Computer keyboards typically prioritize utility over aesthetics. However, there are now fresh designs that offer more visually appealing options without changing the standard layout. Some designs even aim to create a completely different character for keyboards while maintaining functionality, resulting in products that are both artistic and engineering feats. For example, the all-metal “Icebreaker” keyboard takes a radical approach by simplifying the design to its bare essentials, drawing inspiration from the iconic steel-framed building in New York City.

Early computer keyboards had a chunky wedge shape, not for looks but for ergonomics. This natural incline made typing more comfortable, though designers might not have realized it at the time. Today, keyboards use foldable stands to replicate this incline, catering to different preferences and modern designs.

The Icebreaker keyboard fully embraces the wedge shape, taking it to an extreme. It’s more like a triangle than a wedge, with a sharp angle facing the user, giving it a sharp appearance reminiscent of chopping wood or breaking ice. The inclined plane naturally positions your hands at a fixed angle, but unlike older keyboards, this design includes built-in wrist support. When viewed from certain angles, like standing upright on one side, it resembles the Fuller “Flatiron” Building in New York, known for its unique shape resembling a clothes iron.

The keyboard, like the building, is entirely made of aluminum, even the keycaps. Unlike regular keycaps, these are fully concave circles. What’s unique is that the marks on the keys are not in the middle but at the corners, made with 300-micron micro-perforations. There are no other markings, colors, or backlighting on the keyboard, giving it an industrial look close to brutalism due to its raw metal appearance.

The Icebreaker isn’t just for looks; it has a unique feature not found on most keyboards. There’s a programmable dial on the left side, handy for creators who often navigate menus and options. It’s an intriguing piece of computer gear, especially visually. Its usability and ergonomics, though, will need to be evaluated once it’s available for purchase.