Introduction

System76 is, at its core, a set of engineers and self-professed nerds based out of Colorado in the USA. The company prides itself on being independent from proprietary hardware, software and firmware, explaining the name that takes cues from the US Independence year of 1776. System76 is widely known in the Linux community for open-source computers and firmware, including its own operating system, a Linux Distribution called Pop!_OS, specifically designed with STEM professionals and content creators in mind. This open source philosophy has extended to the system integrator’s peripherals too, with the launch of new keyboards titled, well, Launch!

system76 launch configurable mechanical keyboard review
At the time of this review, System76 offers two keyboards, both the Launch, and the newer Launch Lite. We are taking a look at the larger 75% form factor Launch in this review, but effectively you also get a good impression regarding the 65% Launch Lite as well, since they share design language. The Launch is fully designed and manufactured in Colorado and this applies also to the keyboard’s open source firmware and hardware, whereby the company not only is happy with you customizing the keyboard as you desire, but encourages it. We also see some tweaks to contrast the Launch from other typical 75% keyboards, including a split space bar, indented rows towards the bottom, and even a large top bezel allowing for good I/O options too. There’s clearly a lot to go over here, so let’s begin this review by thanking System76 for providing a review sample to TechPowerUp.

Specifications

System76 Launch Mechanical Keyboard
Layout: 84-key, 75% form factor in a modified US ANSI layout
Material: Milled aluminium chassis, PBT plastic keycaps
Macro Support: Dependent on firmware used
Dimensions: 135 (L) x 306 (W) x 30 (H) mm
Weight: 950 g / 2.1 lbs
Wrist Rest: No
Anti-ghosting: Full N-Key rollover
Media Keys: Available as a layered function
Cable Length: 6 ft / 1.8 m
Software: Yes, open-source
Switch Type: Kailh Box Jade, Royal, Silent Pink or Silent Brown Switches
Backlighting: Yes, 16.8 M per-key RGB lighting
Interface: USB
Warranty: One year, 3-year optional extra

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