Finally, everyone can have a beautiful split keyboard with mechanical keys.
Are you looking for the ultimate ergonomic keyboard without the hassle of building or customizing it yourself? You’re in luck. That’s because a trio of Rockville, Maryland-based keyboard enthusiasts have teamed up to launch what they’re calling the ErgoDox EZ project.
The device — which recently made its Indiegogo debut — is based on the official ErgoDox design. However, instead of having to piece together 160 different components, these keyboards will ship as a mass-produced, pre-assembled product that anyone can buy. What’s more, it’ll also come with a factory warranty. For those unfamiliar with the office accessory, the ErgoDox is an ergonomic keyboard that is divided into two halves with a columnar layout. This style of keypad has risen in popularity over the last couple of months, particularly throughout the online gaming scene.
Based on a Teensy 2.0 microcontroller (ATmega32U4), ErgoDox is 100% open-source, meaning users can customize it to their liking. Massdrop, the innovative startup behind the original ErgoDox kits, has an online graphical configuration utility that enables users to easily create their own layout and share with the DIY community. Crafted with portability in mind, the device comes with both a standard cable and a USB jack, too.
“Right now, you can choose between two main kinds of assembled mechanical keyboards: You have the compact “retro” ones like the Happy Hacking keyboard, or the large ergonomic ones like the Kinesis Advantage. The ErgoDox is a mechanical keyboard design that is both compact and ergonomic,” its creators explain.
Undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects of any mechanical keyboard is the key switches. While the ErgoDox EZ is equipped with Cherry MX Brown switches by default, users can choose between six different types, each with varying noise levels, type experiences and actuation forces.
“Each key on a mechanical keyboard hides an actual physical switch under it, rather than a squishy rubber membrane like on most keyboards. Typing on a mechanical keyboard is a very different experience from typing on a regular one. The keys have more travel, and everything is more tactile. Mechanical keyboards have their own unique sound, and you don’t have to press the keys all the way down to get a reaction, which makes typing easier on the fingers.”
Prior to the EZ, those seeking an ErgoDox would have to obtain a kit and then hand-solder its components together before having a fully-functional keyboard. Fortunately, those wishing to forgo the daunting task, or those simply looking for a much more expedited experience, can now purchase one out-of-the-box ready. ErgoDox EZ is currently live on Indiegogo, where its team is seeking $50,000. If all goes well, shipment is expected to begin December 2015 — just in time for the holidays!