Unicomp New Model M review

By | August 24, 2023

Are you old enough to remember the eighties? Well, truth be told, I’m not. But, what if you yearn to experience the heyday of mechanical keyboards, just with some modern flourishes? Surely that can’t be done. Well, the New Model M from Unicomp may well just challenge that perception, providing a classic typing experience with the usual creature comforts of lock lights and Windows keys.

Alright, things aren’t actually quite as simple as they seem. Unicomp aren’t just some whipper-snapping start-up who make revised editions of old keyboards. Oh no. They’re actually a bunch of old IBM and Lexmark employees who for the last fifteen years and over have been making modernised IBM Model M boards with pretty much identical tooling to the originals in Lexington, Kentucky. 

So, this isn’t just any modernised keyboard; it’s a faithful sequel to the original IBM Model M that was their companion to their PCs from the mid eighties to late nineties. And that means it’s got buckling springs inside! For those unfamiliar, a bucking spring switch is exactly what it says: a user pushes a spring down that then buckles, causing an input to be sent through the wires to the computer. This takes the meaning of mechanical to a whole other level. 

Unicomp New Model M keyboard on a countertop

(Image credit: Future)

New Model M specs

Switches: Buckling Springs
Layout: ANSI/ISO
Backlight: None (apart from locklights)
Rollover: None
Polling rate: N/A
Keycaps: PBT Dye-sub
Connection: Wired USB Type-A
Discrete media controls: No
Price: $104 (£130)