Yes, the keyboard arrived here with no issues. I didn't have much time previously due to exams, but I will at least have the opportunity to test it for a few days.
I am typing on it right now and in one word, I would call it refreshing
It looks quite odd, but the moment you put your hands on the large, soft pads it feels very natural.
themselves are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they are nicely tactile. Very close to Ergo-Clear actually. The keyfeel itself is mostly good, but slightly rough and a bit bumpy, less bouncy or springy than ergos. All while feeling a bit more like a high-quality rubber dome. Not a bad thing really, since you get good tactile feedback with soft bottom out and the very high reliability and durability of a mechanical switch.
They are not quieter than my Ergo-Clear keyboards overall.
This might be due to the keycaps
. No discussion here, these are definitely holding the potential of this board back. High-pitch clattering and clacking is something that I would remedy with thicker keycaps on a Cherry keyboard. With this keyboard, no dice. The downstroke is a bit muted, but in my opinion the only keys that sound really nice are the two spacebars. The whole board pings quite badly.
The look and feel
is also a mixed bag. It looks weird, but feels quite good to use. The two halves are quite heavy!
BUT the quality of the plastic could be better, maybe with a rough texture? The keycaps really need better and thicker plastic as well, for a keyboard that would cost me 300€ to import. And a different printing method than lasered infills. Those are terrible.
is mostly good. It shows me that I cannot do proper touch typing 100%. For instance, I tend to press 'b' with my right index finger. On this board, this is a recipe for disaster with the stupid numlock!! I am also used to pressing F5 with my right index finger, but 'h' with my left. Doesn't work so well on the Ergo Pro. I could push the two halves together to be able to use those keys with either hand but that would be taking away the biggest advantage of this keyboard.
are interesting but I'm not sure I support them 100%. Half-height function keys are unnecessary as there would have been room for full-height on this board. On the left cluster they make more sense in order to fit more keys there but no one needs those anyway when you have keyboard shortcuts like CTRL+C and CTRL+V always in reach while typing. Small arrows are annoying, but I like the big spacebars to make up for their reduced width. The fn key is too far away to be much use to anyone. The navigation cluster is heresy!!
And the large CTRL key is downright comical.
Tenting and tilting
are cool additions, but I feel that the feet are too long so the whole assembly becomes a bit too high for my comfort. Then again, I'm not very tall, someone else might benefit from this. Personally I would probably mod it somehow for negative incline at a smaller angle.
While the keyboard has a compact layout
, it is not any more compact than most full-size keyboards if you have the halves at least a few cm apart and angled, as you should. This moves the mouse further to the right. Unless you have a good trackball in the middle, your typing will improve while your mousing will be made worse.
This really needs a mouse control function. My RS84 has this through its controller and it is a nice addition if you don't want to take your hands off the keyboard when making small corrections with the mouse.
Well, they definitely made some weird decisions, but a convincing product overall
. I hear they also got rid of the annoying numlock, though we could maybe fix this ourselves with our own drivers. Since it is a hardware function, I have been unable to change it through the windows registry, unfortunately.
Testing this keyboard is quite fun (and, as I said, refreshing, especially for someone who has not tried an ergonomical keyboard before), but it has not convinced me to buy an Ergo-Pro, let alone any Matias keyboard.
For the price, I expect higher quality keycaps and plastics, as I could almost get a Realforce this kind of money. The switches are not bad and definitely usable any day of the week, but not as refined, smooth or quiet as I had hoped. I'd say they are at least as good as Ergo-Clears, while slightly heavier, but lack their keycap compatibility. The option of half-height keycaps are not enough of an advantage to make up for this.
I work in IT, and if I had any issues whatsoever with RSI or wrist pain I would buy the Ergo Pro in an instant
. Hell, I might even get some of the money back from my employer, since they are obligated to allow us to work while avoiding injuries, and I need a proper keyboard to work with computers properly.
But since I don't have any wrist issues with regular keyboards I will stick to Cherry and IBM for the moment.
This has however prompted me to ponder other things, namely:
- Get a wrist rest
- Look into buying or building an ergonomic Cherry MX keyboard (perhaps an Atreus or ErgoDox, not a TrulyErgonomic since they mostly use Kailh switches now)
- Revive my dream of finding a Marquardt Mini-Ergo, perhaps modding the switches
Either way, I enjoy being a part of this tour and happy and thankful to be able to try an ergonomic mechanical keyboard for the first time in my life. Thanks, Muirium!
I will keep testing the board for a few more days before I pack her up again to send it to the next one in line.
- The cable that connects the two halves is unnecessarily cheap and reminds me of the flimsy laptop mice that you get for 1€ at the local electronics store
- I just found out that the keyboard can be bought directly in Germany for roughly 220€. This makes it a much more viable option compared to a Realforce, or other ergonomic mechanicals.
- On the German layout, I could get my beloved ISO Enter as well as a CTRL key in place of the numlock, which I should be able to rebind to 'b' or fn using only the Windows registry
- That said, I would still refuse to shell out 220€ out of my own pocket for a keyboard that isn't perfect out of the box and has no options for better keycaps with more durable legends with better readability.
- The glue is coming off on the wrist pad on the left keyboard half and the pad is almost coming off... Mu are you aware of this??