geekhack Community > Ergonomics

VHD Designer Keyboard is better than 98% of split board?

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vexchow:
It is called Designer Keyboard.

Split BLE QMK ergo Keyboard!

PRETTY
VHD Form Study
VHD Optimisation Design
Thin Edge Slim
Small and Light

POWER
Two-handed Work Style
Module System With Pro Stand
Incredible Logic Board
QMK Programmable

COMFORT
Ergonomic Design
48 and 68 Keys
Split Design
Cherry Mx Switches

https://www.vexc-how-design.com/overview

2021-04-13 update
Batch 1 & 2 were sold out. Thanks so much!

-Jerry-:
It's a nice enough design, if a little plain. I'm curious about how the project is going to progress, as I can see you had an uncuccessful kickstarter for it last year.

From what I can see, you've priced this fairly highly and I'd possibly consider it too expensive for what I see. The 68-key version you're showing on your site with a proposed price of 466 (inc VAT) not including the stands and that it's a 3D printed case. When you consider that you can get an ErgoDox Ez, with tilt kit, wrist rests, LEDs, for 265, so yes, I'm a little concerned that you've priced too highly. Granted, it's an inverted curve, which there aren't many of, which increases complexity, and yes, you've got BLE, etc., but that's 200 more for a 3D printed model. I don't know that I could personally justify that. I can see that you took advice from the previous interest check you made to add QMK support this time, which is good, at least.

vexchow:
Hi Jerry,

Thanks for you are interested in my project.
After kickstarter, I try to upgrade the Designer Keyboard, so I redesign the hardware and software.

Some people said it is expensive, and others told me can't imagine... it is so cheap!
As you said, Designer Keyboard has split bluetooth, concave finger Area and match with pro stand for no travelling and two-hand work style. Hard to find some similar functions like that, therefore some fans love it very much!
Ergodox EZ is wired, flat, and easy to find some similar functions keyboard for it.

I show you one example.
EarPods - Wired - 29 vs Airpod Pro - Split Bluetooth -250

And more examples.
MALTRON - Wired, concave finger Area - 435
Keymouse - 3D printed case, Split Bluetooth, Flat, with mouse - USD 599-725

Designer Keyboard 68 pre-order - 466(inc tax), up to 100 off, and 10% of the profit will be donated to NHS and Hong Kong Watch.

And we offer 2 models keyboard and 8 versions for Pro Stand this time.
Therefore, 3D printed case is suited for small batch production.
If many people buy it, we will upgrade to injection molding case in the future.

Thanks, I am happy to take good advice for making good design!

jamster:
I could be wrong, but BT split concave cases seem to be very rare. A significant premium for BT doesn't seem unreasonable.

More to the point though is whether there is demand for wireless in this already sub, sub niche of the keyboard market. BT seems to be a popular thing that people keep asking for in the mech board market,
but when I started a thread several months ago asking whether people really use their small keyboards in a portable fashion, only one person mentioned that they really required portability. The rest of the respondents were firmly deskbound to one location. This led me to conclude that people clamouring for Bluetooth are more interested in aesthetics than really needing the functionality to carry around and use with phones or tablets, so paying an extra $150 or so might not make sense for many prospective buyers.

The design with the rests for other devices is definitely very cool.

-Jerry-:

--- Quote from: vexchow on Wed, 05 August 2020, 22:04:37 ---Some people said it is expensive, and others told me can't imagine... it is so cheap!
As you said, Designer Keyboard has split bluetooth, concave finger Area and match with pro stand for no travelling and two-hand work style. Hard to find some similar functions like that, therefore some fans love it very much!
Ergodox EZ is wired, flat, and easy to find some similar functions keyboard for it.
--- End quote ---

I can't argue that it's concave and there aren't many of those, though that since you can get a built-to-order Dactyl/Manuform for 257, I still maintain my point that the price is too high. Yes, those aren't bluetooth, but regarding portability and weight, I'm personally not sure that (as Jamster mentions) many people are looking for one to travel with. From experience, taking split beyboards to and from work ended up being so annoying that I just bought a second one for home. Regardless of weight, their shape makes them awkward to stick in a bag compared to a standard shaped board.


--- Quote from: vexchow on Wed, 05 August 2020, 22:04:37 ---I show you one example.
EarPods - Wired - 29 vs Airpod Pro - Split Bluetooth -250

--- End quote ---

I'd call this a false equivalence, firstly you've got Wired vs Top-Tier Wireless - Apple's entry level Airpods are only 150, not 250. That's besides the point though, because I've purchased AirPod alternatives for 30 that have BT5 LE and wireless charging - it's never fair to equate things to Apple pricing. So I'd contest that adding Bluetooth does not in fact raise the cost by 200, nowhere near that. It looks like you're using something similar to an Adafruit Feather for the controller, which adds maybe 20 to the cost compared to standard pro-micros. Then you've got a battery as well, but those aren't all that expensive. I figure an extra 50 over the parts price of a non-BT keyboard.


--- Quote from: vexchow on Wed, 05 August 2020, 22:04:37 ---And more examples.
MALTRON - Wired, concave finger Area - 435
Keymouse - 3D printed case, Split Bluetooth, Flat, with mouse - USD 599-725

--- End quote ---

I'd contest that this is also false equivalence, what you're showing here. You can't really compare to Maltron because A) their keyboard are battleship sized slabs with far more buttons and B) they don't actually make split keyboards - you'd be looking at 295 though, not 435, for one of their single-hand keyboards, designed to be used with just one hand, if buying new.

I will grant you that the KeyMouse IS more expensive, you're looking at about 500 for their midrange. That's only 34 more expensive than your board though, has more keys, and has a trackball built in to each hand, which makes them significantly more complex. They also use an RF connection between the two halves so that they stay synced. I can't see that you've mentioned anywhere how yours will talk to each other?



--- Quote from: jamster on Thu, 06 August 2020, 02:20:16 ---I could be wrong, but BT split concave cases seem to be very rare. A significant premium for BT doesn't seem unreasonable.

--- End quote ---

You're right, they're pretty rare, I would argue against BT adding a significant premium though. You're looking at a BT compatible SOC for the controller and a battery, if you take that into account for both sides of the keyboard, I don't see it justifying that much of a price premium, if I'm honest.


--- Quote from: jamster on Thu, 06 August 2020, 02:20:16 ---The design with the rests for other devices is definitely very cool.

--- End quote ---

I agree with this, at least, that is quite cool, though I'm not sure how practical I'd find it on the day-to-day.


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