Keyboardio Model 01

keyboards, ergonomics

A long time ago, I pre-ordered the Keyboardio Model 01, and I’d almost forgotten about it when it shipped a few months ago. I’ve been using it ever since. There are a lot of things to like about it; the firmware is open source, as are the schematics and CAD files. But most importantly, it’s a joy to type on.

Ergonomics

I get quite serious pain from typing on regular keyboards, but I have also tried two different Kinesis models, to no avail. One issue seems to be that those keyboards are designed for larger hands, and I have serious trouble reaching the thumb keys. This makes me hold my hand in an awkward position, to have quick access to those keys.

In contrast, the Model 01 places the thumb keys right below the bottom row, making them easy to reach even for those of us with smaller hands. There’s also an fn key that you can press with the base of your thumb.

Photo of the Keyboardio Model 01
This is what it looks like.

Learning curve

Getting accustomed to the keyboard was surprisingly easy. After two or three days, I was still making mistakes, and sometimes had to look at the keys, but overall was reasonably productive. After a week I felt quite fluent, and after maybe two weeks, I felt that I was back to my regular productivity level. I did not use my computer heavily during this time.

Customisability

The keyboard, being open source, is immensely customisable. It’s easy to create custom keymaps, so I’ve implemented my alternative Icelandic and Swedish layouts on the keyboard, instead of in every OS that I use.

I have one minor gripe, and it’s that a few more keys require the use of fn. However, that’s a small price to pay for being able to type without pain, and being able to customise it to my liking. I highly recommend this keyboard for discerning typists with special needs. Also it has pretty LEDs!