maintainability of the board. The USB port outlet weight is sandblasted and plated with 24K gold, two processes that together create a unique and beautiful texture.

▲ Separate CapsLock indicator and screen status indicators

More intuitive feedback on the keyboard status and ability to customize the RGB will be available via HEXCORE Software.

INTERNAL DESIGN

▲ Fully-isolated Gasket Mount

The keyboard's interior is held by gaskets vertically on the inside of the upper and lower case, with additional foam on the inner wall of the upper case to hold the interior in place in all horizontal directions as well, further isolating the contact between interior and case.
The interior comes into contact with the soft impact-absorbing foam gaskets. The foam used to fix the plate vertically is made of Japanese Inoue 20A durometer poron, and the horizontal-fixing foam is made of 50A durometer poron.

▲ The plate

The initial plan was to use a brass plate and design a leaf spring mount, but after multiple prototypes and comparisons between them, the best plate material to use was decided to be PC (other material TBD), a material whose flexibility is unmatched by using a metal material. With a matte finish, the PC plate has an improved resistance to scratches and more texture.

▲ Split PCB Design:

As everyone knows, the asymmetry between the left and right zones of the 80% layout can make it difficult to achieve a balanced feel with the keyboard, and many designs use a single PCB with spacing in the PCB between the main and directional key areas to divide the plate between the two areas where possible. Other keyboards adopt a similar idea, but fully dividing the inner structure to provide a better feel. The separate PCBs and plates for the different sections is key to the TENET70, optimizing feel and sound uniformity while also giving the keyboard the ability to switch between regular and southpaw layouts.


└ 1.2mm PCB: The thinner PCB gives a better feel and flexibility. The PCB was designed and developed by the Anne Pro team, which not only provides exclusive drivers to handle keymapping, macros, software updates and support, but also develops original OLED screen drivers for the TENET70 keyboard, and allows for automatic recognition of both [Regular and Southpaw] layouts (c.f. below).

▲ Custom silicone pad for plate foam

The custom 30A durometer silicone pad gives a fuller feel to the keys than the poron foam, although the cost is higher. The pad is easier to assemble for the user, with a more coherent and nicer-looking color. In contrast to the 2D knife-cut poron, the 3D injection molded silicone pad fits better around the switches, especially the longer keys, wrapping snugly around the sides of the stabilizers. Poron stabilizer shims will also be provided.


└ 1mm Case Foam: The 1mm thick 20A durometer Japanese Inoue poron is used again here as case foam, which fills the gap between the case and PCB, reducing the hollowness of the case as well as the resonance, as well as providing some protection from the PCB bending too much and coming into contact with the bottom case and shorting out. In order to achieve a front height of 18mm, we contacted the PCB suppliers if it was possible to reduce the distance between the PCB and the lower case as much as possible without affecting ordinary use, thus creating a slimmer aesthetic look to the case, as well as reducing excessive PCB flex, which should allow the user to enjoy hotswappability with less worry about snapping the PCB. Due to the special weighting and design concept of the cable outlet, the kit comes with a foam pad above the USB-C daughterboard to further fill out any empty space and eliminate hollow case sounds.

PCB Software and OLED Interface

▲ Hexcore Obinskit

TENET PCB Firmware, Driver and Management Software are designed collaboratively with HEXCORE, the team that designed the Anne Pro keyboards.

▲ HEXCORE ObinsKit Software, you can achieve more than what QMK+VIA can do:
└ All OS Support: Windows, MacOS, Linux
└ Modify Keys and layers└ OLED Screen Customization└ RGB Customization└ Marco

▲ Type Mode

In my opinion, the most interactive and fun of all the interface modes. The purpose of this mode is to enhance the most basic function of the keyboard, namely typing. This provides the user's kpm, a realtime line graph of the user's kpm over the last 60 seconds, a kpm speedometer inspired by motorbike tachometers, and an input counter. Keep your keyboard screen a visual representation of your typing speeds at all times, so you can relax, calm your mind and regain confidence after your next creative inspiration block.

▲ Dashboard Mode

The UI in overview mode was originally designed to give the user a summary of a mix of elements. This provides you with time, date, day of the week, upper/lowercase status, typing speed, keymap layer, and a real-time keymap!

▲ Monitor Mode

How can you make the keyboard enhance the experience of using your computer? In monitor mode, the OLED screen provides real-time visual feedback about the temperatures of various components of your computer.

▲ Logo Mode

Metakey is the name of our custom keyboard studio, founded in September of 2020. The word meta has the meaning of primary, first and most fundamental. The name was adopted because we considered the design of the keyboard itself the most important thing to our studio.

▲ Clock Mode

The clock mode is one of my personal favorites and the one I have used the longest, on my own keyboard. A simple four digits to calibrate my own inaccurate perception of time.

▲ Custom Logo Mode

With the PC-side software, any image set will be converted to a monochrome 256 x 32 pixel black and white image, then synced to the keyboard's screen. (PC-side driver created by the HEXCORE team.)

▲ Custom Text Mode

Customize any text and display it on the screen with the PC-side software. (Supports multiple alignment methods, as well as dynamic scrolling.)

COLORWAYS

▲ Anodized Black with Sandblasted Brass Weight

▲ Anodized Navy with Sandblasted Brass Weight

▲ Electrophoresis Warm White with Sandblasted Brass Weight

▲ Coating Pink with Black Alu Weight

▲ Coating Red with Black Alu Weight

▲ Anodized Light Green with White Alu Weight

▲ Anodized Black with Black Alu Weight

▲ Anodized Navy with White Alu Weight

▲ Electrophoresis Gold with Black Alu Weight

▲ Electrophoresis Warm White with White Alu Weight

PRODUCT PHOTOS

UNBOXING AND BUILD

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

"Tenet" is one of the few palindromes in English, and it means "creed", "purpose", "principle". Other similar palindromes are kayak, racecar, level, etc.  Having decided on the design feature of a changeable layout, I felt I had to find a palindrome to fulfill the role of this keyboard's name. A palindrome that could be read from left to right and right to left, just as the keyboard can be built both right-handed and left-handed.

I personally prefer the 60/65 column and size specification, but couldn't bear the thought of having 80% separate arrow keys, as well as pgup, pgdn, insert, delete etc., so I opted for the rarer column size of 70%.

The default is to switch between screen modes, but you can also customize them to any key, layer cut, shortcut, macro, etc.

Other materials have been considered, such as aluminum, brass, POM, forged carbon, etc. During GB, there may be an option for additional plates that can be purchased separately.

Other modes may be available at a later stage, but that's all I can think of and implement at the moment, from taking the functional requirements and design concepts to the team at Anne Pro2, also known as HEXCORE, to implementing the details step by step and fixing the problems, to having a satisfactory finished product now, it's really been a non-stop process. The firmware of the keyboard will be upgraded, so there are plans to fix issues and introduce new features.

This will be a groupbuy, and so has a wider range of customization available. Colors available may change.

Yes.

We don’t know yet. But we plan to do it in 2-3 months.

We haven’t finalized groupbuy pricing yet. In the upcoming groupbuy, there will be a full alu version available at a lower price. For China in-stock sale, the Anodized Sandblasted Weight version price was set at $518 (3299CNY).

DISCORD

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