If you happen to work at a pc all-day, RSI (repetitive pressure harm) and different associated accidents are a serious concern. Taking breaks helps, however if you wish to take additional steps to keep away from these points, then an ergonomic keyboard can save your wrists from extra everlasting harm.
In fact, the keyboard is just half the battle in the case of these points. Whereas we’re solely specializing in ergonomic keyboards on this article, ergonomic mice are additionally extraordinarily necessary in the case of avoiding harm.
What to Search for in an Ergonomic Keyboard
There are some things to bear in mind when evaluating varied ergonomic keyboards.
- Design: There’s a couple of solution to make a keyboard ergonomic. Some angle the keyboard away from you, placing the wrist in a extra pure place, others curve the complete keyboard to forestall lots of finger journey (how a lot your fingers have to maneuver round to hit sure keys), and a few are break up proper down the center to allow extra freedom in the place you place your fingers. All of those designs have their advantages, with varied studying curves connected to them. The curved design of one thing like our first choose, the Logitech K860 is the best to study and most pure in case you’re new to ergonomic keyboards.
- Wired or Wi-fi: Having one fewer wire in your desk is nice, particularly in case you’re into cable management. However that doesn’t imply wi-fi is all the time higher—whenever you’re working with a wi-fi keyboard, latency might be a difficulty (however that’s largely only for gaming) together with the necessity to recharge the battery. A lot of the keyboards on this checklist are wired, so we’ll remember to make particular notice of the wi-fi choices and their battery lives after they come up.
- Swap Sort: Whether or not it’s mechanical, membrane, rubber domes, or scissor switches, all of them provide totally different typing experiences. Mechanical switches are beloved for the variation between totally different swap varieties, however they’re additionally the costliest choice out of the bunch. Membrane, rubber domes, and scissor switches are all pretty cheap and, when executed proper, can nonetheless ship high quality typing experiences.
- Customizability: Ergonomic keyboards are likely to have some fairly unusual layouts. Chances are you’ll be compelled into altering up your muscle reminiscence as a result of a sure key has been moved drastically in comparison with regular keyboards. Thankfully, chunk of the ergonomic choices on the market have nice reprogramming instruments, so you can also make the structure no matter you need. It’s particularly nice if you wish to make extra drastic modifications, resembling switching to one thing just like the DVORAK layout.
Finest for Most Individuals: Logitech Ergo K860
In the case of ergonomic keyboards, the K860 is one of our favorites for its curved form and cozy wrist relaxation. It’s the usual QWERTY structure unfold out throughout a curvy board that raises sure keys, so you possibly can keep away from stretching your fingers too far. Due to the adjustable ft beneath the wrist relaxation, you possibly can angle the keyboard in one in all three angles: 0 levels, -4 levels, and -7 levels. These ft angle the board away from you, so your wrists aren’t pointed upwards whereas typing.
The K860 offers nice ergonomic advantages with out requiring you to spend weeks studying a brand new structure—which is sweet as a result of it’s missing any reprogramming options. And the two-year-long battery life (with a pair of AAA batteries), wi-fi connection, and high quality scissor switches solely make the K860 an excellent higher board.
One other Nice Selection: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Microsoft has been making ergonomic keyboards for some time now, and the most recent iteration retains the nice ergonomics of previous boards whereas including a indifferent Numpad. Having the Numpad separate not solely saves house for individuals who don’t want it but in addition means you possibly can place it wherever you want (for instance, placing it on the left facet of the board, so the appropriate facet is freed up for extra mouse motion).
The cushioned, non-detachable wrist-rest is comfy and helps be certain that your wrists are positioned correctly together with the ft that angle the board away from you. The structure stays devoted to the QWERTY boards you’re used to whereas nonetheless making slight changes to enhance ergonomics, and the scissor switches beneath every keycap really feel nice to kind on. This can be a wi-fi board and you may count on the 2 AAA batteries to final a few yr.
A Good Finances Possibility: Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard
If you happen to’re on a decent finances however nonetheless need these ergonomic positive factors, the mundanely named Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard ought to ship on what you’re on the lookout for regardless of the low price ticket. There’s not a lot to say about this board; it’s curved, wired, makes use of rubber dome switches, and the included wrist relaxation is merely made out of plastic as an alternative of a softer materials.
However for the cash, it’s nonetheless deal in case you’re on the lookout for a keyboard like this—it’s a easy board however nonetheless a fantastic one.
Merely Cut up: Kinesis Freestyle Professional
Transferring away from the curved boards, the Kinesis Freestyle Professional gives one thing a bit totally different. This can be a wired, mechanical board break up in two with nothing however a cable connecting the halves. This fluid ergonomic design lets you place your fingers wherever you want whereas typing, supplying you with a larger degree of freedom in the case of how your arms and wrists are positioned. You may even reprogram all of the keys on the board utilizing the SmartSet app.
You may choose up an accessory kit from Kinesis as properly, which incorporates adjustable ft for every half of the board together with good cushioned palm pads for added consolation. You even have your selection in the case of what mechanical switches are in your Freestyle Professional: Cherry MX Browns (which have a satisfying tactile bump) or Cherry MX Quiet Reds (clean, linear switches with an emphasis on slicing down the noise).
Nevertheless, this isn’t the one model of the Freestyle Kinesis gives. If you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing related at a cheaper price, the Kinesis Freestyle2 is your board. It gives the identical kind of design because the Freestyle Professional however opts for membrane switches as an alternative of mechanical and loses key reprogramming. There’s additionally the Freestyle Edge, which gives the identical break up design with extra mechanical key swap choices, some devoted shortcut keys for reprogramming, and full RGB backlighting all for a better value than the Freestyle Professional.
The Premium Selection: ErgoDox EZ
If you wish to go all out, the ErgoDox is a totally break up mechanical keyboard that, whereas costing a reasonably penny, delivers on many helpful options. The customized adjustable ft imply you possibly can angle every half of the keyboard in any method you need, and the open-source nature of the keyboard’s software program means you possibly can reprogram keys that a number of carry out totally different actions. (There may be additionally a extra conventional reprogramming tool in case you’re not within the open-source choices.)
While you arrive on the buy web page, you’re introduced with loads of decisions. You may select to have clean or printed keycaps, a complete of 13 totally different mechanical swap varieties, you possibly can add RGB lighting (for an added cost), and get the keyboard in both black or white. The ErgoDox is actually geared toward these already into mechanical ergonomic keyboards, and it beats lots of different choices in that class price-wise. However if you wish to get into this world of high-end ergonomic keyboards, there’s hardly a greater place to begin than the ErgoDox.
Slim and Fancy: Moonlander Mark 1
From the identical firm behind the ErgoDox, the Moonlander Mark 1 is available in at a better value than the ErgoDox however with just a few notable enhancements. Whereas the design of the keyboard has been modified, the identical precept applies—the break up nature offers extra freedom in the place you place your fingers with the extremely adjustable ft granting loads of choices for the way you need the halves to be angled. You additionally nonetheless have entry to some nice reprogramming options.
So far as what’s new, there’s now RGB backlighting included, a complete of 10 mechanical switches accessible, and the keyboard is hotswappable, which suggests you possibly can swap out what switches you’re at present utilizing with out having to the touch a soldering gun. The construct of the Moonlander can be extra minimal than the ErgoDox, with a thinner body across the keys and the peak being knocked down just a few inches—nice for portability. Whereas the Moonlander Mark 1 prices greater than the ErgoDox, it does loads to justify the worth and is actually price it if you need a hotswappable keyboard.
For the Devoted: Kinesis Advantage2
The Kinesis Advantage2 is an odd keyboard—it’s not like anything on this checklist. It’s an enormous hunk of steel and plastic with an uncommon, however extraordinarily ergonomic, concave key setup. The entire keys you’d count on are break up between two of those concave clusters with navigation keys positioned the place your thumbs will lie.
As a result of this keyboard retains your wrists fully flat whereas typing, it’s certain to do wonders for avoiding harm, however provided that you may get used to it. Out of the keyboards right here, this one most likely has the steepest studying curve and one of many highest value tags. If you happen to’re new to ergonomic keyboards, it’ll most likely be greatest to start out elsewhere, however in case you’re in a nasty spot health-wise and want an answer now, the Advantage2 could also be it.
You may reprogram all of the keys on the Advantage2, so if there’s one thing concerning the structure that’s notably annoying to you, you possibly can change it—yow will discover instructions on how to try this on Kinesis’ web site. The Advantage2 can be accessible in two colours: Black and Grey.
Compact and Customizable: Dygma Increase
To finish this checklist, the Dygma Increase is a splendidly customizable break up, mechanical keyboard that retains a compact profile. When conjoined, the Increase seems like a standard 60% keyboard, however when indifferent, you get to see the true break up nature of the keyboard. Every half of the board is outfitted with magnets to make connecting and splitting the board as simple as attainable, which additionally means this can be utilized as a standard keyboard.
Apart from the splitting mechanism, the Increase additionally gives a number of customizable thumb buttons (reprogrammable via the Bazecor software program), a complete of six totally different mechanical swap varieties accessible, and is available in three colours: Black, Silver, and black keycaps with a silver physique. It’s additionally totally hotswappable and contains RGB backlighting. The Dygma Increase is a superb choice for these not prepared to completely decide to an ergonomic board or avid gamers who need to have the ability to swap to a typical structure gaming keyboard.
But when there’s one challenge with the Dygma Increase, it’s the shopping for course of—you possibly can’t simply add this to your cart and be in your merry method. The Increase is offered in restricted batches, that are on a “first-come, first-served” foundation. On the time of writing, a brand new batch has simply began, however in case you miss out on it, you’ll want to hitch the corporate’s e mail notifications and simply look ahead to the following one.
The Increase is a superb choice in case you’re prepared to leap via the hoops (and pay the excessive value) to get it. In any other case, it’s best to most likely go together with one of many different high-end break up keyboards beforehand talked about such because the Moonlander Mark 1.