M-Audio has released its USB-powered, 22-lb., 88-key semi-weighted keyboard, the Keystation88es; list US$299.

What? You're as confused by M-Audio's revamped product names as I am? Here's the new lineup:

  • Keystation es: Semi-weighted, no knobs; 49, 61, 88 keys
  • Keystation Pro: One 88-key, fully weighted 'hammer action' keyboard with a control surface (knobs and faders)
  • Radium and Oxygen: Semi-weighted with 8 faders; 25 keys (Oxygen), 49 or 61 keys (Radium)
  • Ozone and Ozonic: Controller plus audio interface; the Ozone is
    an Oxygen with audio I/O packed in, while its new apparent replacement,
    the Ozonic, adds more controls and bumps key count from 25 to 37
  • O2: Slim-line USB controller; looks mysteriously like an Oxygen that was driven over by a truck or, if you prefer, an Edirol PCR-M1

isn't that better? The bottom line for me is, while I like having knobs
and faders handy, the "es" semi-weighted models are the most playable;
the others are serviceable but may not satisfy a real keyboard player.
So the 88es, at 22 lbs., could be just perfect. Stay tuned.