geekhack Community > Ergonomics

ISO or ANSI?

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Pookeyhead:
Hello... I'm new here.  In fact, I'm just new...  not even bought anything yet, but am sick of rubbish "Gaming" keyboards.

My question is regarding ANSI va ISO.  It's not really a "which is best" question in the usual sense, as I am prepared to get used to whatever one I decide upon, and then stick with it. The question is more about whether choosing an ISO format keyboard imposed limits on its ability to be customised in future. I searched some similar threads, but they all seemed to be about which is best for typing on. As my typing is terrible, and I'm also planning to learn to type properly, I can get used to anything.

Obviously not all keycaps have ISO extras included, so I suppose I am asking "What would you do?".  Get an ISO for ease of transition from my current board, or go ANSI to give myself far more future options with regard to choosing parts?  Conversely, not all keyboards have ISO options either..  in fact, from what I can tell, almost all custom boards I've seen in GBs are ANSI.

I think I know what the answer will be, but being new to all of this, I'd like to weigh my opinions against those of people who are further into the rabbit hole.  At the moment, I'm merely teetering on the edge.

Thanks in advance.

_rubik:
I think the answer is and will always be: "whatever works best for you is preferable".

If you're swapping between multiple keyboards often at work or school, sticking with the most common layout is probably best. If you only ever use your and your keyboard alone, I'd pick ANSI.

Other things to consider: How important is customization to you? Do other people use your computer / keyboards? Do you buy ANSI or ISO laptops (again, you'll be swapping between the two)?

Granted this is coming from someone who has only ever used ANSI... so grain of salt... but you're always going to have more flexibility with ANSI boards.

Pookeyhead:

--- Quote from: _rubik on Sat, 28 August 2021, 16:23:55 ---but you're always going to have more flexibility with ANSI boards.

--- End quote ---

This was my thinking. I just wanted to be sure. I've literally been researching this for less than a day, but I was already starting to realise that most boards were ANSI. I can only imagine that at some time in the future...  probably sooner rather than later, I will be tempted to go into a GB on something nice...  I'm already liking the Odin board, but that's a bit much for my first foray into this...  so thinking longer term, I think I'll get used to ANSI.

Thanks for confirming my own thoughts.

David.

ideus:
You can have both of either and keep one at the office and one at home. The real question is what do you prefer. Down the road, you will always find reasons to keep what you already have and other reasons to get what you do not have.

ergonaut:
Since you posted this in the ergonomics subforum: Are you interested in the ergonomic aspects of ISO vs ANSI?

If so, I'd have to say that both layouts are super sh!tty in terms of ergonomics, but ANSI is a tiny bit less sh!tty than ISO, due to little details like the bigger left shift key and the closer-to-home enter key.

So if you have to have one of the two, I'd recommend ANSI.

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