Author Topic: Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard Layout Question  (Read 16537 times)

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Offline teroteki

  • Posts: 7
Re: Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard Layout Question
« Reply #50 on: Wed, 22 May 2013, 21:54:05 »
  • Split in two pieces -- to echo previous sentiments, no two people are shaped the same way, so providing this level of inherent customizability is invaluable, as it enables the device to conform to the user rather than forcing the user to conform to the device. I would also suggest that it might be worth investigating a dedicated controller for each of them so that the user isn't limited by the connecting wire's length (such as the Kinesis Freestyle does) and would enable two player arcade-style gaming, with each player getting their own "controller". I really cannot oversell this feature enough.
  • Thumb clusters -- enabling one's thumbs to do more than just insert spaces would be nice. If you can figure out a way to do it well without interfering with the buttons, PSX style thumbsticks could be awesome.
  • Programmable -- ideally at a hardware level, so that if I want to use an alternate (or game specific) key layout and/or include non-english letters (so I can easily search for Blümchen), I can still switch machines (or show it off at a friend's house) without messing around with drivers/custom software. Failing that, including a way to back up the configuration to internal keyboard flash memory to enable an easy import/export to the software layer would be a close second
  • Blank (or stealth) keycaps -- to go right along with the aforementioned customizability/international appeal.
  • No keypad -- it just gets in the way. For those that enjoy it, I would suggest offering a nice mechanical keypad such as this, or potentially something that could double as a supplementary game controller, similar to the Razer Nostromo.
  • Vertical columns, staggered rows -- similar to the truly ergonomic keyboard
  • 3d/contoured -- I'd find it nice, but not a priority
  • Switch variety -- ideally as many different colors of cherry switches as possible, but as this is gamer-oriented, I'd say prefer red/brown/blue
  • Don't "just copy" anything -- There isn't an ergonomic mechanical keyboard aimed at gamers out there yet, so your offering deserves to be its own creation

I completely agree with everything you've mentioned and would buy a keyboard such as this in an instant!
I would however question your suggestion of not including a keypad? I think that a keypad could be easily implemented by having a Function key placed somewhere around the thumb area?
Allowing a Function-Number Pad would open up a huge amount of hotkeys - great for both games and applications.

Offline xmagusx

  • Posts: 130
  • Location: Texas
  • QWERTY is hateful.
    • The Ergonomic Zone
Re: Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard Layout Question
« Reply #51 on: Mon, 27 May 2013, 13:25:51 »
I completely agree with everything you've mentioned and would buy a keyboard such as this in an instant!
I would however question your suggestion of not including a keypad? I think that a keypad could be easily implemented by having a Function key placed somewhere around the thumb area?
Allowing a Function-Number Pad would open up a huge amount of hotkeys - great for both games and applications.
A Fn/Lock key could be quite nice, agreed, and I'd be good with that type of keypad implementation. More that I thought that if the keyboard is going to be split anyway, having a keypad strapped to the side seemed like it would simply get in the way and create more space that one would have to reach over in order to get to one's mouse/trackball.

Offline tiarnachutch

  • Posts: 12
  • Location: Issaquah, WA
Re: Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard Layout Question
« Reply #52 on: Mon, 27 May 2013, 15:47:57 »
just copy that design, really you're copying a microsoft 4k, but it's the best "one piece" design out there, the slight tenting is great, the faux leather curve is awesome and the decline is a must have!

I will force feed money to the first company that offers a TKL mechanical keyboard /w my choice of MX switch similar to the 4k.  I would buy at least 3.
If you can integrate a trackpoint or touchpad while you're at it, that would be great.
Home: IBM Model M (1991)
Work: WASD with Cherry MX Blues, Microsoft Ergonomic 4000, Goldtouch v1

Offline davkol

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  • Posts: 4994
Re: Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard Layout Question
« Reply #53 on: Mon, 27 May 2013, 16:19:24 »
I will force feed money to the first company that offers a TKL mechanical keyboard /w my choice of MX switch similar to the 4k.  I would buy at least 3.
If you can integrate a trackpoint or touchpad while you're at it, that would be great.

I'm pretty sure I've seen something like Adesso PCK-308B, but with ALPS switches.

Offline kittykatmax

  • Posts: 157
  • Location: United States
Re: Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard Layout Question
« Reply #54 on: Mon, 24 June 2013, 13:03:14 »
It’s The World’s Best RSI Keyboard, And You Can’t Buy It: http://www.emailbattles.com/2006/04/24/other_aadehidhca_ia/

My favorite ergonomic keyboard is the long-discontinued (it was originally released in 1993) ergoLogic/Key Tronic FlexPro - the way you can click the inner sides of the split space bar when angling the keyboard feels natural/comfortable and was just ingenious.  I love the fact that you can customize the actual angles of the keyboard halves with so much flexibility (I used it cranked all the way up).  It was fairly trivial to change it to a "flat" keyboard if someone needed to use my computer.   The fully adjustable palm-rests shown on the bottom keyboard in the photo (they adjust not just left/right, but in height) are great, but they're probably not mandatory.  The only thing I hate is the wobbliness of the raised platforms, which is particularly lousy/annoying for gaming; I'm an avid WoW player, which is why I have a "new" FlexPro sitting in a box instead of at my desk.  :(  The beige color is dated (although I hate black keyboards as IMHO they look cheap and show dust too much), but I love the dark metallic gray you use on the QFR with Cherry MX Blues - hint, hint.



I personally enjoy the crispness of white LED back-lighting, but I'll admit it's not a priority in an ergonomic keyboard - especially if it drives up the price.  For me, what is more important than lighting is that the keyboard doesn't wind up with ugly, semi-worn off key cap lettering - which is already becoming an eyesore on my QFR, and it's less than four months old. :(  No it doesn't affect functionality, but it looks like heck when you aren't actually typing, and it's shameful that it's happening on a pricier keyboard.  If CM can't improve the durability of the key cap print, offering the keyboard in a "stealth" version would make that a moot point (I suddenly find a back-lit "stealth" keyboard a REALLY intriguing concept, lol).  Also please consider offering a longer, braided USB cable - the one on my QFR could stand to be at least 6-8" longer.  Or at least pretty please offer longer braided cables "after market".  I know I can buy any old micro usb cable, but once you use braided cables it's tough to go back and extension cables seem to cause issues.

If something with the same functionality as my beloved FlexPro (ability to set custom keyboard angle and the dual space-bar activation functionality) could be designed in a physically split, matrix layout, tenkeyless option (ability to buy a coordinating mechanical keypad that isn't a financial rip-off would rock) with cherry mx browns or reds and soft o-rings..../drools.  Heck, if you can create a knock off that eliminates the wobbles and uses your metallic gray finish, with an update to PS2/USB, I'd still buy one in a heartbeat - even if it was a crappy membrane keyboard.   

Media keys, or at least volume up/down/mute would be a bonus but are not a dealbreaker.  At least one USB port (preferably 2) would be terrific.  I don't know why they aren't the standard for EVERY wired keyboard.

If you're curious about the FlexPro's spacebar or the keyboard in general, I'll loan you mine if you pay for shipping and promise to send it back.   The Flex Pro wasn't a financial success, but it originally retailed for $400, which most people would be loathe to pay even now.  Ergonomics (and "different" keyboard designs) were a much tougher sell back then, as were expensive keyboards in general.
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