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adampk17
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Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:40 pm

When I say ergonomic I mean similar in layout to my current favorite non-gaming keyboard, the MS Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.

I don't need mechanical, although I'm not opposed to it. When I look at Razer and Logitech they just don't seem to make any thing but regular, straight gaming keyboards. Am I missing a model or maybe a brand I should check out?
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:01 pm

I'm looking for the same
I was recommended once the True Ergonomic Keyboard because it used Cherry Blues - don't buy it, the key offset will drive you absolutely bonkers

THat said gaming on the MS Natural 4000 is pretty good
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:07 pm

pikaporeon wrote:
I'm looking for the same
I was recommended once the True Ergonomic Keyboard because it used Cherry Blues - don't buy it, the key offset will drive you absolutely bonkers

THat said gaming on the MS Natural 4000 is pretty good



Thanks for the heads up. Yeah, gaming on the MS Natural 4000 is mostly fine but I've had the same keyboard model for god knows how long and, frankly, I wouldn't mind a change to something a little more exciting. Weird attitude to have for a keyboard I concede, but I wouldn't mind the back-lighting, macro keys, or other features that your typical gaming keyboard has.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:32 pm

adampk17 wrote:
.... I've had the same keyboard model for god knows how long and, frankly, I wouldn't mind a change to something a little more exciting. Weird attitude to have for a keyboard I concede, but I wouldn't mind the back-lighting, macro keys, or other features that your typical gaming keyboard has.

I'm in exactly the same boat. The problem is that Microsoft owns patents on the design, and typical Microsoft fashion they've done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with it, despite a huge (though largely quiet) following for "Natural" keyboards. They've put forth zero effort to capitalize on the design, and they've left their customers hanging out to dry for years. How long? I've been using the MS Natural 4000 for 11 years now. *cue circus music*
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:08 pm

I'll tag onto this thread since I'm looking for the same. I love the layout of my MS Comfort Curve 2000 but the comma key doesn't register anymore.

It's really hard buying a keyboard without being able to physically try it out first, and mechanical keyboards are friggin' expensive. Plus I'm not completely convinced I'd even like mechanical switches.

Side question, what is the standard key rollover for keyboards that don't advertise one? Best I can figure is that it's 5-6 which is honestly plenty since one of your hands will be pre-occupied on the mouse anyway.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:13 pm

Same boat here - all I want is the mechanical version of the fabulous Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 (now out of production and selling for about the price of a nice mechanical keyboard).
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:19 pm

TBH, the natural elite I had in 1996 was by far the best keyboard I've ever used. It was only a rubber-dome type keyboard but the layout and build-quality was second to none at the time.

Nothing else has come close, I've just decided that for gaming I only use one hand on the keyboard, so I can live without the curved layout.
Grab yourself a mechanical tenkeyless and be done with it. It's amazing how much nicer a good mechanical is over even the best rubber dome options. I'm on a quickfire Rapid-i after a long affair with a Das. As a die-hard natural keyboard fan I realised that the product I used to love is extinct and the upsides of mechanical backlit goodness far outweigh the downsides of a less ergonomic layout.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:21 pm

The Egg wrote:
I'm in exactly the same boat. The problem is that Microsoft owns patents on the design, and typical Microsoft fashion they've done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with it, despite a huge (though largely quiet) following for "Natural" keyboards. They've put forth zero effort to capitalize on the design, and they've left their customers hanging out to dry for years. How long? I've been using the MS Natural 4000 for 11 years now. *cue circus music*


Other companies, namely Logitech, makes keyboards with similar shapes, so I know other companies can do it. They must be under the impression that nothing but businesses and web/email jockeys like split/ergo keyboards.

As this thread can attest, I think they are mistaken.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:29 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
TBH, the natural elite I had in 1996 was by far the best keyboard I've ever used. It was only a rubber-dome type keyboard but the layout and build-quality was second to none at the time.

Nothing else has come close, I've just decided that for gaming I only use one hand on the keyboard, so I can live without the curved layout.
Grab yourself a mechanical tenkeyless and be done with it. It's amazing how much nicer a good mechanical is over even the best rubber dome options. I'm on a quickfire Rapid-i after a long affair with a Das. As a die-hard natural keyboard fan I realised that the product I used to love is extinct and the upsides of mechanical backlit goodness far outweigh the downsides of a less ergonomic layout.



That doesn't sound like a bad idea until I leave the game. Then I'm stuck with a straight keyboard. No bueno.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:34 pm

 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:39 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:


Do you consider either of those gaming keyboards?
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:01 pm

The Egg wrote:
. They've put forth zero effort to capitalize on the design, and they've left their customers hanging out to dry for years. How long? I've been using the MS Natural 4000 for 11 years now. *cue circus music*



If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm happily using mine after many years and every time I go into a new job, I make sure to ask for one.
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:10 pm

I dunno, I'm on my second MSNK4000 at work after only a couple of years, and after replacing two at home they're just cheap and nasty now.

My previous MSNK Elites lasted over a decade each and I chucked the one at home because it was so old the plastic had gone smooth and the UV sunlight had turned it a disgusting yellow no matter how sterile it was from cleaning.
The one at work wasn't affected by UV discolouration but when we moved office in 2014 the removal guys physically destroyed it by ripping the soldered cable out of the keyboard and wrecking the PCB.

I've had five MSNK 4000s in total now and they all suffer from the key action getting stiffer as they wear out. Even kept spotlessly clean and free of food they feel pretty bad within a year, and it's not like they're cheap to buy when it comes to replacing them so I tolerate the lousy typing experience until it gets so bad I'd rather be using a new $3 keyboard.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:34 pm

adampk17 wrote:
Flatland_Spider wrote:


Do you consider either of those gaming keyboards?


Nope, but what you're after plainly and simply does not exist. I'd suggest a Nostromo/Orbweaver/G13 but if you chat in your games your huge MSNK4000 will mean a large distance between your left and right hands during gaming, which kind of ruins the eronomics and thus negates the point of having an MSNK4000 in the first place ;)
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:44 pm

I've been using a Logitech Wireless Wave keyboard for quite some time now. It's survived quite a bit of abuse, and I think I may have changed the batteries out twice in 3 years or so. It has a good mix of ergonomics while not being totally weird for people who try to use it. Logitech used to make a wired version, but have not done so in a few years.

While it comes with a mouse, I leave it off and use a Razer Copperhead. Just looked it up, and you can in fact get one without a mouse.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:27 pm

adampk17 wrote:
Flatland_Spider wrote:


Do you consider either of those gaming keyboards?


They don't have the disco lights, useless knobs, tribal graphics, or the rest of the happy junk gamers eat up, but you press a button and stuff happens.

The ErgoDox Ez can be ordered with whatever switches you want, and it can be programmed to map the keys however you would like.

If you're feeling really adventurous, you can order parts to build your own ErgoDox keyboard: http://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/ind ... tail&p=537

Chrispy_ wrote:
I've had five MSNK 4000s in total now and they all suffer from the key action getting stiffer as they wear out. Even kept spotlessly clean and free of food they feel pretty bad within a year, and it's not like they're cheap to buy when it comes to replacing them so I tolerate the lousy typing experience until it gets so bad I'd rather be using a new $3 keyboard.


I've used the MS Sculpt and MS Natural, and I like the layout. The only problem I have is that they are rubber dome, and I only seen to get about a year out of rubber dome keyboards. After that, keys start to bind, and I get frustrated with correcting typos. For me, the answer was to go mechanical.

I strongly considered buying a Matias Ergo a couple of weeks ago, but I decided I didn't like the layout. I have a KBP v80 Dolce with Matias Quiet Click switches on order now. :)
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:12 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
I'd suggest a Nostromo/Orbweaver/G13..


This.

..and then add it to an ergo-keyboard that isn't too wide, like the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic or for a lot more money the Truly Ergonomic Keyboard.


To me the most "gaming element" of a keyboard isn't the switches, rather it's a matter of program-ability.
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:03 pm

Well firstly what is considered a "gaming" keyboard??

As for ergonomic and mechanical
https://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/index.php

I think there are others such as matias as others have mentioned.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:35 pm

anotherengineer wrote:
Well firstly what is considered a "gaming" keyboard??

As for ergonomic and mechanical
https://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/index.php

I think there are others such as matias as others have mentioned.


I guess for me, at a minimum, back-lighting.
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:14 pm

 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:23 pm

Apparently the Unicorn does exist (..or should soon)! :o

-turns out though that the Unicorn isn't a Unicorn at all, it's a butterfly:

http://shop.keyboard.io/



..not cheap though. :wink:
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:24 am

CScottG wrote:
Truly Ergonomic Keyboard.



anotherengineer wrote:
Well firstly what is considered a "gaming" keyboard??

As for ergonomic and mechanical
https://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/index.php

I think there are others such as matias as others have mentioned.

As I mentioned above, the key offset on that is off and will drive you stark raving mad. You'll come "close" to being able to use it to type fast after a week, but you'll never be able to game well o nit because the offset screws up hotkeys, and it will screw with you again once you switch to any other keyboard.
Avoid this like the plague especially in any 'gaming' context
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:42 am

I have always been intrigued by this board but have never tried it.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6861/firs ... c-keyboard
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:11 am

adampk17 wrote:
Other companies, namely Logitech, makes keyboards with similar shapes, so I know other companies can do it.

Logitech makes curved and "wave" keyboards, but nothing like the Natural. I've been watching for many years. The only physically similar models I've seen are no-name knockoffs, which don't have any of the improvements that have been mentioned.

Chrispy_ wrote:
I've had five MSNK 4000s in total now and they all suffer from the key action getting stiffer as they wear out. Even kept spotlessly clean and free of food they feel pretty bad within a year, and it's not like they're cheap to buy when it comes to replacing them so I tolerate the lousy typing experience until it gets so bad I'd rather be using a new $3 keyboard.

You're definitely right about that. I've gone through a couple at work, and probably my 3rd at home. If you put a new keyboard next to an old one, it's "wow...." different. A good part of it is from key usage, but I think the rubber domes underneath also "age" to some degree, just by being exposed to the air.

CScottG wrote:
Apparently the Unicorn does exist (..or should soon)! :o
..not cheap though. :wink:

There's a handful of options out there, but $250+ is unacceptable for a stupid keyboard. I've been eyeballing the Orbweaver Chroma Stealth, but $130 is also a tad much for what it is. I'll probably grab one if it goes on sale for $100. For me, prices are often a matter of principle, not whether I can actually afford it.
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:10 am

pikaporeon wrote:
As I mentioned above, the key offset on that is off and will drive you stark raving mad. You'll come "close" to being able to use it to type fast after a week, but you'll never be able to game well o nit because the offset screws up hotkeys, and it will screw with you again once you switch to any other keyboard.
Avoid this like the plague especially in any 'gaming' context

If you need to type a lot at work, the only way I could see it being even vaguely practical would be if you get two -- one for home, and one for the office. And you'll still regret it whenever you need to use a laptop.

Inconsistent layout and feel both bug me. That's why I use identical RK-9000 keyboards at home and work.

The Egg wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:
I've had five MSNK 4000s in total now and they all suffer from the key action getting stiffer as they wear out. Even kept spotlessly clean and free of food they feel pretty bad within a year, and it's not like they're cheap to buy when it comes to replacing them so I tolerate the lousy typing experience until it gets so bad I'd rather be using a new $3 keyboard.

You're definitely right about that. I've gone through a couple at work, and probably my 3rd at home. If you put a new keyboard next to an old one, it's "wow...." different. A good part of it is from key usage, but I think the rubber domes underneath also "age" to some degree, just by being exposed to the air.

It is probably mostly due to the rubber getting stiff with age. It would be interesting to compare a "new old stock" (or lightly used old) one with a brand new one. I'd be willing to bet you will feel a difference.

That's one of the nice things about mechanical switches -- unless you dump something sticky (soda, beer, etc.) into them, the feel changes very little over time. :wink:
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:12 am

I have 3 NK4000s, two are years old and one is literally two days old (... spilled water on one of them and had to replace it) - I actually like the "firmer" feeling with age a lot, it's hard to describe but it feels good... but then again I was a Model M guy before I was anything else so maybe I just like a lot of resistance
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:27 pm

The Egg wrote:

CScottG wrote:
Apparently the Unicorn does exist (..or should soon)! :o
..not cheap though. :wink:


There's a handful of options out there, but $250+ is unacceptable for a stupid keyboard. I've been eyeballing the Orbweaver Chroma Stealth, but $130 is also a tad much for what it is. I'll probably grab one if it goes on sale for $100. For me, prices are often a matter of principle, not whether I can actually afford it.



To me, even considerably more than $250 for a keyboard *could* be worth it. I think it depends on how much I use the device, which also depends on how much I like to use the device and how much added utility it provides, AND how long the device is likely to last.

I personally use a keyboard a fair amount, but not to the degree of someone that's working it hard all-day-long. PLUS, I can find reasonable utility from other keyboard solutions - even cheap ones. Like you then, it's probably not worth it to me EXCEPT for one condition: utility.

That split-keyboard design plus good mechanical switches plus macro capability.. hmm, that makes me think more than twice about spending that amount of money (provided it will last a long time). I REALLY want the keyboard split and mounted to my chair arms - and still have a good keyboard. This is the one I had been looking at for this solution:

https://ultimatehackingkeyboard.com/

..but I might spend almost half-again as much for the sculpted keys that the "butterfly" keyboard provides. (..this is despite the fact that I don't particularly like the maple butterfly casing.)

..it's really got me "thinking". :oops:



On the other-hand (perhaps literally):

I've been using the original Belkin keypad for quite some time now. Knowing how much utility I've gotten out of that thing, I'd happily pay almost 3 times as much for it than what I'd originally payed ($70); it's been THAT USEFUL.

$130 for the Chroma, doesn't seem over-priced at all - if anything I think it's under-priced (..assuming it has similar or better longevity to the Belkin I have).

However, the "Chroma" aspect isn't useful to me.. in fact I hate the back-lighting on my Belkin, it's distracting as hell to have a bright blue LED in your peripheral vision (..and so much so that I painted over it). I'm not sure the Chroma would be that bad, but the fact is that it's not something I find useful - so I'd probably get the cheaper version. Of course because the Ultimate Hacker Keyboard or the Keyboario has program-ability (and macro program-ability), I think this will make a suitable replacement for something like a gaming keypad (..which makes that keyboard all the more valuable).
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:09 pm

CScottG wrote:
On the other hand the "Chroma" aspect isn't useful to me.. in fact I hate the back-lighting on my Belkin, it's distracting as hell to have a bright blue LED in your peripheral vision (..and so much so that I painted over it). I'm not sure the Chroma would be that bad, but the fact is that it's not something I find useful - so I'd probably get the cheaper version.

Actually, configurable backlighting is probably the #1 selling point for me. If I'm playing a game in the dark, I often have to lean over and squint at the keys, and by that point I've been killed. While the rainbow they always show would be useless, color-coding certain sets of keys could be very useful for quickly glancing down.
 
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:10 pm

CScottG wrote:
To me, even considerably more than $250 for a keyboard *could* be worth it.

I really can't see paying $250 for a keyboard. To get me to pay anywhere near that much it would need to:

- Be tactile mechanical with o-rings (or a switch with roughly equivalent characteristics)

- Be resistant to damage from beverage spills

- Be resistant to damage from incidental ESD (I once managed to kill the controller in a Rosewill mechanical by accidentally giving it a good-sized static zap as I sat down at my desk)

- Have wear-resistant (double-shot or dye sublination printed) keycaps, preferably molded from more durable PBT instead of the more common ABS

IOW it would need to meet my definition of a good keyboard to type on, and I would need to have some confidence that it'll be around for years to come.

To date, I think the most I've ever paid for a keyboard was just a bit over $100 (for a Ducky Zero).
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Re: Ergonomic "gaming" keyboard. Does it exist?

Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:33 pm

The Egg wrote:
If I'm playing a game in the dark, I often have to lean over and squint at the keys, and by that point I've been killed. While the rainbow they always show would be useless, color-coding certain sets of keys could be very useful for quickly glancing down.


It's somewhat ironic that I hate it most (the lighting), when playing in the dark.. :P

-and playing in the dark is the most fun because it's the most immersive, and anything that detracts from that decreases my performance (and fun) - and the lighting definitely does that to me.

I just memorize the key positions, so I don't need the lighting.

I should mention though that I'm never playing more than about 2-3 games "*simultaneously" (..and one is often quite different -like Street-Fighter while using a "fighting-stick"), so it's not like I'm mentally juggling a huge number of key-presses at any one time. :oops:

I'm sort of a "serial-gamer". :P



*..not really simultaneously - but rather 2-3 games within a longer period like a month or so.
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