Author Topic: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard  (Read 7464 times)

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Offline angelic_sedition

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Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« on: Mon, 02 February 2015, 09:55:09 »
Despite how expensive it is to import, I'm pretty interested in the Esrille. I wanted to know if anyone here had any experience with one. I'm interested in keyboards with this sort of thumb cluster as opposed to the one the Ergodox. The Diverge also caught my attention, but that seems a little more risky and I don't think it's currently for sale?

I want a mechanical split (at least space in between two halves if one piece) ergonomic keyboard. I'd also like to be able to use it with tmk firmware and very high (>25) key rollover if possible. I've found out that the Esrille has a PIC18F4550. It has its own firmware, but does anyone here who understands tmk know if it would be possible to port?

I'm also interested in the keyboard.io but less sure of the thumb keys. Have the dimensions been decided on? The Esrille has a real size print out, which is nice. Is there a good reason to wait for the keyboardio (besides price)? Does anyone have any other recommendations? I almost bought an Ergodox twice, but assembly wasn't offered, and I was pretty unsure about the thumb cluster.

Picture:
« Last Edit: Wed, 04 February 2015, 19:11:04 by angelic_sedition »
QWERTY(104wpm) -> CarpalxQ(modded) -> Colemak(118wpm) -> Colemak-DH
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Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 02 February 2015, 10:00:58 »
I've not heard about this board before and I'm happy you brought it up. Looking forward to seeing if anyone's had some experience with it. Very interesting.
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Offline hoggy

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 02 February 2015, 14:32:15 »
You should send the creator of the diverge an email, maybe he'll do another batch.

I like the esrille.  I made the papercraft thing, it's well worth doing. I'm waiting for the to go through the certification process so they can export to my country.
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Offline Sc0tTy

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 02 February 2015, 15:19:26 »
Wow that looks nice!
Im not sure about the key layout though

The price is also quite high for a brand/keyboard that nobody knows.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 03:37:05 »
This is going 1 step forward, and 2 steps back.

Adjustable tenting and split is what makes for the ultimate ergonomic package..

I believe the creator of "that board" certainly recognize BOTH facets, yet neglected to implement them due to what's likely cowardice.. 

Offline PieterGen

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 06:06:56 »
It's a very nice concept, very expensive as well, unfortunately. Yes, adjustable tenting & spit would be even better, but having "less things to carry and mess with" is good as well.  And - marketing this board is an achievement, not something i would call 'cowardice' :-)

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 07:05:05 »
Wow, did not even know this existed.  This reminds me of many of the Japanese ergo boards from back in the nineties.  The thumb cluster probably will be easier to access all the keys than the Ergodox.  I wonder if the muscle memory on the thumb keys takes a little longer to form than the Maltron/Ergodox type thumb cluster.

I wonder about the research that went into this keyboard.  I would like to know more about that.
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Offline SilverRubicon

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 08:47:22 »
Adjustable tenting and split is what makes for the ultimate ergonomic package.

Perhaps.  Not a believer in that as I feel that some amount of non adjustability makes a keyboard easier to use in real world conditions.

Offline Data

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 10:19:17 »
This is going 1 step forward, and 2 steps back.

Adjustable tenting and split is what makes for the ultimate ergonomic package..

I believe the creator of "that board" certainly recognize BOTH facets, yet neglected to implement them due to what's likely cowardice..

So, how many new keyboards have you invented and sold?

Offline angelic_sedition

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 10:30:56 »
This is going 1 step forward, and 2 steps back.

Adjustable tenting and split is what makes for the ultimate ergonomic package..

I believe the creator of "that board" certainly recognize BOTH facets, yet neglected to implement them due to what's likely cowardice..

I don't think that's the case. I think it's modelled after the m-type and tron (both of which are mentioned on the page); if he considered adjustable tenting and split, I don't think he didn't implement them due to "cowardice." Esrille is a pretty weird company it seems. They work on a open-source browser and now a keyboard. As for two steps backward, even if I consented that adjustable tenting and split would make it a lot better, how many mechanical keyboards in production by a company with adjustable tenting and split can you name? If it comes at the expense of decently placed thumb keys, I'd go with the thumb keys any day.

Here's more information and pictures of it. It's somewhat understandable when translated. It's tempting to me, but the price is probably way too high for me right now (it's as expensive as my current computer).
« Last Edit: Tue, 03 February 2015, 10:34:14 by angelic_sedition »
QWERTY(104wpm) -> CarpalxQ(modded) -> Colemak(118wpm) -> Colemak-DH
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 15:49:13 »
Despite how expensive it is to import, I'm pretty interested in the Esrille. I wanted to know if anyone here had any experience with one.
I don’t think anyone in the western keyboard community has bought one of these. Have they even produced any, beyond prototypes? Were any commercial ones sold in Japan?

Looks to me like the high sticker price is because each keyboard is essentially a hand-made one-off, and they have no economies of scale to reduce the price.

Quote
very high (>25) key rollover if possible.
Are you doing chorded stenography, or what? You have 10 fingers, so this means you want to have each finger pressing an average of 2.5 keys each, and still have them all register? In what kind of circumstance is that necessary?

Quote
I'm also interested in the keyboard.io but less sure of the thumb keys. Have the dimensions been decided on? [...] Is there a good reason to wait for the keyboardio (besides price)?
The keyboard.io thumb keys have been moved around a few times in the last 6 months, but I think they’re finally pretty much nailed down now. I got to try their latest prototype a few days ago, and it’s pretty nice. They are planning to launch a kickstart campaign sometime real soon.

My guess is they’ll run their campaign in about 4–8 weeks, and then it’ll take another 6 months or something to actually finish production and ship the keyboards out, but they’re not making firm promises about it, so that’s totally speculative on my part.

Quote
Does anyone have any other recommendations?
I’ve been trying to work on Ergodox-like keyboards with an improved thumb section, which I hope can be put up through MassDrop as Ergodox alternatives, see my thread here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=62848


That’s also not likely to happen for at least a few months though. New MassDrop keyboards won’t come fully assembled, but they will have all the surface-mount stuff pre-soldered, so it’s only the switches that need to be soldered in, which should make it a bit faster and easier (or cheaper to contract full assembly out to someone in the community).
« Last Edit: Tue, 03 February 2015, 15:52:34 by jacobolus »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 16:14:55 »
I believe the creator of "that board" certainly recognize BOTH facets, yet neglected to implement them due to what's likely cowardice..
tp4: do you need to be such a jerk about this? Seriously, “cowardice”?

Wow, did not even know this existed.  This reminds me of many of the Japanese ergo boards from back in the nineties. [...] I wonder about the research that went into this keyboard.  I would like to know more about that.

It’s explicitly modeled on the Japanese TRON project and NEC M-type keyboards. If you want to see the research about that, there are a bunch of documents available online, though mostly in Japanese.

e.g.
http://www.d-tech.jp/research/m_keys.html
http://www.personal-media.co.jp/utronkb/article.html?anno=2&sandbox=1
http://fsck.com/~jesse/tmp/2013-02-13/0d7dba94-ed53-456b-be5c-24aec53b088a/tron.pdf

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 16:53:36 »
I believe the creator of "that board" certainly recognize BOTH facets, yet neglected to implement them due to what's likely cowardice..
tp4: do you need to be such a jerk about this? Seriously, “cowardice”?

Wow, did not even know this existed.  This reminds me of many of the Japanese ergo boards from back in the nineties. [...] I wonder about the research that went into this keyboard.  I would like to know more about that.

It’s explicitly modeled on the Japanese TRON project and NEC M-type keyboards. If you want to see the research about that, there are a bunch of documents available online, though mostly in Japanese.

e.g.
http://www.d-tech.jp/research/m_keys.html
http://www.personal-media.co.jp/utronkb/article.html?anno=2&sandbox=1
http://fsck.com/~jesse/tmp/2013-02-13/0d7dba94-ed53-456b-be5c-24aec53b088a/tron.pdf

Ok, thanks, that clears up somethings about the design and layout choice.
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Offline angelic_sedition

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 18:59:02 »
I don’t think anyone in the western keyboard community has bought one of these. Have they even produced any, beyond prototypes? Were any commercial ones sold in Japan?

Looks to me like the high sticker price is because each keyboard is essentially a hand-made one-off, and they have no economies of scale to reduce the price.

I have no idea about sales in Japan, but it being available for import is new this month. I wish there was more of a market for decent keyboards.

Quote
Are you doing chorded stenography, or what? You have 10 fingers, so this means you want to have each finger pressing an average of 2.5 keys each, and still have them all register? In what kind of circumstance is that necessary?

Yes I want to. I don't know why I said 25; 20 or a bit less would probably be fine.. but somewhere in that range.

Quote
The keyboard.io thumb keys have been moved around a few times in the last 6 months, but I think they’re finally pretty much nailed down now. I got to try their latest prototype a few days ago, and it’s pretty nice. They are planning to launch a kickstart campaign sometime real soon.

My guess is they’ll run their campaign in about 4–8 weeks, and then it’ll take another 6 months or something to actually finish production and ship the keyboards out, but they’re not making firm promises about it, so that’s totally speculative on my part.

6 months is a long time to wait for a decent keyboard, but I guess it would be worth it. I'm not really a fan of kickstarter though; there's a serious lack of accountability to the people who fund you. I guess I could shorten the wait. All I have to do is steal one of the 20 model 01s from a tester and I'll be set.

Quote
I’ve been trying to work on Ergodox-like keyboards with an improved thumb section, which I hope can be put up through MassDrop as Ergodox alternatives, see my thread here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=62848
Show Image


That’s also not likely to happen for at least a few months though. New MassDrop keyboards won’t come fully assembled, but they will have all the surface-mount stuff pre-soldered, so it’s only the switches that need to be soldered in, which should make it a bit faster and easier (or cheaper to contract full assembly out to someone in the community).

I saw that thread, and I'd love to see those on MassDrop. It would still be expensive and time consuming though, especially since I would have to buy a soldiering iron. I'd rather do it myself

I guess it's a waiting game then. Unless the Esrille comes down by a couple hundred before either of those are available, I'll just wait.
« Last Edit: Tue, 03 February 2015, 19:02:10 by angelic_sedition »
QWERTY(104wpm) -> CarpalxQ(modded) -> Colemak(118wpm) -> Colemak-DH
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Offline angelic_sedition

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 03 February 2015, 19:01:26 »
Ok, thanks, that clears up somethings about the design and layout choice.

There's also a lot on his blog about the design. here's a post where he shows the keys overlayed on a TECK.
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Offline Sc0tTy

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 10:34:02 »
Ok, thanks, that clears up somethings about the design and layout choice.

There's also a lot on his blog about the design. here's a post where he shows the keys overlayed on a TECK.

Hmm thats actually quite interesting :)

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Offline jbm

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 15:06:21 »
Despite how expensive it is to import, I'm pretty interested in the Esrille. I wanted to know if anyone here had any experience with one. I'm interested in keyboards with this sort of thumb cluster as opposed to the one the Ergodox. The Diverge also caught my attention, but that seems a little more risky and I don't think it's currently for sale?

I have an Esrille NISSE and love it. I've been using it full time (6-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week) since September.

Side note: I believe I was actually the first person in the US to order one. It was before they were able to ship assembled boards internationally, so I ordered it as a kit and assembled it myself. I forget where I first saw it - maybe Xah Lee's blog - but the design was immediately appealing to me.

The other ergo boards I've used extensively are the Ergodox and Truly Ergonomic Keyboard. I like them all but the Esrille has been the best fit by a wide margin.

The things I like about all three are:
  • Columnar layout
  • More natural hand position
  • Moving what would otherwise be pinky keys to instead be thumb or index finger keys
  • Mechanical switches

What I like about the Esrille above the other two:
  • More thumb keys than the TEK
  • More usable (for me) thumb keys than the Ergodox
  • Smart column spacing. I find it very comfortable and natural
  • Built-in tenting. You can obviously tent an Ergodox, but the Esrille's shape works great for me as is, and I like not needing another piece. Also, I was surprised how expensive it is to have a tent printed, at least from the places I cheked.
  • It looks great (and I say that as someone who normally my electronics and peripherals to be matte black)

Subjectively, I can tell you the Esrille is definitely the most comfortable for me. I used to experience some level of discomfort 1-3 out of most weeks, despite fairly good technique, regular exercise, breaks every couple hours, etc. I honestly don't remember the last time I experienced any discomfort typing since switching to the Esrille.

This is less important, since it's something you can always change, but I'll also mention that I've been very happy with the default layout on the Esrille, including the function layer. I fully expected to reconfigure things, just because I usually would, but in practice there hasn't been anything I've wanted to mess with.

As I'm sure you can tell, I'm a big fan, and would be very comfortable recommending it  :)

Let me know if you have any questions about it - I'll be happy to answer any I can.
Esrille NISSE | ErgoDox Classic | TEK 207 | Leopold FC500RT/AB | Leopold FC200RT/AB

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 15:17:22 »
By the way, angelic_sedition, would you mind adding a picture to your first post, in case people don’t want to click through to the Esrille site?


Offline Sc0tTy

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 15:29:38 »
@jbm (not gonna quote ya)
Really nice to read that you like it more over the TEK.

I was wondering hitting those thumb keys with your thumb does that feel weird? Them being normal keys (as far as I can tell).
And what about the positioning of the thumb keys ? The ones under the palm of your hand look weird, hitting shift for instance.

Can you switch out the keys ? Moving around the function keys for instance or using Colemak as a layout? You can't really do that on the TEK :(

What are the options firmware wise, can you flash it like you can do the TEK ? website says you can.
And if so can you do combo's like CTRL+C ? (Withouth using the FN modifier)

Any chance you could up a vid on YouTube too??
I really like my TEK but I do feel like something is missing, this Esrille does look like it hits the spot, if it wasn't so darn expensive I might have ordered it already :P
« Last Edit: Wed, 04 February 2015, 15:33:40 by Sc0tTy »
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Offline jbm

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 16:15:31 »
I was wondering hitting those thumb keys with your thumb does that feel weird? Them being normal keys (as far as I can tell).
And what about the positioning of the thumb keys ? The ones under the palm of your hand look weird, hitting shift for instance.

I find the thumb keys very comfortable. The only two that require me to move my fingers off the home row are the fn key and the Windows key, but I don't really mind that. If I'm using either of those keys, I'm probably not e.g. mid sentence, so moving my hand an inch or so doesn't mess with my flow.

The position of shift is actually my favorite of any board I've used. With my fingers on the home row and my hand in a relaxed/neutral position, my thumb is right above space and shift (or backspace and shift on the left half). But if you're taller I can imagine it might be better if they were further away.

Quote
Can you switch out the keys ? Moving around the function keys for instance or using Colemak as a layout? You can't really do that on the TEK :(

I'm a QWERTY guy, so I can't speak from experience regarding Colemak, but I know the firmware has built-in support for both it and Dvorak. You also get a choice of key caps when you order (QWERTY, Dvorak, or Colemak, if I remember correctly).

I also received some extra key caps with my kit to support moving modifier keys to places with different sizes, although I can't say for sure whether that's still the case.

On the firmware side, some options (like Dvorak/Colemak, or swapping control and shift) are directly supported by the firmware, whereas I think others require you to change the firmware and re-flash the board. There isn't a GUI configurator that I know of (yet?) but it's pretty straightforward if you're comfortable with that sort of thing.

Quote
What are the options firmware wise, can you flash it like you can do the TEK ? website says you can.
And if so can you do combo's like CTRL+C ? (Withouth using the FN modifier)

Do you mean having a single non-modified key that's equivalent to pressing Ctrl-C? If so, I'm 99% it is possible but haven't done it myself. Let me know if that is what you had in mind and I'll try to provide a definitive answer.

Quote
Any chance you could up a vid on YouTube too??
I really like my TEK but I do feel like something is missing, this Esrille does look like it hits the spot, if it wasn't so darn expensive I might have ordered it already :P

Yeah, I'll try to make a quick video this weekend. Speaking of which, I'll only be at a computer sporadically between now and Friday, so my replies may be a couple days delayed.

Regarding the cost, it's definitely true that it's more expensive than a TEK or an ErgoDox kit. However, the keyboard is pretty central to how I go about both my work and my play - programming and computers generally are central to both. So the way I look at it is that a long-lived improvement in comfort and/or productivity is well worth $500, without even considering the fact that avoiding RSI may extend my career or prevent a surgery later.

Of course, the rub is that you can't know if it will work for you until you try it. I guess there's really no getting around that, so I decided to just go for it. I'm not sure, but it may also be relatively easily to sell it on to someone, especially as these boards start to get more attention.
Esrille NISSE | ErgoDox Classic | TEK 207 | Leopold FC500RT/AB | Leopold FC200RT/AB

Offline Sc0tTy

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 16:41:29 »
I find the thumb keys very comfortable. The only two that require me to move my fingers off the home row are the fn key and the Windows key, but I don't really mind that. If I'm using either of those keys, I'm probably not e.g. mid sentence, so moving my hand an inch or so doesn't mess with my flow.

The position of shift is actually my favorite of any board I've used. With my fingers on the home row and my hand in a relaxed/neutral position, my thumb is right above space and shift (or backspace and shift on the left half). But if you're taller I can imagine it might be better if they were further away.

I would say my hands are average sized

Quote
I'm a QWERTY guy, so I can't speak from experience regarding Colemak, but I know the firmware has built-in support for both it and Dvorak. You also get a choice of key caps when you order (QWERTY, Dvorak, or Colemak, if I remember correctly).

I also received some extra key caps with my kit to support moving modifier keys to places with different sizes, although I can't say for sure whether that's still the case.

Yeah i said Colemak as an example. On the TEK the keys have different inclinations and heights and so its not possible to switch them around without it feeling weird to the fingers. Are all the keys the same size/dimension?

Quote
Do you mean having a single non-modified key that's equivalent to pressing Ctrl-C? If so, I'm 99% it is possible but haven't done it myself. Let me know if that is what you had in mind and I'll try to provide a definitive answer.

Yeah, according to the images on the site you can access combo keys like CTRL+C through the FN layout, I would like to bring them to the default layer and position them on the thumb cluster for example.

Quote
Yeah, I'll try to make a quick video this weekend. Speaking of which, I'll only be at a computer sporadically between now and Friday, so my replies may be a couple days delayed.
Cool, no rush !

Quote
Regarding the cost, it's definitely true that it's more expensive than a TEK or an ErgoDox kit. However, the keyboard is pretty central to how I go about both my work and my play - programming and computers generally are central to both. So the way I look at it is that a long-lived improvement in comfort and/or productivity is well worth $500, without even considering the fact that avoiding RSI may extend my career or prevent a surgery later.

I think you and I are on the same level on this.


I just noticed though they don't ship to Europe, I'll have to contact them I guess to see if its possible I guess.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 17:11:25 »
Yeah i said Colemak as an example. On the TEK the keys have different inclinations and heights and so its not possible to switch them around without it feeling weird to the fingers. Are all the keys the same size/dimension?

As far as I can tell the Esrille guy is using standard shaped keycaps on this board (unlike his earlier prototypes which had keycaps 1-2mm smaller than standard, designed for typical Japanese hand sizes). So you could probably just replace the keycaps with whatever other MX keycaps you want.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 18:21:09 »
@ Jacob..

YES, it's cowardice..

It's very obvious they know what they're doing.. they recognize the split layout.. the know that the tenting helps..

It is inconceivable that they wouldn't know that differences in elbow/table height greatly changes the resting angle of the wrist.. which requires adjustable tenting..


The only advantage to 1 piece, is because people might think 2 pieces would be too weird, and lower adoption..


I could not see any advantage to being 1 piece  after they put the efforts in to design all the other ergonomic features..


At WORST, i think they might've just copied keydoards like the Truelyergonomic, and added tenting..

So, it's possible they're just a 1 step forward copy..


Sigh..... 




Offline jacobolus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 19:02:35 »
It is inconceivable that they wouldn't know that differences in elbow/table height greatly changes the resting angle of the wrist.. which requires adjustable tenting.. The only advantage to 1 piece, is because people might think 2 pieces would be too weird, and lower adoption.. I could not see any advantage to being 1 piece  after they put the efforts in to design all the other ergonomic features.. At WORST, i think they might've just copied keydoards like the Truelyergonomic, and added tenting..

As has already been mentioned, his biggest inspiration is this:


and this:


But it’s clear he’s done a bunch of design work to tweak those design for prevailing logical keyboard layouts and to match the size of easily available switches and keycaps.

There are absolutely advantages to having a one-piece keyboard:
(1) It’s mechanically/electronically simpler, which means it takes less design work up front, needs fewer parts, is easier to assemble, can be produced more cheaply, and is less fragile
(2) It possible to predefine a slight tent, as well as a reasonable amount of separation between halves and a comfortable inward turn on each half, which is better than using the keyboard entirely flat. If you look at pictures of people’s setups, the vast majority of Ergodox users (for example) just place both halves flat on a table, because to tent them would require some extra structure
(3) It’s much easier to travel with one piece instead of two
(4) It’s more familiar to 99% of computer users, which makes it an easier sell

It’s entirely reasonable to argue that the advantage of being fully split and therefore more adjustable is worth the trade-off, but that doesn’t mean that making the opposite choice is “cowardice”.

My personal opinion is that nearly everyone would be well served by a tent angle of 30–45° in my personal opinion, and it’s not totally necessary for it to be adjustable as long as the angle is at least 30°. Personally It think the Esrille is not tented as much as it should be, and therefore suboptimal. But I can understand where he’s coming from, and I don’t think his choice is totally unreasonable or wrong.

(Side note: differences in elbow/table height are mostly solved by tilting the whole keyboard forward/back – toward or away from the body – not by changing the tent angle.)
« Last Edit: Wed, 04 February 2015, 19:09:58 by jacobolus »

Offline angelic_sedition

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 04 February 2015, 19:24:24 »
@jbm Awesome! I can't wait for a video. Do you have any idea if it's PS/2 compatible? All I saw about this is the "Please use a USB 2.0 A-Male to B-Male cable" on the site.
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Offline Nai_Calus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 07 February 2015, 02:01:38 »
I'm also interested in the keyboard.io but less sure of the thumb keys. Have the dimensions been decided on? The Esrille has a real size print out, which is nice. Is there a good reason to wait for the keyboardio (besides price)?

The thumb keys aren't an issue, IMO, other than developing the muscle memory, and if the default position of something is awkward for you you'll apparently be able to change it so it's not as much an issue. (Which was my first question since like almost all ergonomic split keyboards, space is on the right by default which is horrible for gaming, but with it being changeable, who cares.) The one qualm I had when I got to try it was the height of a palm key that's apparently already been changed for going forward. The keyboard.io keyboard is a sexy beast that feels fantastic and I want one five minutes ago. Also, it has an Any key. How can you not love a keyboard with an Any key? Also it has homing bumps on the pinky finger keys as well as the index finger keys, which I found incredibly convenient for not getting lost on the staggered columns.)

That said I do want an Esrille, if just because it looks awesome. I've spent more money in the past on more frivolous things (Although nowadays I'm horribly broke but.)
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Offline jbm

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 07 February 2015, 21:45:54 »
I haven't made a video yet, but I did get more info on some of the questions that have come up.

Also, Esrille have posted a new FAQ in English about the NISSE: http://www.esrille.com/keyboard/faq.html

Having a chord (e.g. Ctrl-C) bound to a single key on the first layer isn't directly supported in the firmware, but it should be possible by copying the code used for the FN layer (if you're comfortable with doing something like that, anyway).

The key caps do have different heights/shapes, so you probably would notice a difference if you moved them around. So if you know you want to use Dvorak etc., it's probably best to request a set for that layout when you order. I also received extra key caps with mine to facilitate swapping shift and control, and several other possibilities.

The NISSE does not natively support PS/2. I imagine you could use an adapter if you needed PS/2 for compatibility reasons, but the hardware isn't NKRO-ready. (This is mentioned on the new FAQ page).

Let me know if I missed anything or if anyone has other questions
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 07 February 2015, 22:38:00 »
My personal opinion is that nearly everyone would be well served by a tent angle of 30–45° in my personal opinion, and it’s not totally necessary for it to be adjustable as long as the angle is at least 30°.
Apparently, the designers of the TRON keyboard tried 45° but did not choose it.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 07 February 2015, 22:59:29 »
My personal opinion is that nearly everyone would be well served by a tent angle of 30–45° in my personal opinion, and it’s not totally necessary for it to be adjustable as long as the angle is at least 30°.

Apparently, the designers of the TRON keyboard tried 45° but did not choose it.
Show Image
Where is this image from? Google reverse image search and tineye don’t find any other copies.

Do you know why the TRON guys ditched the steep tent? My guess is because it takes up more space, and looks more alien.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 07 February 2015, 23:37:50 »
Where is this image from? Google reverse image search and tineye don�t find any other copies.
I'm sorry I don't remember the web site. It was a photo of a display in a computer museum in Japan. The caption said that it was a prototype.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 08 February 2015, 04:36:33 »
Here’s what Freivald’s book Biomechanics of the Upper Limbs (page 506–507) has to say about this subject:

Quote
The standard keyboard creates several biomechanical problems for the operator. First, the hands tend to be ulnarly deviated up to 40° (mean values of 25°; Smutz et al., 1994) placing additional loading on the carpal tunnel and increasing the pressure within the tunnel as much as 13% (Werner et al., 1997). Second, to obtain a flat palm, the forearm tends to be pronated close to the anatomical limit (mean values of 76°), which requires the activation of the forearm muscles (mainly pronator teres and pronator quadratus). Such tension over extended time periods can also lead to muscular fatigue. Third, to compensate for this tension, there is a tendency for operators to lift the upper arms laterally and forward, which requires the activation of the shoulder muscles (primarily the deltoid and teres minor). Again, static tension may lead to fatigue. Fourth, depending on the height and slope of the keyboard, there is a tendency for the wrists to be extended up to 50° (mean values of 23°; Serina et al., 1999). Of all the possible wrist deviations, this wrist extension may be the most critical with carpal tunnel pressures increasing to 63 mmHg (for fingertip forces of 6 N), considerably above 30 mmHg, the threshold level for potential injury (Rempel et al., 1997).

Such problems at a typewriter keyboard were noticed as early as 1926 by Klockenberg, who proposed that the keyboard be split into two halves, each angled 15° from the center line (Figure 10.21, included angle is 30°), as well as tilted laterally down (sometimes termed tented). Furthermore, Klockenberg (1926) suggested an arching of the key rows for each half of the keyboard to better configure with the natural layout of the fingers. The lateral tilting was more specifically examined by Creamer and Trumbo (1960) with a mechanical typewriter cut into two halves and tilted at five different angles. Keying at the middle position of 44° was 5% significantly faster than at the extremes of 0° (flat) or 88° (nearly vertical). Kroemer (1964, 1965, 1972) performed a more detailed analysis by varying also the upper arm position and found that the subjects preferred a similar hand orientation of 40° for the upper arms hanging down naturally. Although the subjects preferred typing on a split and tilted keyboard over a standard keyboard, typing speed did not show any differences. Error rates, however, decreased by 39%.

Further experimentation by Zipp et al. (1981, 1983) using EMG measurements of the shoulder, arm, and hand muscle indicated optimal ranges of 0 to 60° for pronation and 0 to 15° for ulnar deviation, with the standard position for keyboards of 90° pronation and 20 to 25° ulnar deviation clearly beyond the optimal range. A 13° angulation from the centerline (26° included angle) showed lower EMG than a 26° angulation. In addition, preferred lateral tilt angles of 10 to 20° were smaller than the 44° found by Kroemer (1964, 1965, 1972). Because only three subjects had been utilized in the above experiments, Nakaseko et al. (1985) performed further testing on 20 experienced typists and found similar results with subjective preferences, which led to the first commercial split model standardized at a 25° split (internal angle), a 10° lateral tilt, and a 10° horizontal tilt (far edge higher) (Buesen, 1984). Since then, several other split or tilted models have been introduced and evaluated scientifically to provide better hand and wrist postures (Gerard et al., 1994; Tittiranonda et al., 1999; Zecevic et al., 2000).

Offline taylordcraig

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 08 February 2015, 14:14:43 »
Here’s what Freivald’s book Biomechanics of the Upper Limbs (page 506–507) has to say about this subject:

Quote
...

Really great excerpt!

Offline metalliqaz

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 08 February 2015, 14:20:50 »
By the way, angelic_sedition, would you mind adding a picture to your first post, in case people don’t want to click through to the Esrille site?

Show Image


The lack of space bar disturbs me.  I don't think I could learn to type on it in a reasonable amount of time.
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Offline Nai_Calus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 09 February 2015, 02:48:02 »
By the way, angelic_sedition, would you mind adding a picture to your first post, in case people don’t want to click through to the Esrille site?

Show Image


The lack of space bar disturbs me.  I don't think I could learn to type on it in a reasonable amount of time.

There's a spacebar, it's just a single key. Right thumb arc, second one up, the one with no legend, looks like.

It's no worse than the thumb space on Kinesis/Maltron/Ergodox, and most don't actually use the entirety of the spacebar on a normal keyboard - The shiny spot on my own spacebar is less than two keys wide, indicating that if I hit it outside of that spot, it isn't often. You'd get used to it quicker than you think. Honestly the biggest problem for me with that by default would be that as a gamer I hit space with my left thumb and never use my right.

In practice, using just that layout, you'd learn it in a day or so and be used to it within a week, I'd think. I've found that brain and muscle memory form pretty fast with things. Took me about three days when I got a Razer Naga to master the thumb grid positions and assignments for a game I'd been playing for nearly two years. (And boy did that help my hands, no more weird reaching for buttons and less emphasis on my left hand, no more pain during long play sessions.)
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Offline naz

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 17 April 2015, 13:22:48 »
The guys from ersille posted on twitter that they are doing a new nisse with smaller key spacing: 17,5 instead of the traditional 18,8.

https://twitter.com/esrille

Personally i've never typed on a 17,5mm keyboard, has anyone tried that??? (tron keybards use smaller spacing i think).

by the way, jbm. Do you think you can post that video you promise? it woud be very helpfull since there are none on youtube.

Regards!


Edit:

So i found this comparison between the two models



The idea is to reduce finger stretch or hand movement in people with smaller hands (i remember reading that about half the north americans have larger hands than almost all the japanese, my hands being more similar to the japanese).

So i printed the paper craft to see for my self. I was surprise to see how much more confortable is to type (well.... pretend to type) with that column separation on the  O and P columns (keyboardio does this separation). I also like having the 1-2 and 9-0 keys to share a finger (that was a surprise). Regarding the 17.5 spacing, i can see prefering the new thumb keys position (more reachable to me), don't know about the rest of the keys.


« Last Edit: Fri, 17 April 2015, 18:40:32 by naz »

Offline Sc0tTy

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #35 on: Sat, 18 April 2015, 09:26:52 »
Yeah a video of the Keyboard would still be nice!

I'm still not sure if I should try this thing as I think some of the keys are on a weird position.
And its also missing the arrow cluster (and it being behind a FN key is not an option as i use it with key combo's)

The key placement on the TECK is better IMHO, the only thing I don't like as much is the placement of the thumb keys.
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Offline naz

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #36 on: Sun, 19 April 2015, 07:23:46 »
Update:

So i contact the guy from Esrille. He is willing to ship to my country (Chile) and to print a special keycap set to match the spanish layout (his site only offer shipping to USA and Canada and inglish layout). He also mention that the firmware will soon include international layouts, not only english as it is right now.

I ended up prefering the upcoming model with the 17,5 spacing, closest thing i had type on is on a mac laptop (vertical distance is smaller on them) and felt more comfortable (the scale paper craft also helped) . The first batch should be ready on June (wich gives time to save a bit of money because.... uff! this thing is expensive).

Unlike the Trully ergonomic and Diverge (wich i own) the Esrille quality seems to be on a whole other level (disign and hardware wise). Comunication has been great so far aswell. We'll see.

Regards 



Offline kurplop

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 19 April 2015, 16:00:16 »
There is a lot to like about this keyboard.  I'm curious about the tenting though.  When I was designing my keyboards, I found it better to have the tenting plane follow the angle of the orientation of the keys. In other words, have the slope of the plane run perpendicular to the columns. The two obvious ways to do this is to have two bends at the center which form an inverted V or to make a truncated barrel curve.

Could anyone who has made a mock up of this design let me know whether the tenting plane seems right to them or if it would feel more natural following the key orientation.

This is not meant as a criticism but rather an exercise to establish the most common preferred positioning of tenting positioning as it relates to column splay.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 20 April 2015, 03:15:36 »
I'm curious about the tenting though.  When I was designing my keyboards, I found it better to have the tenting plane follow the angle of the orientation of the keys.
This depends a lot on where you plan to position your keyboard relative to your body. The two ways of tenting you’re talking about can be made equivalent by just tilting the keyboard forward/backward.

I believe the idea in the Japanese research (in the TRON project, etc.) that was the inspiration for this keyboard is to put your arms a bit out in front of you with your elbows resting on the table. Personally I think that seems like the wrong posture, but it should for example take weight off the shoulders.

It would definitely help for understanding the design to see a video of the Esrille’s creator typing on it, and maybe some pictures of his overall setup.

Offline naz

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #39 on: Sat, 25 April 2015, 23:25:50 »
Update:

So i have been talking with Mr. Okasaka (is hard to read his blog with google translator, so i just email him, he has taken the time to answer all my mails), here is a sumary with the most relevant part:

- The model use to have dedicated arrows keys on both sides (similar to the tek), but they were removed to improve tenting, avoid unintentional palm presses and because that placement is not ergonomic. He says is better for the hand to reach for arrows to the right (like on regular keyboards) and is even better not to reach for them, hence the position on the second layer.

- Most of the people that have bought a Nisse have chosen brown or red switches (same proportion) and a just a small percentage chooses blues or blacks.

- Keycaps are UV printed abs.

- The whole case is aluminum.

- 1-2 and 9-0 key are made to be press with the ring finger


Thats all,
Regards
 
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 11:46:41 by naz »

Offline Sc0tTy

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #40 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 11:14:22 »
Thanks for the update!

While I do understand that accidental key presses are a valid concern I'd say ergonomics is not (in case of the TECK).
Its also good ergonomics to move your body parts so if you have to move  your arm to reach the arrow keys it shouldn't be a problem.
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Offline naz

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Re: Anyone Tried the Esrille? Looking for a Keyboard
« Reply #41 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 11:57:03 »
I agree, I think the arrow removal has more to do with his concept of ergonomics, which is being able to reach every key without moving your hands from the home row, just your fingers without hovering (this is also one of the design factor behind the new 17,5 mm model).

I was under the impression that red switches weren’t so popular, but he says half the orders are made with red switches. I remember reading from a lot of users that prefer tactile switches on regular keyboards, actually enjoy more having red switches on the kinesis advantage over browns while typing, maybe the tenting has something to do with it and the same thing happens on the Nisse (or maybe the Japanese just prefer the silent switches).
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 12:05:18 by naz »