Tom’s Hardware reviews the new Adafruit KB2040 custom keyboard creator board #Keyboards #RaspberryPi @tomshardware
Tom’s Hardware looks at the Adafruit KB2040, aimed at custom keyboard makers.
Adafruit’s latest RP2040 based board is a departure from form factors such as its Feather RP2040, ItsyBitsy and QT Py. The $9 KB2040 is designed to mimic the form factor and pin layout of Arduino’s Pro Micro microcontroller boards. But why? The Arduino Pro Micro is often used to create custom user interface devices, keyboards. KB2040 aims to bring CircuitPython into this popular maker project, and open up a world of possibilities via its Stemma QT connector.
In the past, the Arduino Pro Micro was favored. Given its small size, low cost and pin density it was used to create a multitude of USB HID devices. The Arduino IDE isn’t difficult to learn, but if you favor Python, then KB2040 is your best choice. KB2040 is pin and size compatible with the Arduino Pro Micro which means we can create upto 100 key keyboards and reuse existing DIY keyboard chassis.
The Adafruit KB2040 is niche, it is there for the keyboard builders amongst us. The form factor and pin layout means that we can drop this into an existing build and run with it. The Stemma QT connector is a huge draw. Sure we lose a few GPIO pins for our keyboard matrix but we gain easy access to a plethora of enhancements.
The 8MB of QSPI flash storage means we can store plenty of CircuitPython libraries, necessary for use with Stemma QT components. If you are building your first, or your next keyboard, then KB2040 is a cost effective way to get good quality hardware and support from a big name company. If you just need an RP2040 board for hacks, then seriously consider KB2040, because it also works as a generic hobbyist maker board.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.