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SNKB-M2021-SSK-87

Notes

This is an engineering sample (serial #2021001) given to me by Unicomp for critical testing. This keyboard was featured in an article about my time with it and what issues I raised with Unicomp. As a summary; compared to the final release version, this prototype runs prerelease firmware that is less effective at stopping phantom key generation, came with keys with minor legend alignment issues, and an issue where the controller board can be moved from applying pressure to the USB port.

Original specs/details

Full Name
Unicomp Mini Model M
Part Number
UB40E7A
Type
Model M Space Saving Keyboard
Nickname
SSK
Switches
IBM membrane buckling springs
Feet
Single-setting flip-out feet
Protocol
HID
Connection
Cable
Cable
Black straight detachable Type A USB to Type A USB
Form Factor
Tenkeyless
Production Date
2021-01-26
Acquisition Date
2021-02-04

About this keyboard type

The Space Saving Keyboard (SSK) were the tenkeyless and compacted version of the IBM Enhanced Keyboards originally available as an option for the IBM Personal System/2 series of computers. These are perhaps the most well-known Model M variant besides the Enhanced Keyboard. The fact that they weren't bundled with any systems and numeric keypads were viewed more favourably during the '80s, SSKs are relatively rare. As an attempt to provide an alternative to the loss of the numeric keypad, a togglable numeric keypad layer is present across the right side of the alphanumeric keys. They have since been spiritually succeeded by the Unicomp Mini Model M, which compared to the SSK feature a Type-A USB based module cable, lock-lights, black casing, Windows/GUI keys, and an upgraded membrane design.

Typing demo