Every now and then something comes along that just catches your eye, something so strange and unusual that it has to warrant your attention. The SteamPunk Laptop and other Richard Nagy – aka Datamancer – projects are just that cool. Datamancer has manged to produce a laptop that looks like its steam driven or as if this is a clock work laptop from the Jule Vern’s Time Machine. Styled to look like a Victorian age music box the SteamPunk Laptop is that fascinating balance of old and new, elegance and function living in harmony. After receiving literally thousands of inquiries Datamancer has announced the SteamPunk laptop is going into production.
First built in November 2007 as a one-of-a kind design by Richard ‘Datamancer’ Nagy the SteamPunk Laptop blew everyone away, computer mod’ers and SteamPunk fans were fascinated from the get go. There was even much mainstream press at the time. Appearances included Wired, Wall Street Journals and the Boston Globe. The updated new old style laptop will be a more compact design and use revamped internals. While the internal hardware on a stylized laptop such as this may be secondary the new design will include the latest computing technology allowing the “running any of today’s games,” according Nagy.
Opening of the laptops clock work lid reveals a wood, brass and leather keyboard that could have come from the control panel of a great steam train like the Flying Scotsman – one of the greatest steam loco’s ever -.
The keys are pure Jules Verne but have a high-tech twist with backlight’s highlighting the letter on the key. All the normal ports are exposed and the DVD player even pops out of the side with its wooden finish allowing it to just blend in when not in use. The steampunk influence flows through to the laptops core, turning on the machine requires two cranks of the clock work mechanism with a key, the key itself is a large clock work key that continues the mechanical age theme.
This isn’t Datamancers only foray into Victorian Era hardware, the SteamPunk keyboards are also amazing works of art. Don’t be confused the keyboards aren’t $20 cheap imports with a new case, Datamancer hand makes them to the customers specs using mechanical key mechanisms that will last longer than any hack using them. With 18 spectacular examples of the possibilities shown on the website you may see your interpretation of the über keyboard there already. The Scrabble keyboard is worth checking out if you have a scrabble nut in the family, initially the bulky style catches your eye, looking like a cave man keyboard. Then you realize the keys are actual scrabble pieces and the look of the keyboard falls into place. The scrabble keyboard is probably the least SteamPunk of all, the other keyboards like The Aviator are more purest SteamPunk with their mechanical type-writer feel. Except for the usb lead it would be easy to mistake these for an old-school type-writer and try to feed paper in somewhere.
“It’s about the mixture of form and function,” Nagy explains. “It seems like the Victorian age emphasized the two so beautifully, whereas our more modern technology balances function over form.”
These hand-built works of functional art won’t be cheap, the first batch can be pre-ordered now for $5,500 USD, the price of the second batch will increase to $7,500 USD so it pays to get in early. Here at Highpants we love the a well executed contradiction and this is a beautiful contradiction in motion. A work of art that you can Facebook and tweet on, does it get any better than that.
More information at Datamancers page
Buddha’s Brother out…