We're a bit skeptical when it comes to concept keyboards shipping on time. That's what happens when you get strung along with numerous delays and excuses, as was the case with Art Lebedev Studio's Optimus Maximums OLED keyboard, which finally shipped long after its original promised launch date. Now we're being told that a company called Minebea is prepping its totally flat "Cool Leaf" concept keyboard for a May 13, 2011 release. With all due respect, we'll believe it when we see it.
What makes the Cool Leaf keyboard different from all ther rest is that it utilizes flat mirror panels across the plank. Lighted keys mean you can use it in the dark, and because there aren't any crevices to worry about, you won't ever have to flip it over and shake out Hot Pocket or potato chip remnants from in between the keys. For this reason, Minebea says it's an ideal plank for places that require cleanliness, such as medical and food plants, and other clean room areas.
No price has yet been announced, though we do know that it will ship in a Japanese language edition at launch. Minebea also said it plans to ship a U.S. version later this summer.