After having used blanks for a few days I noticed it's occasionally quite handy to have legends. While they're not needed for typing it's often nice to confirm at a glance that one's pressing the right key. Because of this I'd like to try engraved keys (I hope they ship soon
, which do have a (subtle) legend, but still provide a cleaner look than normal legends. That's what I hope anyway, we'll see.Edit:
I just noticed that this week's forum restore (or whatever it was) brought back posts that were lost with last week's restore, however posts made since last week's restore are gone. Great. I did save one post in a text file, you can find it below (hopefully without the mistakes erw pointed out last week).
You could possibly bring the price down by ordering an existing keycap set, perhaps an 87 key set at $36.99 and the individual missing keys. The 104 set is an especially good deal at $39.99.
I checked out the prices with the 37, 87 and 104 key set from WASD, and it's definitely possible to save a few bucks with those if what you need is blank keys.
- 104 key set: costs $39.99, you'll need just 3 extra keys: 1 extra R1 1x1.25, 1 R1 1x2, 1 NumPadEnter for a total cost of $43.49
- 87 key set: costs $36.99, you'll need 10 extras: 1 R2, 4 R1, 1 R1 1x1.25, 2 R1 1x2, 2 NumPadEnter for a total cost of $47.74
- 37 key set: costs $19.99, you'll need 27 extras: 10 R4, 1 R2, 4 R1, 8 R1 1x1.25, 2 R1 1x2, 2 NumPadEnter for a total cost of $49.49
- 37 key set AND numpad set: together they cost $29.98, you'll need 16 extras: 6 R4, 8 R1 1x1.25, 1 R1 1x2, 1 NumPadEnter for a total cost of $44.23
These sets come with 2 keys with raised lines to mark the home position, which I included in the counts. If you don't like those small bumps you'll need 2 extra R2 keys. BTW the default font is Arial 8 pt, top left alignment (that's their modern
While a basic engraved/edged 104 set costs only $10 more, one would have to get a lot
of extra custom keys to complete a Kinesis Advantage set:
- A 3 and 8 R3 key for the num row
- The eight 1x1.25 R1 keys on the outer edges of the keyboard
- Four R1 keys in the bottommost row: `, Insert, [ and ] (I assume the arrows in the 104 set are R1, which would fit well)
- The four long thumb keys (two of which are usually sideways, so beware when lasering)
- The End and PageDown thumb keys (I assume the Home and PageUp keys are R4 in the 104 set)
That's 20 custom keys, at $7 each they'd cost a small fortune. This is the point where a customizable Kinesis Advantage set would come in really
US, Dvorak and Colemak are probably good starting points, but due to the easy "remappability" I guess many people have their own custom layout.
I guess this is a lot harder to do than a blank set, but I would definitely buy one (or two) if the price is reasonable.
Personally I ordered a black engraved Colemak 104 set, plus the missing keys as blanks. And I emailed all of this info to WASD.
A less expensive option which wouldn't require WASD to offer a Kinesis Advantage set would be to create a custom layout template
for a Kinesis Advantage (which could be adjusted for individual custom layouts) and use the Custom Keyboard Designer
to order key caps. When done right one would need only 3 extra custom keys (same as for the 104 set listed above). Cost would be $59.99 for the custom 104 key cap set, plus $21 for the 3 custom keys ($7 each).
If anyone is proficient with Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw this shouldn't be too much work. Basically all the R1 1x1.25 keys which are normally used for 2x Ctrl, 2x Command/Win, 2x Alt,