Truly Ergonomic keyboard has novel design, Cherry switches

Microsoft’s Natural keyboards popularized ergonomic designs in the early 90s, but they seem to have faded into obscurity. At least one keyboard maker would have you believe that they weren’t truly ergonomic, anyway. Truly Ergonomic has a keyboard of its own, and the company claims the unique design is the first “major update” to the keyboard in 140 years. Judge for yourself:

As you can see, the Truly Ergonomic keyboard ditches the staggered key layout that’s been around since the typewriter. The keys don’t sit on a flat plane, either; they gain elevation to the left and right of center to better conform to the shape of one’s hands. This novel layout is said to promote healthy posture and reduce wrist, shoulder, neck, and even lower back pain.

What makes the Truly Ergonomic keyboard particularly interesting is the fact that it’s loaded with other features. Cherry MX mechanical switches are used throughout, and you can choose between brown, blue, and black variants based on your preference. There’s a measure of programmability, too, and macro support is promised. You can even get the keyboard with blank keycaps like the Das Keyboard Ultimate.

Like the Das Keyboard, the Truly Ergonomic isn’t cheap. The list price is $199, although you’ll only pay $169 if you pre-order now. Orders received before October 15 are expected to be delivered in December. Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

Comments closed
    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    I care far more about getting keyboards that are clean/fresh, STANDARD LAYOUT, than design features like this. I have to have a new fresh KB about every year. uh, just because. I like the ones Dell and HP make just fineg{<.<}g (The keyboard here seriously wtf you are going to hit those directional/arrow keys constantly on accident with your palms.)

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    O
    M
    G
    !!!

    I was so looking for a wireless ergo keyboard without a keypad! freakin sweet! its too bad that i can get 10 ms natural 6000’s for that price.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    I can see definite problems with the layout. The Shift keys are placed too high. Many people use the pinky to hold down shift and type capital letters with the same hand, which looks awkward/impossible on the Truly Ergonomic.

    It does look interesting, though. But not $200 interesting.

    • kvndoom
    • 9 years ago

    Still using MS Natural Keyboard pro… I can’t live without my media buttons and number pad. And its longevity has been proven.

      • Starfalcon
      • 9 years ago

      Same here, been banging away on my natural pro since I got it in 1999. It still is going strong, and I haven’t had a single issue with it. I would miss my media buttons too if I had to get a new one lol.

        • mav451
        • 9 years ago

        I just want a MS Natural KB without a numpad. I’ve found that I either have to place a KB several inches forward, so my mouse doesn’t bang into the right side of the KB during gaming.

        In college I had a multi-level desk, but I don’t have that luxury at home.
        I would try a Kinesis, but I don’t wanna buy it and find I don’t like the feel of the keys, considering nobody sells these in a B&M setting.

    • Forge
    • 9 years ago

    Whoa. That’s hawt. If I had 200$ I’d be tempted. Instead, I must budget to replace my worthless defective OCZ ram. Ah well!

      • Voldenuit
      • 9 years ago

      Yup, and #2 is the comfort curve, which is also laid out in a quasi-ergonomic fashion.

      I like how ergonomic keyboards are great for two handed typing, but they’re not so handy for one-handed use. I replaced my lenovo thinkpad-style desktop keyboard with the comfort curve because the former (although it had the fabulous thinkpad x-switches) couldn’t support multiple keypresses (I’m told that the latest version does not have this drawback) and happily used it for 2 years.

      Ergonomic keyboards are hardly dead, and they’re far from uncommon. I’ve noticed though that even on my laptop (a thinkpad x300), my hands default to a V-shaped configuration that doesn’t strain the wrist*, so I probably don’t *need* the curved layout to keep my wrists straight.

      *EDIT: I’m going to guess that this happy coincidence is from years of using the trackpoint, where your hands naturally converge to use the pointing stick and its buttons. Go nubs!

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        /[

      • insulin_junkie72
      • 9 years ago

      Plus the Natural Keyboard 4000 is still usually sold in your local BestBuy/OfficeMax/Office Depot, as well.

      (Had one for a few years since I replaced my original flavor/v1 Natural Keyboard)

    • no51
    • 9 years ago

    I’ll stay with my $75 Rosewill RK-9000 with Blue Cherrys and my $20 ABS M1 with Black Alps.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    Using the Microsoft Curve 2000 which I absolutely love.

    • murtle
    • 9 years ago

    Truly ergonomic keyboard is keyboard on Dvorak Layout with numpad.

    This keyboars has good price point. They don’t want to sell it.

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    Intriguing, but too expensive to try on a whim.

    I’m a big fan of the Microsoft Natural range – been using one variant or another since 1996 and like that I don’t have to “adjust” when I use other keyboards.

    I tried Logitech’s wave, didn’t like it much but I suspect keyboards are even more down to personal preference than mice.

    • toastie
    • 9 years ago

    I had a Datadesk keyboard that also had a linear key layout. Also the keys closer to the middle of the keyboard and hit by your index finger were smaller then the keys at the edge that were hit by your pinky finger. Best reasonably priced keyboard I ever had. Sadly, the space bar eventually flaked out and would generate extra key presses, making the whole thing useless. Unfortunately, Datadesk is out of business otherwise I’d have purchased a new USB version to replace the busted PS/2 version.

    • thesmileman
    • 9 years ago

    This is all B.S.

    Maltron and Kinesis have been making true Contoured keyboard for ages and they also use cherry keyswitches and there keys are in a vertical layout as well and they are contoured to the shape of your fingers (just try holding your hands in the air like they would be on a keyboard then you can clearly see that your fingers sit in a curved shape. The keyboards are still flat and they cost almost as much as Kinesis keyboards (Maltron ones are really expensive but not the Kinesis ones)

    I used to not even be able to turn door knobs my carpel tunnel was so bad. I got a Kinesis Contoured keyboard for home and work and it has changed my like. I cannot recommend both companies keyboard enough. It takes 2 hours to get used to the layout and be at 80% of your normal speed (that is what they said in the manual and it was true) and a week to be at 100%+ speeds. I am now almost almost twice as fast 80 wpm with text and really fast with coding. If you have any trouble with your hands get one of the contoured keyboards from Maltron or Kinesis.

      • Manabu
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed. But even Kinesys keyboards are quite expensive. More expensive than this one, but, of course, you get more.

      The staggered keys on standard keyboards (along with qwerty) are artifacts from mechanical typewriters. Also, using the shift with your pinky instead of your thumb is terrible… I would love an cheap keyboard that get rid of those two main problems, and of course with the tratitional ergonomical angle.

      That is not hard to do…

      • RagingDragon
      • 9 years ago

      And what of us whose ergonomic needs differer from your own?

      The Kinesis does look good – if they put a trackball or trackpad between the keypads I’d be *very* tempted. It’s probably even possible to mod one to include a trackpad, but the basic Kinesis still costs almost twice as much as the Truly Ergonomic.

      The Truly Ergonomic looks to be narrower than the Kenesis/Maltron design, thus getting the mouse even closer to the keyboard. And it’s not typing but rather rather reaching over for the mouse that strains my arms and wrists. So the Truly Ergonomic looks like a good fit to my needs.

        • RagingDragon
        • 9 years ago

        Just saw that the Maltron is available with a trackball. So it’d be an excellent, though very expensive options. And for sometimes I still prefer a mouse to a trackball (ideally I’d like to have both a trackball, trackpad or trackpoint built into the keyboard and a separate mouse), so the Truly Ergonomic has narrowness and (relative) cheapness in it’s favour.

    • Spotpuff
    • 9 years ago

    Microsoft Travel 6000 (bluetooth w/ separate numpad) is great. Separate numpad so you still have it when you need it but it won’t get in the way of your mouse.

    The only problem is no home/end keys (dedicated) but I rempaped the right alt/ctrl to home/end.

    • nagashi
    • 9 years ago

    nice. I’ve always wanted an ergo keyboard, but without the useless numpad which at this point only serves to add travel time between my house and keyboard. Put out a $20 version with standard switches and no programmability and I’d bite.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 9 years ago

    Kinesis ergo > *

    I’d love to try one of these, but the inverse bowl shape of the kinesis is the real win.

      • thesmileman
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed. I love me three Kinesis contoured keyboards and I wish I could get a Maltron but they are like $700-900 or more.

    • mongoosesRawesome
    • 9 years ago

    no number pad. i realize that’s part of the design, but for me, numpad is a necessity. plus, 200 dollars for a keyboard?

    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    Interesting design, but I am not sure I’d like to spend 200 to try it out. I think that will be the biggest hurdle for this product.

      • bhtooefr
      • 9 years ago

      $200 is actually damn cheap for a mechanical ergo board.

      $400-600 is the norm for the Kinesis stuff, IIRC, and the last Model M15 that sold on eBay went for $1600. (Think a GoldTouch, except with buckling springs. Designed by the guy that did the GoldTouch, but he didn’t get the buckling spring patents.)

    • ludi
    • 9 years ago

    Dvorak: Drug out into the street and shot.

    This: Soon to be drug out into the street and shot.

    The standard may have its problems, but it also has one huge advantage: It’s the standard, and thus, everyone has been trained to use it.

      • blastdoor
      • 9 years ago

      Yup… that’s the problem. The only way this would work is if I could use it as the keyboard on every computer I use, and that’s unlikely to happen (certainly not at $200 a pop).

        • Trymor
        • 9 years ago

        You can’t unplug/plus a USB plug?

      • Trymor
      • 9 years ago

      …and there are no standards that can be improved upon? Or become a niche product? ‘Innovate’ and see if it sticks…

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        Sure, there are. But in this case, trying to modify the standard is roughly equivalent to trying to modify the tendency of vehicles to move forward by throwing yourself in front of a cement mixer.

          • Trymor
          • 9 years ago

          That works! You should try it!

            • ludi
            • 9 years ago

            Oh, it works for /[

            • Trymor
            • 9 years ago

            I have a black ‘S’, so I’m good 😉

      • A_Pickle
      • 9 years ago

      It also pretty definitely gives people carpal tunnel syndrome. Problem.

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        Unfortunatley, by the time this generation hits 35, I’m pretty sure any QWERTY effect will be indistinguishable from, and utterly dwarfed by, the nerve damage received from texting.

          • Trymor
          • 9 years ago

          …unless we all start using keyboards such as this. The young ones are getting ‘smarter’ faster than we did, someone just has to make a big stink about it to bring attention to the problem.

          But then again, if something doesn’t change, humans will ‘evolve’ and our appendages will adapt, given enough time.

            • Anomymous Gerbil
            • 9 years ago

            Unless fewer hand injuries from keyboard use improves reproductive success (and I can’t see how it would an iota of difference), then evolution wont do a damned thing for our appendages as regards typing.

            • Trymor
            • 9 years ago

            Humans (over time) adapt to their surroundings, as far as adapting muscles, eyes, skin color, etc. Keyboard adaption may be a stretch, but soon we will all be sitting behind keyboards, or at least computers, and controlling drones to fight our wars, hacking our way to cyber wars…

            Of course by then we may be all walking around with augmented reality contact lenses, glasses or projectors that focus on the moisture in the air…lol.

            • Voldenuit
            • 9 years ago

            l[

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 9 years ago

      Don’t be silly. Its QWERTY so people can adjust easily. People with repetitive stress injuries will try all sorts of things, expensive or not, to get on working. I think this product will be profitable.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 9 years ago

    Such keyboard can be problematic. Once you get used to the new layout, you’ll have trouble typing on a regular keyboard, which seems to get the job done everywhere else. So what exactly is the point of this new design? Does it make typing faster or more comfortable?
    Pictures are useless, we need a review.

      • Tairc
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed – get us a review, and some demo samples in B&M stores, so I can find out why I’m spending 200$. I’ve got wrist problems and finger problems. I’d totally spend 200$ on a keyboard – if I knew it’d work. That, or give me 30 days money back, so I can send it back if my hands hurt worse than usual after the first few weeks.

        • thesmileman
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t know specifically about this keyboard. But I have a Kinesis Contoured keyboard which is significantly different from a regular keyboard. It is much better than this one (though this has some of the same features the kinesis on does). It absolutely cured my carpel tunnel. It is great. I wrote a longer post about it. Anyway the keys make a soft click when you press half way down. Once you learn you can never make that “thud” impact which is a major cause of carpel tunnel. Also I go between a laptop keyboard and workstations each day and have very little trouble switching between them. One issue is the “~” key is in a strange place but you can remap the key inside of the keyboard as it has memory onboard so that you can take the keyboard from machine to machine and keep your settings like repeat rate, macros, and remaped keys.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 9 years ago

      As a user of funky keyboards for years, it takes me no time to switch to a laptop or a typical desktop computer.

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