This week we’ll be looking at the convergence of two of the Keyboard Company’s specialities: mechanical switches and ergonomic keyboards, in the Truly Ergonomic.
The layout is quite different than other keyboards, with QWERTY as the baseline but the modifiers and special keys moved into different positions. For example, the most commonly used keys like Enter, Backspace, Tab and Delete are in a row in the centre. Modifiers are also in a new position, with shift sitting comfortably in the ASDF row and Control and Alt below it. The number pad is mapped onto keys on the right hand side, allowing the Truly Ergonomic to be less wide than a standard keyboard. By not being bound to convention, the Truly Ergonomic is able to provide an even more comfortable typing experience.
This unique ergonomic keyboard also includes real mechanical switches – Cherry MX Browns, in fact. These popular switches provide a good mixture of tactile feedback and light weighting, while not providing the same potentially disruptive click that can be associated with a Blue switch.
There are other ergonomic touches as well, including a palm rest (which can be removed). There are also dip switches on the rear of the keyboard, allowing the customisation of a great deal of settings – five in all. You can change the function of certain modifiers, as well as allow the keyboard to be freely programmed.
So, how does it work out? Well, I took a few days to give it a shot. The first hour or so was pretty difficult, I’ve got to admit! There are really quite a few changes here; while the letter keys are fairly easy to get used to, the positioning of backspace and enter took a little bit longer. However, about two hours in everything clicked. While I didn’t manage to attain the same level of speed and proficiency that I’d be able to achieve with a standard layout, I crept up to a comfortable 40 words per minute.
It’s really nice to have an ergonomic keyboard without needing to go back to rubber domes. The keyboard’s small size is also quite unusual in the ergonomic arena – most ergonomic keyboards like the Microsoft example mentioned above are considerably wider than standard keyboards, which promotes a less healthy widened mouse stance.
All in all, if you’re having problems with carpal tunnel or just want to experience a more comfortable typing platform, then the Truly Ergonomic is definitely a worthwhile investment. While changing your posture and performing regular exercise and stretches will help, a truly ergonomic keyboard might be just what the doctor ordered.
We’ll add the Truly Ergonomic to our website soon, in two flavours – the 209, which is the model I reviewed, and the 207, which includes a double size Alt key instead of a split Alt and Blank keys. The Keyboard Company will be distributing the keyboards in Europe, to sit alongside our other exclusive mechanical keyboards from Filco and Matias.
Update: We have now added five TECK models to our website, and all are in stock and ready to ship today. Click here to see the selection available.
For more Ergonomic keyboards, check out the Ergonomic (natural) devices section of our site.