The Moto Z's slide-out keyboard mod has been canceled
No Droid for you.
Sean HollisterSenior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Though Livermorium raised over $160,000 in contributions on
for its Livermorium Keyboard
, the company's latest update posted Wednesday (as spotted by XDA-developers) lays out a laundry list of reasons for the decision -- including a lack of interest from retailers, the relatively low popularity of Moto Z
, issues with size and weight, and not having enough money to justify buying certain components in bulk.
It does raise the question, though -- wasn't Lenovo/Motorola supposed to be helping its mod partners with these things? It certainly seemed like an officially endorsed project back when we tried the keyboard mod at
That said, the prototypes we tried were still pretty awkward. Perhaps Lenovo decided to cut its losses early. Lenovo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the extent of its involvement in the project.
Either way, Livermorium says it will issue full refunds to any backers who ask. The company isn't shutting down, though. Founder Liangchen Chen says he's now looking to produce his own sliding-keyboard smartphone, and that backers who don't take the refund will get an early-bird discount on any eventual phone.
Up close with new Moto Mods: The Livermorium Keyboard Slider and Lenovo Vital