Like it or not, computers and peripherals are as much a fashion statement as a practical tool. More and more they need a je ne sais quoi to accompany their functionality; an aesthetic to legitimize their existence. (In other words, if they don’t look cool we don’t want them.) Such is the case with Microsoft’s newest keyboard, the Arc, which was introduced at CES.
This is not to say that the Arc is a bad keyboard. The design has a certain Bauhaus flair to it, given how Microsoft envisions it being use. According to the description, the Arc was “inspired by home accessories like flatware and lighting fixtures,” and “[i]ts unique dome keyset comfortably rests on your lap so you can kick back and work on the couch or type away on the kitchen counter.” The Arc, then, is meant for casual use that can only occur when wearing lounging pajamas, and where style is an important consideration. (In contrast to manly gaming, where solidity and menace best define peripheral design and construction.)
The Arc, which is wireless, will be available exclusively at Best Buy, starting February 21, and will set you back $59.95. There is also a companion Arc mouse, that goes for $49.95, and is available from a number of outlets.