Keyboards

We use our computers six or seven hours a day. And yet we interact with them on $5 commodity keyboards. I think it's worth the time (in research) and the money to get yourself a good keyboard. But the search for "the right keyboard" has side-effects, the most noticeable being the good keyboards that were bought and discarded during the search for the right keyboard.

What constitutes a great keyboard? Start with ergonomics, which means vertical rows of keys (none of that nasty, bad for the wrists left-over left-slanted keys) and a centre split. Ideally, the keys should also be in a curved key well to compensate for the different lengths of the fingers. And the thumbs - our strongest fingers - should be used for more than just pushing the space bar. The curved key wells gets you into a very expensive manufacturing space, and the only people doing it are Maltron and Kinesis. Of the two, I think the Kinesis is better. It's also cheaper (although far from cheap). I'd accept a good flat keyboard with hand separation, vertical rows, and more thumb keys: the Ergodox was a valiant effort, but had some significant issues. I've tried a couple others, but they were both badly built and didn't get significant traction.

I currently own four Kinesis Advantage keyboards: two for home (one is getting old), one for work, and an older one I picked up cheap at a computer junk store (currently having a near-death experience). These are my primary keyboards. Two of them have been altered to use Cherry Blue keyswitches (they arrive with Cherry Browns). My second choice keyboards if I can't lay hands on a Kinesis Advantage are the CoolerMaster QuickFire (which has the Cherry Blue keyswitches) and the IBM Model M (with the notoriously loud and truly awesome buckling spring keyswitches). (Evidently key feel trumps ergonomics for me.)


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Last modified 20170304 by giles