Old keys hold the secret to iPad fun

 

Say what you like about the wonders of tablet PCs, and Apple's ubiquitous iPad in particular, you might be able to video chat with your great aunt in Australia and play millions of games, but – when it comes to typing – a flat touchscreen lacks something. Notably the satisfying clunk of bashing on a keyboard.

And even a standard desktop keyboard can't compete with the classic crunch of pressing down a typewriter key.

One young engineer decided to combine the romance of the typewriter with new technology by converting vintage typewriters and digitally enhancing their keys so would-be Hemingways can crunch their typewriter keys and, lo, the words appear on their tablet which, pleasingly, moves right-to-left on the carriage. The custom machines are sold by Jack Zylkin on the vintage commerce site Etsy.com for a pricey £500, but have proved popular regardless.

Which may well be sobering news for Sir Jony Ive and co – no matter how light and iconic your products are, someone may still want to bolt a 10kg archaic machine to the bottom of it.

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