Author Topic: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?  (Read 806 times)

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Offline ksm123

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Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 02:06:19 »
Can anyone point me to a keyboard with the following properties:

  • Smaller distance between keys (i.e. 75 % of normal).
  • ANSI layout in alpha section
  • AltGr in its usual place on the right side of space
  • Keys with some kind of tactile response, rubber domes allowed
  • Available in EU or through AliExpress
  • Reliable; every key-press registers on the first try, and no accidental doubles

I want to teach my son to touch type, but he simply does not have the reach for regular adult board yet.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 19:28:22 »
You won't get anything mechanical in that form factor because the switches tend to be the same size as the keycaps, they can't squish together any closer (or at least that much).

Now your second problem is you need something smaller, most of them ARE HORRIBLE.
Very few rubber domes are good, even scissor switch keyboards can be bad, but once you you get into odd sizes you wind up with non-standard parts and they cab be absolutely horrible and this can be worse for a child since it can take an inordinate amount of pressure to press them.

I'm no typing expert by any means but my advice is to let him grow into a normal keyboard because if he starts on something small it will throw him off later when he needs to change to a normal keyboard.
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Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 20:01:21 »
I had my son start learning on a TKL, just moved him up to my CM Pro S so I could harvest the Otemu Blues from his $25 HCMan I got off of Amazon.

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Offline ksm123

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 02:46:45 »
You won't get anything mechanical in that form factor because the switches tend to be the same size as the keycaps, they can't squish together any closer (or at least that much).

This is what I expected, going with Cherry ML would make spacing a little denser but only 5-6%, but any smaller is firmly in RD territory.
(on the other hand, I've used Sun's type 5 and type 6 keyboards, so I know that not all rubber domes are hideous).

Quote
Now your second problem is you need something smaller, most of them ARE HORRIBLE.
Very few rubber domes are good, even scissor switch keyboards can be bad, but once you you get into odd sizes you wind up with non-standard parts and they cab be absolutely horrible and this can be worse for a child since it can take an inordinate amount of pressure to press them.

Unfortunately this coincides with my experience of netbook keyboards of 2007-2011 era. This is why I've asked for this forum's advice.

Quote
I'm no typing expert by any means but my advice is to let him grow into a normal keyboard because if he starts on something small it will throw him off later when he needs to change to a normal keyboard.

I'm no expert too, but my experience with netbook keyboards suggests that it is much harder to adjust to layout differences than to slight scaling of keyboard (unless of course keyboards becomes too cramped or too large for particular typist).

I had my son start learning on a TKL, just moved him up to my CM Pro S so I could harvest the Otemu Blues from his $25 HCMan I got off of Amazon.

My kid uses Razer's Black Widow with MX Blue, but it was just a spare board laying around.
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 May 2021, 02:53:57 by ksm123 »

Offline Volny

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 05:01:11 »
I too question the value of pushing him to develop perfect muscle memory in something only for it to be thwarted a year or two later.

If you really want him touch typing at age seven (I don't know why, though perhaps you're hoping to cultivate a future speed typing champion and are trying to get him ahead of the pack early) then I would think that learning on a real keyboard might be best. It won't kill him to move his hands a few centimetres to reach the further keys. Surely the goal isn't to set speed records, but simply to teach him to use certain fingers for certain keys, which he can do whether his hands are stationary or moving.

Though I personally think you're doing great just for the mere fact that your 7 year old actually knows what a keyboard is.

Offline jamster

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 06:36:34 »
My kids just use standard TKLs. It never even occurred to me to look for a 'smaller' keyboard because the selection would be close to non-existent, any any boards that did exist would probably just suck. Kids can adapt to just about anything, no reason they can't use normal keyboards at that age (especially as a lot of them are on laptops/Chromebooks).

My older kid since 7 has been mainly using either an EC TKL and occasionally a fulsize Model M. He prefers the M, but it's a bit noisy for daily use. He did try an Atreus for several days but needed more keys.

Oh, and Mavis Beacon is pretty much still the best typing tutor that I have been able to find.
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 May 2021, 06:38:42 by jamster »


Offline ksm123

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 09:02:56 »
ERGODOX,  gotta start early.

He won't be using my ErgoDox before I build a 3D ergo board for myself.
I use my ErgoDox to earn my bread.

Offline jamster

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 09:28:01 »
Anything too weird and cut down is pointless for kids. Around this age they are getting into things like Minecraft, which make use of function keys.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 11:02:55 »
I had my son start learning on a TKL, just moved him up to my CM Pro S so I could harvest the Otemu Blues from his $25 HCMan I got off of Amazon.

You're the second person this week I've noticed mentioning harvesting Outemu blues from a cheap Amazon board. Is it really worth it when box switches are already so affordable? It seems like a lot of work for switches you can buy for almost nothing anyway, if you preferred them to the box family, and can just give the Chinesium board to somebody that's never tried a mechanical before or something.
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 May 2021, 13:17:26 by Maledicted »

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 13:10:31 »
ERGODOX,  gotta start early.

He won't be using my ErgoDox before I build a 3D ergo board for myself.
I use my ErgoDox to earn my bread.

You've answered ur own question ksm,  m0ar Ergodox = m0ar bread.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 13:32:26 »
ERGODOX,  gotta start early.
I've also been thinking, that if the purpose is to teach him proper touch-typing with each finger for a column,  then maybe it would be best to use a keyboard which does encourage typing in columns.

There are several DIY mechanical keyboards with Kailh Choc switches, made for Kailh Choc keycaps with key spacing that is a little smaller than standard ... and most of these keyboards do happen to be split columnar ergo.

However, most of these tend to have three rows only, making you depend on modifiers. Most of them also have sandwich construction that are open to the sides, and lack tenting kit, but maybe if you're handy you could construct a good case yourself.

(But don't give him an ortholinear/"matrix" keyboard: those are bollocks...)
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 May 2021, 13:49:07 by Findecanor »
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
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Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 14:33:25 »
I had my son start learning on a TKL, just moved him up to my CM Pro S so I could harvest the Otemu Blues from his $25 HCMan I got off of Amazon.

You're the second person this week I've noticed mentioning harvesting Outemu blues from a cheap Amazon board. Is it really worth it when box switches are already so affordable? It seems like a lot of work for switches you can buy for almost nothing anyway, if you preferred them to the box family, and can just give the Chinesium board to somebody that's never tried a mechanical before or something.

It's something to keep me busy and honing my de-soldering skills, plus I've had the board since my son was 1 (had a good run).  I just snagged a pack of 70 Navy's while NK_ had them on clearance (ended up swapping some of my linears for them - as my FN and Capslock switches).   Also I have a ton of MX Browns laying around from other boards too that I could repurposed for the Chinesium board.

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1830
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Keyboard for a 7 year old kid?
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 16:23:25 »
I had my son start learning on a TKL, just moved him up to my CM Pro S so I could harvest the Otemu Blues from his $25 HCMan I got off of Amazon.

You're the second person this week I've noticed mentioning harvesting Outemu blues from a cheap Amazon board. Is it really worth it when box switches are already so affordable? It seems like a lot of work for switches you can buy for almost nothing anyway, if you preferred them to the box family, and can just give the Chinesium board to somebody that's never tried a mechanical before or something.

It's something to keep me busy and honing my de-soldering skills, plus I've had the board since my son was 1 (had a good run).  I just snagged a pack of 70 Navy's while NK_ had them on clearance (ended up swapping some of my linears for them - as my FN and Capslock switches).   Also I have a ton of MX Browns laying around from other boards too that I could repurposed for the Chinesium board.

Navies are probably a great idea for modifiers you don't want to hit by mistake, nice. I guess it is probably more about getting the Outemus out of the way for something else then. I think they're in this weird golden zone of price/performance value for clicky switches that I don't see much reason to not just leave Outemu blue boards the way they come. They're nice enough to type on that I don't feel a need to replace them but I don't have any desire to really swap them to any other boards either.