Split ergonomic keyboard: is it a good thing?
Thread poster: Nikita Kobrin

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:05
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 23, 2003

Hi folks,

I'm going to buy a new keyboard. I would like to purchase something modern and convenient. I like the idea of multimedia keyboard with many additional keys for direct access to various apps, documents, etc. Something like this (multimedia keyboard with 33 special function keys and 13 Office soft keys; special scroll wheel for convenient document and internet scrolling; 33 direct access function keys for clipboard, standard Windows functions, Microsoft Office functions, internet and email, audio control, power control; 13 extra Office softkeys; drect accessible Euro sign, etc.):


And I would also like to know colleagues' opinions concerning a so-called "split ergonomic keyboard". It looks like this:


Is it good for speed and practicing of touch-typing? Is it convenient and good for health? Is it worth buying? Or it's better to buy a "standard" (not split) keyboard but of multimedia type? What is more important?

The problem is that I would like to have a keyboard being both a split one and of multimedia type but I haven't seen such keyboards in local shops.

Thanx in advance for any advice and suggestions on good keyboards.

Nikita Kobrin

[Edited at 2003-10-24 10:24]


Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
the split one was excellent Oct 23, 2003

I used to have one ages ago, only that it was properly split in two, so you could adjust the angle to what best suited you. It was sooooo comfortable to write! Now my mum is using it cos it was left in Argentina when I moved : o ( ::::::

I can't speak about the multimedia ones. I've got the windows and menu keys on my desktop keyboard and also a mignifier and some more things on my laptop but I don't ever use them!!

My contributionicon_smile.gif

Kind regards,

[Edited at 2003-10-23 22:25]


Piotr Turski  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:05
English to Polish
+ ...
Very good! Oct 23, 2003

I had the same problem: I couldn't find an ergonomic AND multimedia keyboard so finally I decided to give up the bells and whistles and settled to an ergonomic one. Mine (a Microsoft keyboard) is split and raised in the middle which makes typing more comfortable and less tiring. The hands position is more physiological.

As I can see, the one on the photograph looks better than mine: The keys layout resemble that of a typical keyboard, whereas in mine there are some crazy innovations: the Return key is rectangular in shape, the middle section of keys (Home, End etc.) has 2 keys in a row and 3 in column, and the arrow keys are arranged in a cross-like pattern.

As for multimedia keyboards, I have seen one lacking an Insert key. This might cause problems for Wordfast users (Alt+Ins is often used).



Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:05
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
EKB-2000TP Oct 23, 2003

Hello Nikita,
I love my Split-key Ergonomic keyboard. In my opinion, it is the best keyboard ever. It has a touchpad installed in it, so I do not need a mouse. The following are some of the features that my keyboard has:

Ergonomic design places hands, wrists, and arms in a naturally non-confining position for hours of typing comfort.
Split-key layout with separate spacebar for each hand alleviates fatigue and stress, so your hands glide over the keyboard with ease.
Gently sloping, built-in wrist support properly supports hands and wrists to encourage a more relaxed posture.
Space-saving, naturally placed touchpad eliminates the need for a mouse.
Speeds input by letting you perform point-and-click operations without removing your hands from the keyboard

Go to this webpage to see its picture and more info: http://www.magnacharge.com/keyboards.htm#EKB-2000TP
You can see other models as well in this webpage.

Good luck,

[Edited at 2003-10-23 23:11]


bergazy  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:05
Croatian to Italian
+ ...
You will be less tired and faster! Oct 23, 2003

I'm using Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite.


Beth Kantus  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:05
German to English
it depends Oct 24, 2003

I can't comment on the multifunctional keyboard as I have never used one. However, I have been using an ergonomic one for several years now and do like it. But for three years now I have also been working for a number of hours every day in another office where I have to use a standard keyboard that is not ergonomically split. When I first started doing that, I really thought I would have trouble adjusting to the non-split one every time I transitioned, but exactly the opposite has turned out to be true. I have no problem whatsoever with the standard one, but every day when I get back to my one at home, I have difficulty making the switch. Strangely, it seems less, not more, comfortable, and typos are more frequent (and I'm not a klutz in that department, I have always typed very fast and very accurately).
I don't know if this issue would be a concern for you, but I thought I'd share it for what it's worth.
It may come down to how important an element the multifunctionality will be for you in your work.
Good luck with your final decision and your purchase!


Lucinda Hollenberg  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:05
Dutch to English
+ ...
Folks seem to like it Oct 24, 2003

HI Nikita,

I have never used it myself but most folks that I know who have it seem to like it. They do say that you have to get used to it and that it takes a while. But when you are, it is comfortable and you do not tire.

Is there a way that you can rent one (or borrow it from a friend) for a while to see how you like it before you shell out the money.

If you do decide to buy it, enjoy!



Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:05
German to English
+ ...
Kinesis - really, really ergonomic! Oct 24, 2003

Hi Nikita!
I have a Kinesis Classic: http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/
(tried to copy in the photo, but it didn't work)
This keyboard takes a couple of weeks to get used to, but is super-ergonomic. All of the keys can be programmed and you can assign lots of macros to keys, too. The only thing that is lacking is a good number pad if you do a lot of numbers, but I understand that you can get those separately.
I also feel like I type faster on it now that I'm used to using it.
It's expensive, but worth it in my opinion!


English to German
Not convinced... Oct 24, 2003

I work with computer keyboards for about 20 years and achieve typing speeds of about 600 characters per minute.
So I may call myself a "typing professional".icon_eek.gif)

I found out that the more "multimedia features" a keyboard has to offer, the worse the overall quality.
It's not multimedia functionality what counts - it's the main purpose the keyboard's made for: TYPING.
So stay away from that multimedia hype and concentrate on the feel of the hardware.

As for split-type keyboards: Looks interesting.
That's it.
I tried out those keyboards and hated them from the first second I put my fingers on.
They prevent you from using a "spare finger" for hitting keys and force you to hit keys on the left side with your left hand. But there are situations you wish you can push a key with e. g. the thumb of your other hand. That's not possible with keyboards of that style.

But in the end it's your personal feel that counts. Give them a try, pay attention to nothing other than the feel while typing.
And again: Multimedia is for your eyes and ears. A keyboard - is for your fingers.


Wenke Geddert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:05
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Ergonomic Keyboard Oct 24, 2003

Try it out before you buy it! I used one in my last employment (until December last year) for just over five years. It was wonderful. After an initial period of getting used to it I would have never used anything different. Going back to the normal "straight" keyboard was a pain! I could not type with the same speed and my hands really hurt! I would have never believed it. I would definitely recommend it, it is well worth it. Good luck!


Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:05
English to Russian
+ ...
Just managed to find Oct 24, 2003

Piotr Turski wrote:

I had the same problem: I couldn't find an ergonomic AND multimedia keyboard

Hi Piotr,

I've just managed to find on the Web an ergonomic AND multimedia keyboard Eagle Touch EKB-3000:


In my opinion it looks fine and the price is affordable - $19.00-25.00. The problem is that I need a keyboard with Cyrillic and specific Lithuanian characters in addition to Roman ones and I'm afraid this keyboard doesn't have any of them.icon_frown.gif

And here's another one (Microsoft Natural MultiMedia Keyboard):



[Edited at 2003-10-24 17:21]


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:05
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
That's not what I need... Oct 24, 2003

I would need a keyboard that has the backspace key a little further to the right, because for some unknown reason I often touch accidentally the accent-key left of backspace, and probably many people have the same problem.
See, often one gets documents with typos, where there are accents on i's or other letter where they don't belong. The problem is, once you have hit the accent it stays in memory and waits for the next letter to come.
But no keyboard on offer will solve this problem. I am a mixed typer, more often than not I press shift with left and type the "!" with my right forefinger and other crazy habits. So oldfashioned standard boards are ok with me.


Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:05
German to English
+ ...
RSI Oct 24, 2003

I should have added to the review of the Kinesis that I tried regular flat keyboards and also the Microsoft-type split keyboards before I settled on this one. I have RSI (repetitive strain injury) problems due to typing, so I agree completely with the opinion about the "feel" of the keyboard. This is the only one that I can tolerate for long periods because it is set up so that your fingers have to move as little as possible. Also keys used for shortcuts (Alt., Ctrl.) are placed so that you can use your thumb for them, rather than your weakest finger - the pinkie. Doesn't much matter to people who don't have RSIs, but critical to those of us prone to them.


Ivan Eikås Skjøstad  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:05
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Mini keyboard Oct 24, 2003

I use a lot of short cuts, but also move my hand from the keyboard towards the mouse. (This is less of a problem working with e.g. IBM thinkpad with the red point device in the midle of the keyboard). When working with a desktop PC, I always use a mini keyboard. It is possible to get this with a touch pad as well, and save the long movement from the keyboard to the mouse.


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Split ergonomic keyboard: is it a good thing?

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