Down with laptops! Jaymis and I have both taken up SFF PCs as live tools, so we can bring some serious iron to gigs with multiple video outputs. Now, the only problem: laptops have these handy QWERTY keyboards attached. SFF PCs (and Mac minis and such) mean bringing your own keyboard and display.

I’ve been looking for the perfect keyboard to turn this into an advantage: why not a super-savvy QWERTY keyboard that’s a performance instrument in its own right? I think I’ve found it:

CES 2007: Luxeed Interactive Keyboard [Chip Chick]

Each key can be programmed with colors, interactively, to demarcate areas or individual keys. That should allow color feedback for keyboard shortcuts for your favorite programs (hello After Effects, Final Cut, etc.), but could also be programmed to make it easier to trigger video clips and effects using the keyboard in a performance. And responsive, live music skins could let you “pimp my VJ rig” to add a little bling to your next gig.

Most important for an SFF rig is having a basic mouse capability built into the keyboard; it looks like this keyboard (like many multimedia keyboards) sports cursor capabilities via a controller at the bottom right.

The Korean maker Luxeed hasn’t said anything yet about pricing or availability. Even if it doesn’t show up here in the US, maybe I can pick one up on my next Asian romp.

Any other tips for good QWERTY keyboards for live rigs? Must-have: some kind of mouse function. Nice to have: wireless, lighting.