first_imgIf you follow the mechanical keyboard market at all (I know you’re out there!), you surely know about the two white whales of old-school input devices: the IBM M15 and the Cherry MX 5000 ErgoPlus. Both of these keyboards are known for selling at exorbitant prices in online auctions, but yesterday even the highest expectations were broken when four used MX 5000 keyboards sold on eBay for just under $9000.If $2247.22 per keyboard seems high to you, then you’re not alone. This is more than we’ve seen IBM’s M15 sell for (they have maxed out around $1600) and high for an MX 5000, though sales of these are exceedingly rare in the US. ISO models do sell in Europe more often, but this is certainly a rare keyboard, albeit one that does not regularly break the $1000 mark.Obviously supply and demand issues played a part here, as did a rabid set of collectors of mid-90s clicky keyboards, but what’s so special about the MX 5000? Foremost, it’s a split ergonomic keyboard, the only one Cherry ever produced. It’s also a tenkeyless keyboard (it lacks a number pad), which adds to the value with collectors, especially if you have the optional MX 5700 numberpad. It also uses Cherry’s brown MX switches, which are still popular today.While a failure in terms of sales when commercially available, the MX 5000 carries so much value because of its rarity, which is exacerbated by the fact that the split ergonomic design is prone to failure. Factor in that the keyboard stopped being sold in 1997, and there can’t be many of them left in the world — especially since many of the owners probably have no idea of the value of their 15-year-old, PS/2-powered, beige keyboard.The lot of four that just sold on eBay were used but apparently in great condition and still functional. The four did not include numberpads, but they did come with the original boxes, which is a major score for keyboard collectors.The buyer of the keyboard is not known, though is seems like at least two parties were very serious about owning these keyboards: Ebay’s records show that one of the people bid the keyboard up from $2511.21 to $8888.88 and then the winner won the auction for $100 more.Cherry MX 5000 with numberpad[image via demitsuriyu]last_img read more