I have a slightly obsessive fascination with keyboards. Off the top of my head,
I can think of at least 8 keyboards that I currently own. My progress was a
pretty typical one I think. Back in college I owned a basic Logitech membrane
keyboard because I didn’t know any better. I continued using these basic but
functional keyboards for several years until I got my first software developer
gig and was working alongside plenty of people much more knowledgeable and
experienced than me.
This was when I first got my taste of mechanical keyboards. My colleague near me
was using a das keyboard with Cherry MX Blues, and I just didn’t get it. It was
harder to type on, and ridiculously loud. Who in their right mind would want
this? I figured there was something here though, so I went ahead and took the
plunge with a WASD 87-key rocking some clears.
A whole new world. Typing was so much more satisfying. Each stroke I made was
deliberate and with intent. The construction and feel was leaps and bounds ahead
of my previous keyboard, and it actually helped me become a more consistent
typer. I was hooked.
Not long after, I learned of 60% keyboards, and boy did I love it. My POK3R
allowed me to take all of the benefits of a solid mechanical keyboard with me in
a nice, portable package. The layers added a “layer” of complexity that took
time getting used to, but eventually it became muscle memory to swap in and out
Life was good. I rode the high of my WASD and POK3R for several years thinking I
was content. Then I stumbled upon the Ergodox.
Ergonomic keyboards never really appealed to me. I was fortunate enough to never
really encounter any sort of pain after extended periods of clacking away, and
they just seemed overly awkward to use. So why did I need to have the Ergodox?
Hell if I know, but I am glad I did.
Starting off, it was incredibly difficult to use. With the ortholinear keys,
thumb clusters, and several staple keys on different layers, you could say I was
pretty overwhelmed. Not only that, but with the split design, I was forced into
being a good touch typist and didn’t have the option of quickly reverting back
to my old, terrible typing habits.
After about 3 weeks of significant use at home, I am comfortable saying I am at
least getting used to it. My WPM for typing up a blog post is back around where
it was with my old keyboard, but programming has slowed with most of my symbols
and numbers being on a different layer and not having developed the muscle
memory for them yet. I also have the new issue of fumbling around when I type on
a laptop or different keyboard with slanted keys and different layouts.
Ergonomically, I honestly dont feel any different than before, but it is nice to
be able to spread out my hands into a more natural position when typing.
I’ll probably revisit my thoughts at 6 months or a year to compare my
progression and growth with the board. If you have any interest in a different,
ergonomic keyboard, I can recommend this one.