X-Bows Keyboard

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Back in October, I helped fund the Kickstarter for the X-bows keyboard. The main feature of the keyboard is that it’s ergonomic. The keyboard is shaped in a way that forces you to rotate your hands, instead of positioning your hands straight from your wrists.

The project was funded both on Kickstarter and then later on IndieGoGo, both times surpassing their goal by about eight times. Unfortunately, due to delays with their manufacturer in China, they weren’t able to ship until seven months after the expected date. The keys are all mechanical, and you could choose between different key types to get the right feeling of clickiness and sound. Personally I went for a more clicky sound and as much of a mechanical press effect as I could get.

It feels amazing, definitely the best feeling keys I’ve ever typed with. The layout itself is difficult to work with at first, though I’m slowly getting used to it. One of the best design features was putting the shift, enter, and backspace keys in the center of the keyboard (as well as in their normal positions) so they can be used with either the index finger or thumb. It also takes advantage of the spacebar being too long in normal keyboards to split it to be used by either thumb and replaced the center with Ctrl and Shift buttons.

 The keys are all also removeable, and because they use cherry switches you can replace many of the keys with keycaps that support the switches.I’m also taking advantage of learning a new keyboard by also trying to learn the Dvorak layout. It’s pretty old, invented in 1936 after keyboards and touch typing became common practice. It places the most commonly typed keys close together, so your fingers don’t have to move as much allowing for faster typing.

The reason the QWERTY keyboard didn’t use a similar idea was because typewriters used to jam if two keys were pressed together at the same time, which happened a lot if two keys were pressed close together at nearly the same time, The solution was to just move the common keys as far away as possible from each other. Of course, with modern keyboards this wasn’t an issue.

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