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The Truly Ergonomic keyboard arrived this morning. I'm afraid I don't like it and will be returning it.

1) I really like the layout. The layout is great.
2) I like the size of the thing, it fits nicely on the desk or ontop of my laptop.
3) I hate the key switches, they feel very gummy and unsmooth, like a dome switch or something. Maybe I just hate Cherry MX Browns.
4) The build quality doesn't seem as good good in comparison to the Das which is quite beautifully constructed.

I don't recommend buying this product. It may just be the key switches, YMMV.
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ErgoEmacs's profile photoLindar Greenwood's profile photoChristopher Done's profile photoMichael Xavier's profile photo
14 comments
 
You should see if you can get your hands on Cherry MX Blues. Really good for typing, but it pays to try them out first.
 
Yeah, Cherry MX Blues are what the Das Keyboard has (which I have). I like them.
 
The browns take a while to break in. After a couple of weeks they get a lot better.
 
Is this the product to which you are referring?

http://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=82

Incidentally, I found a related video clip comparison of the different sounds of the various Cherry MX <color> switches, where <color> can be any element of the set (Blue | Black | Red | Brown):

Mechanical Switch Sound Comparison Cherry MX Blue vs Black vs Red vs Brown

Personally, I preferred the sounds of the Blue switches over the others; however, YMMV.
 
This is actually very relevant to me. I'm going to be getting a fancy keyboard like this and I don't quite know the difference between all of the key / switch types. I want something with a suuuuper short drop distance and a very sharp click (absolutely no squish).
 
+Benjamin Russell That's the one!

+Lindar Greenwood For sharp clicks, I see two obvious options both of which I've used:

1. The Model M with its buckling spring key switches. This has a sharp click, with an actuation point around half way through the downstroke. It's a very "full" solid experience. Typing on an IBM Model M Keyboard HD
2. Any keyboard with Cherry MX Blues. This also has a sharp click, but is a bit lighter to the touch than the Model M, a bit more subtle, you can be more "feathery" with it. I tend to glide over the keys barely pressing them which is probably why I don't enjoy most any other technology. It sounds a bit like someone snapping a match.

See here for animated diagrams: http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-guide#post_6009482

See here for graphs of the relations between downstroke, actuation point and reset: http://www.elitekeyboards.com/support.php?lang=en

With the blues you have an actuation point but the key doesn't buckle, it just gives way slightly, and you can see in the animation there's a separate piece that hits the floor of the key. My tests of the browns indicate the key just collapses like a dome switch, which seems to be the only feedback you get, making it no better than a normal dome switch for me. I didn't have to get used to the blues when I got the Das Keyboard, it was immediately a great experience, I don't buy this “breaking in period” stuff.

+Dag Odenhall might also want to chime in.
 
+Lindar Greenwood  If you're looking for "that laptop feel" of low-profile and short key travel you want to look for something with "scissor switches". One option with a non-staggered layout similar to the TrulyErgonomic is the TypeMatrix [1].  These switches are not mechanical however and don't have as sharp a click.

Scissors were my favourite before discovering mechanical. I still think they're much better than rubber domes, which is what all the cheap stand-alone keyboards have.  I admit I didn't immediately love the Cherry MX Blues when I first got this keyboard, but now I can't imagine being without it and I can't stand other keyboards. Well, I liked it a lot from start but it took some days to get used to typing comfortably on it.

They're loud though so if that's a concern in your environment you might want to get something like a Matias Quiet Pro [2] (US: [4]), but I doubt it's as good. If this is not a concern I recommend getting a Filco if you're UK/EU based [2] or a Leopold if you're US based [3]; in either case you probably want to get something with Cherry MX Blue switches, also known as "Click Action" or "Tactile Click" by resellers.  It arguably provides the best typing experience; however if you're a gamer it's not the best switch. For gaming you want Red or Black cherries; Brown can be a good-enough middle-ground for typing and gaming with the same keyboard, I hear.  However, Blue is perfectly fine for gaming, it's just not awesome for it.

I remember you wanted a keypad, and my above suggestions all come in both variants.  I would suggest though you consider getting a "tenkey-less" plus a separate keypad such as [5] if you can afford the extra cost.  That way you can place the keypad at the other side of your pointing device, the latter which I assume you use more often than the keypad.  Just an idea.

[1] http://typematrix.com/
[2] http://www.keyboardco.com/
[3] http://www.elitekeyboards.com/
[4] http://matias.ca/quietpro/
[5] http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard_details.asp?PRODUCT=620
 
> I didn't have to get used to the blues when I got the Das Keyboard, it was immediately a great experience, I don't buy this “breaking in period” stuff.

I have the Das Keyboard at home with the blue switches, and a Filco Majestouch at work with the browns. I definitely noticed after a week or so a huge difference in the tactile response of the brown switches: they do break in. What it felt like was a substantial decrease in the actuation force and noticeably less "mushiness". That said, who knows? It's totally a matter of subjective feel and you mightn't like the brown switches even after they break in.

In general I do find the blues nicer to type on, but the noise would be objectionable at work (the browns are loud enough!).
 
+Gregory Collins Ahh, the actual hardware breaks in? That's surprising, so much that I thought you meant that they become more comfortable (i.e. your hands "break in" to them). So the initial mushiness is expected?

I once bought a Model M from Unicomp and that genuinely had a different, harder to feel to it from my traditional Model M. I considered just waiting, but after a year of use I came back to the original Model M and it was still softer and lighter, so the Unicomp one never broke in. That's the experience I'm drawing from here.

Anyway, I think I'll hold out for an MX Blues version. Right now the TE feels like a crappy $5 Dell laptop from the office, I don't feel like putting up with a week or so of that in the hopes it feels less crappy. Thanks for the experience report, though. +Lindar Greenwood can take it into consideration.
 
Ohh. Apparently there's a discontinued line of TE with Cherry MX Blues. (Damn you, office folk!) Maybe if I scrounge around I can get hold of one.
 
What about buckling spring and topre? Any experience with those? It looks like, of the Cherry MX switches, I'd like possibly the blues or blacks. I'd really have to feel it out. I like the point of actuation to be as short as possible, so perhaps the overall drop  distance isn't important, keeping that in mind. Either way, I'll be at R&J in Manhattan at the end of next week and I hope they have a decent selection.
 
+Lindar Greenwood Haven't tried the Topre switches I'm afraid. I'd like to. The buckling spring I mentioned in the Model M part of my comment.
 
For some reason I didn't notice that. I watched the video and I wouldn't hate it, but I definitely do not want it. It looks like the actuation point is ~4mm, and squishy up to that point, so I don't think I'd much care for it. I do like that it clicks on actuation, not slightly before like the Blues. I'd love to have a better idea of how topre switches feel and work, but I think I'll just have to go somewhere and try them out.
 
+Lindar Greenwood That might be true of the Blue in theory but in practice I find it impossible to notice.  When it clicks, it actuates.  Admittedly I've never tried buckling springs though.
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