Maltron single-handed keyboard review (Cherry MX Black)

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photekq
Cherry Picker

27 May 2020, 15:37

Threads like these make me feel very nostalgic. Nostalgic for a time where this forum brought me positive emotions rather than negative ones.

Wazrach

27 May 2020, 19:16

photekq wrote:
27 May 2020, 15:37
Threads like these make me feel very nostalgic. Nostalgic for a time where this forum brought me positive emotions rather than negative ones.
Thank you.

User avatar
photekq
Cherry Picker

27 May 2020, 20:58

Wazrach wrote:
27 May 2020, 19:16
Thank you.
my nostalgia waned but now it's back again

davkol

27 May 2020, 23:23

I originally hesitated whether I should reply, or not, and decided for the latter, but now that the thread is already here, I'm going to say it anyway:

Chyros is an ableist piece of garbage

and seems to be fishing for pewdiepie's audience of 13yo edgelords, I'm only waiting for a "heated gamer moment". [hashtag cancelled]

As for the content, of course it's an act… compare the Cherry MX Black assessment here and in some previous video, although that might not be obvious to a random viewer or someone that doesn't pay attention.

Otherwise, it would take only a couple of minutes to find the patent and article, where Lilian Malt explained the logic behind the layout. That, however, would be too much work and too little gratification. Thus, it's left as an exercise to the reader.

kelvinhall05

27 May 2020, 23:26

davkol wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:23
I originally hesitated whether I should reply, or not, and decided for the latter, but now that the thread is already here, I'm going to say it anyway:

Chyros is an ableist piece of garbage

and seems to be fishing for pewdiepie's audience of 13yo edgelords, I'm only waiting for a "heated gamer moment". [hashtag cancelled]

As for the content, of course it's an act… compare the Cherry MX Black assessment here and in some previous video, although that might not be obvious to a random viewer or someone that doesn't pay attention.

Otherwise, it would take only a couple of minutes to find the patent and article, where Lilian Malt explained the logic behind the layout. That, however, would be too much work and too little gratification.
Not sure why you and a few other people think this video was him making fun of disabled people. He's pointing out flaws in a horrible keyboard. Even the people who have to use a keyboard one-handed were saying in the comment section that they use a normal board and wouldn't want to use the Maltron.

davkol

27 May 2020, 23:33

kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:26
He's pointing out flaws in a horrible keyboard.
You mean presenting a harebrained reaction to anything outside his comfort zone.

Reminds me of Kübler-Ross model that I've seen applied to novel ideas (though it could be just as well the famous Mahatma Gandhi quote).
  1. denial
  2. anger
  3. bargaining
  4. depression
  5. acceptance
Except the later stages don't make as much money, nor get one gamer street cred.

Just to reiterate: the research to make much more informative content takes as little as few minutes.
Last edited by davkol on 27 May 2020, 23:37, edited 1 time in total.

kelvinhall05

27 May 2020, 23:37

davkol wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:33
kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:26
He's pointing out flaws in a horrible keyboard.
You mean presenting a harebrained reaction to anything outside his comfort zone.

Reminds me of Kübler-Ross model that I've seen applied to novel ideas (though it could be just as well the famous Mahatma Gandhi quote).
  1. denial
  2. anger
  3. bargaining
  4. depression
  5. acceptance
Except the later stages don't make as much money, nor get one gamer street cred.
Please try and use the keyboard and then say how it's "not that bad".

User avatar
Myoth

27 May 2020, 23:50

kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:37
davkol wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:33
kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:26
He's pointing out flaws in a horrible keyboard.
You mean presenting a harebrained reaction to anything outside his comfort zone.

Reminds me of Kübler-Ross model that I've seen applied to novel ideas (though it could be just as well the famous Mahatma Gandhi quote).
  1. denial
  2. anger
  3. bargaining
  4. depression
  5. acceptance
Except the later stages don't make as much money, nor get one gamer street cred.
Please try and use the keyboard and then say how it's "not that bad".
This is beyond the concept of good or bad keyboard

davkol

27 May 2020, 23:57

kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:37
Please try and use the keyboard and then say how it's "not that bad".
That's besides the point.

I looked into Maltron layouts years ago (there you have a summary of the design principles) and eventually learned the dual-hand version that I happen to use on Kinesis Advantage2. It was quite straightforward to learn too, just a few minutes of practice every day. While researching Maltron, it's also easy to come across posts by Proword mainly at Geekhack (example). I've been planning to build a custom Maltron board for a few years now, but struggle to find the time and the one time when I had an opportunity, I was short on cash.

However, the topic is about the video and its "contents" that certainly do _not_ constitute anything informative to say the least (although it does tell us about the author).

User avatar
PlacaFromHell

28 May 2020, 01:01

Chyros exposed three big points against the keyboard, which are:
-Horrendous design which claims to be "ergonomic" but has unreachable keys or just uncomfortable to the absurd, like the literally vertical ones in the upper row of the main cluster,
-The worst building quality ever seen in one of his mechanical keyboards' reviews,
-Low or no effort in use a good type of switch.
In his defense I also have to add that the heavier switches plus the lack of one of your hands will make the tiredness you'll feel while using the keyboard even worse. Also the case looks like suction molded with the worst and cheapest PVC ever made, for a keyboard that isn't particulary cheap. A Tipro or a plank keyboard with very close stacked keys should be a much better deal for someone with a single hand.
You are not bothered by the lack of arguments, because there are enough arguments, what bothers you are the ways of communicating it. And against the scarecrow fallacy of "because Chyros made fun of a keyboard for disabled people he is making fun of disable people" let me just respond with something at the same level.

Image

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

28 May 2020, 14:10

I think I got it:
  • Chyros is entitled to criticize a keyboard, even in vulgar terms (from 0:43 thru 12:44 of 16:19)
    but one is not entitled to criticize Chyros, even in polite terms.
  • The misspelled "warning" at the beginning warns against he keyboard itself and thus is in fact a teaser,
    but one then has to guess that the following video will be just a flurry of swears.
  • Chyros' videos are professionally crafted with carefully written texts read aloud,
    but one should not think expressions like "catastrophic cunt plunger" (12:35) are deliberately intended for a certain audience
as after all
  • Chyros' reviews are simply fact-based analyses made with only keyboard science in mind,
    and the income generating aspect has no bearing at all on their content or form.


Do NOT open the following spoiler, it could hide an insult!
Spoiler:
[This post without paid advertisment]

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ddrfraser1

28 May 2020, 15:07

Omg, stop. Don’t watch it then. Unsubscribe. 🥱😒

forter4

28 May 2020, 17:49

Wait, I've watched this video twice and I can't really find where he's making fun of the handicap (shrugs)

Also, every handicap person I've met (there were a few times I did volunteer stuff as part of a school program; before anyone thinks I'm virtue signaling, it was mandatory), they all seemed to have a great sense of humor and were typically the ones who joked about their situation

kelvinhall05

28 May 2020, 18:16

ddrfraser1 wrote:
28 May 2020, 15:07
Omg, stop. Don’t watch it then. Unsubscribe. 🥱😒
Exactly! This thread (rather, the people whining about the video) is the equivalent of people following Trump or whoever on Twitter and whining about all his tweets. If you don't like the guy, don't follow him; it's that simple.
forter4 wrote:
28 May 2020, 17:49
Wait, I've watched this video twice and I can't really find where he's making fun of the handicap (shrugs)

Also, every handicap person I've met (there were a few times I did volunteer stuff as part of a school program; before anyone thinks I'm virtue signaling, it was mandatory), they all seemed to have a great sense of humor and were typically the ones who joked about their situation
Yup, and there are people in the comments who say they can't use both hands/arms and they also agree that they would never use the Maltron garbage. I challenge everyone who says this keyboard "isn't that bad" or is getting "undeserved hate" to buy it for retail price and use it one-handed the way it was intended, then they can come back here and say how good it is :lol:

Findecanor

29 May 2020, 02:35

PlacaFromHell wrote:
28 May 2020, 01:01
Chyros exposed three big points against the keyboard, which are:
-Horrendous design which claims to be "ergonomic" but has unreachable keys or just uncomfortable to the absurd, like the literally vertical ones in the upper row of the main cluster,
-The worst building quality ever seen in one of his mechanical keyboards' reviews,
-Low or no effort in use a good type of switch.
You try to design and build a single one-handed Dactyl Manuform in your garage using only technology available in 1983!
You get to use only key switches available at that time (such as Cherry MX Black) but you should take into account that keys might be struck at weird angles, so they can't bind on off-centre key presses (which rules out Chyros' favourite Alps).
You can use only a keyboard controllers available at that time. (old microcontroller = no programming and no layers! All keys have to be present)
You can get the blueprints in paper form, or we can stretch it perhaps to a clay model. No 3D-printer. No injected-moulded case (Have you got any idea how much a mould for injection-moulding costs?). No laser-cut acrylic, no CNC: All equipment has to be from 1983 or earlier, have been available in 1983 to small businesses, for small-business money and fit in your shop.

Then see which method you would use to make the casing and electronics, and see how much you would charge for it.
Remember: this is not a product you get to manufacture in any considerable volume. You can't tell how many of them you actually will sell. You might have to build them to order, build a brand and so on and hope for word-of-mouth. There is no Internet and no social media, other than dial-up ... (or is that too early?)
You can do trade shows and print media to advertise your product.
ddrfraser1 wrote:
28 May 2020, 15:07
Omg, stop. Don’t watch it then. Unsubscribe. 🥱😒
That's a bullshit argument, on the same level as saying that if you are US-ian and don't like Trump, you are free to move to another country.

The point is that we still consider Chyros a valuable member of this community, his videos are in general a great resource, and we know that he can do better than this particular last video.
@Chyros: Do better!

User avatar
zrrion

29 May 2020, 03:01

Yall need to relax. Its a video about a keyboard.

Delirious

29 May 2020, 03:32

Findecanor wrote:
29 May 2020, 02:35
PlacaFromHell wrote:
28 May 2020, 01:01
Chyros exposed three big points against the keyboard, which are:
-Horrendous design which claims to be "ergonomic" but has unreachable keys or just uncomfortable to the absurd, like the literally vertical ones in the upper row of the main cluster,
-The worst building quality ever seen in one of his mechanical keyboards' reviews,
-Low or no effort in use a good type of switch.
You try to design and build a single one-handed Dactyl Manuform in your garage using only technology available in 1983!
You get to use only key switches available at that time (such as Cherry MX Black) but you should take into account that keys might be struck at weird angles, so they can't bind on off-centre key presses (which rules out Chyros' favourite Alps).
You can use only a keyboard controllers available at that time. (old microcontroller = no programming and no layers! All keys have to be present)
You can get the blueprints in paper form, or we can stretch it perhaps to a clay model. No 3D-printer. No injected-moulded case (Have you got any idea how much a mould for injection-moulding costs?). No laser-cut acrylic, no CNC: All equipment has to be from 1983 or earlier, have been available in 1983 to small businesses, for small-business money and fit in your shop.

Then see which method you would use to make the casing and electronics, and see how much you would charge for it.
Remember: this is not a product you get to manufacture in any considerable volume. You can't tell how many of them you actually will sell. You might have to build them to order, build a brand and so on and hope for word-of-mouth. There is no Internet and no social media, other than dial-up ... (or is that too early?)
You can do trade shows and print media to advertise your product.
A well thought-out response, what a surprise. Kudos to you for presenting the first legit arguments in this entire thread, no name callings, no emotion-baitings, just logical reasoning.

User avatar
PlacaFromHell

29 May 2020, 04:48

Findecanor wrote:
29 May 2020, 02:35
PlacaFromHell wrote:
28 May 2020, 01:01
Chyros exposed three big points against the keyboard, which are:
-Horrendous design which claims to be "ergonomic" but has unreachable keys or just uncomfortable to the absurd, like the literally vertical ones in the upper row of the main cluster,
-The worst building quality ever seen in one of his mechanical keyboards' reviews,
-Low or no effort in use a good type of switch.
You try to design and build a single one-handed Dactyl Manuform in your garage using only technology available in 1983!
You get to use only key switches available at that time (such as Cherry MX Black) but you should take into account that keys might be struck at weird angles, so they can't bind on off-centre key presses (which rules out Chyros' favourite Alps).
You can use only a keyboard controllers available at that time. (old microcontroller = no programming and no layers! All keys have to be present)
You can get the blueprints in paper form, or we can stretch it perhaps to a clay model. No 3D-printer. No injected-moulded case (Have you got any idea how much a mould for injection-moulding costs?). No laser-cut acrylic, no CNC: All equipment has to be from 1983 or earlier, have been available in 1983 to small businesses, for small-business money and fit in your shop.

Then see which method you would use to make the casing and electronics, and see how much you would charge for it.
Remember: this is not a product you get to manufacture in any considerable volume. You can't tell how many of them you actually will sell. You might have to build them to order, build a brand and so on and hope for word-of-mouth. There is no Internet and no social media, other than dial-up ... (or is that too early?)
You can do trade shows and print media to advertise your product.
ddrfraser1 wrote:
28 May 2020, 15:07
Omg, stop. Don’t watch it then. Unsubscribe. 🥱😒
That's a bullshit argument, on the same level as saying that if you are US-ian and don't like Trump, you are free to move to another country.

The point is that we still consider Chyros a valuable member of this community, his videos are in general a great resource, and we know that he can do better than this particular last video.
@Chyros: Do better!
We are judging the keyboard, not the manufacturer. If it's not doing it well, you will not find a truce like "oh no, I could offend a wannabe who is playing to be the Steve Jobs of keyboards". Yes, building keyboards is quite easy nowadays, I myself made a lot of schematics of non existing switches, layouts and cases with no effort, but at the end things are what they are by themselves, not by the pretty story behind.
If someone at a deserted island makes a coconut able to send input codes to a PC by hitting it, be sure he's a genius, but don't try to put the coconut to pair any zero effort MX 60% keyboard because it CAN'T.
And as I said, just a grid keyboard will work even better and they are universally much more easy to make, duh.

davkol

29 May 2020, 13:11

Maltron's core proposition is the contoured design.

You may object to Malt's reasoning, but it would require getting familiar with it in the first place. I'm not entirely convinced that some of her arguments are right… just as I noted in another thread, there might not be sufficient research to decide.

On a related note, I don't see any non-anecdotal evidence that would point against usage of Cherry MX Black. The 60cN actuation force is completely average. OTOH, I have seen studies that showed increased wrist strain from trying to prevent accidental keystrokes on keys that required too little force. I have also seen some counter-intuitive anecdotes about people with joint problems benefiting from stiffer switches (buckling spring or indeed MX Black). Either way, Maltron offers customization to customers' needs and it reportedly includes using MX Brown or other switches too.

Anyway, vacuum forming provides a way to implement this contoured design. Printing has become an alternative only recently, and Maltron doesn't seem very fast to innovate. A machined case might increase the cost too much.

Speaking of money, I don't know what Maltron's margins are like, but the hardware itself seems to be a relatively small fraction of the total price, based on the DIY kit. We must consider that the keyboards are handwired in England, i.e., with British wages and workplace standards; and the company provides consulting and support. Most of these keyboards are likely purchased through employers or insurance, which may, or may not result in price inflation.

That being said, conflating quality with weight or rigidity is a rookie mistake. While it might intuitively make sense, these attributes are unrelated to reliability and such, nor are they important to Maltron's use case. From what I've read, Maltron keyboards often last years and decades, sometimes even in problematic conditions, as disabilities sometimes come in clusters. As a side note, a lightweight keyboard makes sense, if you have only one hand to carry/move it.

In the middle of the video, Chyros mocks the idea of sticky keys, one of the most common keyboard-accessibility tweaks (although usually implemented in software). That's just pathetic. It relates to an important usability issue, though, and that is modality in the broadest sense. Remember how the Contour representative said they hardcoded rollermouse's button mapping, because users would change the settings, forget about it and then get confused?

For example, HHKB's Fn layer is sometimes a subject to criticism. However, it was never a part of the original design, that was aimed at *nix workstations back in early 1990s—with the specific goal of "ending key inflation". The mass market moved in a different direction and PFU added the Fn layer.

Maltron is even older, and so when common software user interfaces started requiring certain extra keys, the manufacturer was faced with the decision if/how to adapt. They added extra keys into empty spaces around the keyboard. It's obvious in the history of their dual-hand keyboards. Was it a good decision? It depends on the use case. If these are mainly "typist" keyboards, it might not matter nearly as much… it also depends what user interface (other accessibility tools) the user has available.

You never hear Chyros discuss any of that, though, as if there was nothing but vanilla DOS/Windows and vaguely acknowledged existence of MacOS.

squizzler

07 Jun 2020, 11:48

I found myself disappointed by the review for reasons iterated by many others here. Whilst there is room for constructive criticism of Maltron's - shall we say - lack of premium feel, it seems churlish to criticise them of all companies for using an unorthodox letter layout.

As a British viewer, Chyros is seemingly modelling himself as the Jeremy Clarkson of the keyboard scene.

User avatar
ddrfraser1

07 Jun 2020, 16:35

Well you’ve just made me like him more now. Love me some irreverent Clarkson. Can’t wait for the day Chyros refers to a crap keyboard as a ‘gentlemen sausage’

davkol

07 Jun 2020, 19:11

Or gets drunk and assaults a coworker.

Or argue for the execution of public workers exercising their labor rights.

Or…

User avatar
zrrion

08 Jun 2020, 05:31

zrrion wrote:
29 May 2020, 03:01
Yall need to relax. Its a video about a keyboard.

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