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Thread: Ergodox keyboard

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    Ergodox keyboard

    Has anybody got an Ergodox keyboard, either DIY or pre-built?

    Thoughts?

    I've been using bendy keyboards for donkeys now and am currently using a Microsoft 4000 jobbie. I like it, but I have a hankering for better quality keys - but that generally means going back to the horrid straight keyboard world. The Ergodox seems to be the best of the few options out there.

    I shudder at the cost, but given I'm a programmer, it's probably a good idea to get - even if it's just so I can map {}<>"'() to keys that don't require excessive use of my pinky (or maybe Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V...).

    The EZ variety has feet that can provide some tilt to each half the keyboard, which is a must really, it's not quite as sculpted as the Microsoft offering, but I get that you lose the ability to move the keys about when you get that sculpted.

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    Re: Ergodox keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Dashers View Post
    Thoughts?
    I can't say anything about the Ergodox, although I'm not sure some of the key swaps make a lot of sense.

    If you want something more conventional then have you considered Matias' Ergo Pro? The Keyboard Company sell it in the UK.

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    Re: Ergodox keyboard

    Have you considered a Maltron?
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


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    Re: Ergodox keyboard

    I did look at the Maltron briefly, but have disregarded it chiefly due to the price vs feature set. The Ergodox EZ seems to pip it in terms of flexibility, although I appreciate that the layout of the Maltron might be even better.

    I was looking at the Matias too for a while, but it was the reviews that let it down, same with the Truly Ergonomic keyboard.

    It's trickier for the Ergodox as initially it was a DIY kit build (beyond my abilities/time) so you didn't really get negative reviews as "I made dis" was the prevailing thoughts. But this pre-manufactured one doesn't have a large number of reviews. The few that I've seen have been fairly raving.

    I kinda made the decision to get one at the weekend, but they're out of stock on brown switches, which is I think the only sensible choice for an open-plan office environment.

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    Re: Ergodox keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Dashers View Post
    I was looking at the Matias too for a while, but it was the reviews that let it down, same with the Truly Ergonomic keyboard.
    Let it down in what way?

    I've not come across any real negative points for it. A few nit picks about stuff not being ultra-high end ('only' ABS keycaps etc.) and the usual mixed opinions about the layout that every keyboard has.

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    Re: Ergodox keyboard

    Can't remember what I read up about it now - whatever it was it put me off. A quick search shows less than stellar Amazon reviews: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ergo-Pro-Qu...ustomerReviews

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    Re: Ergodox keyboard

    I read a while back that the ErgoDox thumb keys are uncomfortable for medium/small sized hands, which put me off it. I was going to post a link to a discussion, but I don't have enough posts - if you google "fixing the ergodox thumb section" that should get it.

    I have a one-handed Maltron, and while it's very ergonomic it feels incredibly cheap. I wouldn't be happy paying anything like full price for one.

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    Re: Ergodox keyboard

    The thumb-cluster is an interesting point - I never expected to be able to hit more than the two big keys with my thumb, it seems some people do use the lot. Looking at the wear markers on my space-bar, I think I should be ok. Only really one way to find out though!

    I've pushed the button on one - have been waiting a while as they were out of stock of Brown switches, but they've now added Cherry switches to their lineup, so I've gone with Cherry Whites - I tried a colleague's straight keyboard with whites and they feel like the minimum I'd want in terms of resistance.

    It's quite an expensive gamble though. If I don't like the switches then it's expensive to change the lot - if I don't like the keyboard then it's an expensive splurge!

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    Re: Ergodox keyboard

    Welp, I've bought one.

    I've gone with Cherry White switches as I quite liked the feel of those, but I'm wondering if the browns would have been better. Unlike a conventional keyboard you're not hanging over the keys in quite the same way due the slanting options, so you're not putting in quite so much force as required.

    I wish they had more of a definitive click point, but that would have meant going clacky which would have rapidly upset the office.

    I went with blank keys, and that is a lot easier than I expected. What I am finding a lot hard to get used to is the slightly different layout and not having staggered columns. The default layout is quite different, but I've tweaked mine to be more conventional. I keep hitting enter by mistake though.

    I think I'm more likely to develop RSI getting used to it I'm so tense trying not to make mistakes.

    Build quality is reasonable. Plastics seem thick and will take a bit of abuse. The wrist pads are made from sticky rubber that attract every bit of dust and dirt, I don't see them lasting long.

    The online configuration tool is easy enough to use, although it only supports US keycodes, so it can get a bit confusing when allocating keys. Luckily they do have support for #~ key, which doesn't exist on a US layout.

    As each side is mirror, you don't have room on the right hand side for all those extra keys like '@:;}{[]. So you have to stick this on another "layer", which means relearning where you put those keys. A little tricky, but something that I'm sure will become second nature soon enough.

    One of the nifty things I was looking forward to is dual use keys. e.g. I've got ` and Ctrl bound to the same key. A tap will produce a ` but holding it will be a ctrl. I tried with Shift and Caps working in the same way, which seemed to make sense, but the definition of hold seems to be time related instead of whether you press another key at the same time. So when I was quickly pressing shift and another key, I landed up constantly going into CAPS mode.

    I didn't go for the "shine" version which had silly LED backglow (not through the keys, as there are no characters on mine to see!), but actually this would be useful to program in as the only LEDS are three small ones that indicate which layer you're on. Having the whole thing glow would be quite handy, as well as being to bind caps to a light. There is no way of telling whether caps lock is on.



    The cost is eye-watering. £231.50. Plus £23.54 shipping, and then after you've ordered you realise you're going to get stuck for £47 VAT by customs. Luckily no import duty though.

    And then you need to spend £20 to get a nice little carry case because you can't afford to have one in the office and at home. And you're top-performing UK business is too tight to buy you one out of their millions.

    I think I'll probably be in love with it after a month or two of getting used to it. But I don't think I could recommend it to anybody at this sort of price. I'm a programmer so I felt that it was probably better for my chances of not getting RSI, we'll see...

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