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Circuit Breaker

Fujitsu updates iconic Happy Hacking Keyboard with USB-C and Bluetooth

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Same compact form factor, now with modern connectivity

Image: Fujitsu

Fujitsu has unveiled three new models of the cult-classic Happy Hacking Keyboard, an iconic ultra-compact keyboard with a layout that dates back to the ‘90s. While the keyboard’s layout remains unchanged, the new models introduced today at CES have been modernized in a few key areas. All three now come with a USB-C port, while two of them can also be connected over Bluetooth and feature support for software remapping of their keys.

The launch is significant because Fujitsu very rarely updates its HHKB lineup. According to Wikipedia, the last new keyboard in the lineup was the debut Bluetooth model from 2016. Before that, the lineup had remained unchanged since 2011, which coincidentally was the last time we wrote about them. The stripped-down layout of these “60-percent” keyboards (seriously, they don’t even have arrow keys) mean that they’re not for everyone, but you’re unlikely to find a better constructed minimalist keyboard out there.

Image: Fujitsu
Image: Fujitsu
Image: Fujitsu
Image: Fujitsu

The new HHKB lineup starts with the HHKB Pro 3 Classic, a straightforward update of the existing HHKB Professional 2, now featuring USB Type-C. Then there are the Bluetooth-compatible Pro 3 Hybrid and Pro 3 Hybrid Type-S, which now support key remapping via new Windows software. Unfortunately, the keyboards don’t come with rechargeable batteries — Fujitsu confirmed to me that they instead use replaceable batteries.

Fujitsu says that all three keyboards use electrostatic capacitive key switches, while the Type-S keyboard’s switches have an extra “buffer” inside them to make it quieter. Previous HHKBs have used electrostatic switches produced by Topre, while the Type-S variants have used the silent versions of its switches. I’ve emailed Fujitsu to check if that’s still the case here.

The new keyboards are available in white or gray, and you can go for either dye-sublimated printed keycaps or entirely blank keycaps for extra nerd cred. Like the rest of the lineup, none of these keyboards come cheap. The non-Bluetooth Pro 3 Classic is the cheapest of the three at $217, while the Pro 3 Hybrid costs $264 and the Pro 3 Hybrid Type-S is $320. The HHKB Pro 3 lineup will be available from Fujitsu’s online store as well as other retailers like Amazon.