Ergonomic keyboards -- a quick poll

The current touch-typing thread got me wondering if I have an advantage because I use an ergonomic, or split, keyboard – this one, in fact. I always have a bit of trouble when I have to switch to using someone’s “normal” keyboard.

So…

**1) Do you use, or have you ever used a split keyboard? If not, do you have anything against trying one?

  1. Assuming you’ve used one, do you prefer split or “normal”, and why?

  2. If you’ve converted to using a split keyboard, how long did it take you to adjust? Did your typing improve? And would you ever switch back?**

I tried 'em, about 9 years ago (was working at a client that only used those). I didn’t have enough time to get really used to it though so I can’t comment on the rest of the questions. I’d be very interested in trying 'em again, however.

  1. Do you use, or have you ever used a split keyboard?

Yes, I used to have one.

  1. Assuming you’ve used one, do you prefer split or “normal”, and why?

I prefer split, but not enough to actually pay the higher price for another one after mine broke. If I were going to be doing any significant amount of continuous typing, however, I’d get another split.

  1. If you’ve converted to using a split keyboard, how long did it take you to adjust? Did your typing improve? And would you ever switch back?

It took a very short time to adjust and never had any trouble switching between the two types.

And here’s the thing: Once I got the split keyboard, for the first time, I was able to fully touch-type. I always used the “right” fingers, but never really made it all the way to touch typing. But somehow, I could do it on the split keyboard. And once I got used to doing it on the split keyboard, I could suddenly do it on straight keyboards as well. Wow!

  1. I use a split keyboard (currently Microsoft wireless), ever since I injured my left wrist around 9 years ago. Because of the injury, it hurts to type on a straight keyboard for very long. This injury caused me to realize how bent (sideways) one’s wrists are when typing on a straight keyboard.

  2. I pretty much have to use split due to my injury. I can type on a straight keyboard for a few minutes only.

  3. I was back up to speed in a matter of a few days, except for the number keys at the top. I still don’t have those by touch, but I don’t use them much. If I have to type on a straight keyboard it slows me down some.

This is the main issue that keeps me from moving from a desktop to a laptop.
Roddy

I have used many but still prefer the “normal” one. I learned to type on a manual typewriter in 1966 and just can’t get used to anything but a slightly raised straight keyboard. And the keys have to make some type of clicking sound. I do about 80wpm.

1) Do you use, or have you ever used a split keyboard? If not, do you have anything against trying one?
I have and still do use split keyboards.

2) Assuming you’ve used one, do you prefer split or “normal”, and why?
I prefer split, hands (or wrists maybe) are at a more natural and comfortable angle

3) If you’ve converted to using a split keyboard, how long did it take you to adjust? Did your typing improve? And would you ever switch back?
No idea how long it took, I got one of the early Microsoft Naturals back in '94 or so, I can’t really remember the transition. Seems like it was pretty … well, natural.
Since most laptops don’t have split keyboards I do switch back and forth. My desk has 2 split types but my laptops don’t.

  1. Do you use, or have you ever used a split keyboard? If not, do you have anything against trying one?

I’ve got one at home, but a normal one at home.

  1. Assuming you’ve used one, do you prefer split or “normal”, and why?

It doesn’t really make a difference, although I think the ergo makes my hands hurt less when typing. OTOH, the normal keyboard is a smidge easier when I’m using Illustrator or Photoshop shortcuts.

  1. If you’ve converted to using a split keyboard, how long did it take you to adjust? Did your typing improve? And would you ever switch back?

I have no idea. I bought it back in… Junior high? along with a trackball because my hands hurt. I prefer the way it feels.

My family always bitches when they have to use my keyboard.

I’ve always considered that an advantage, honestly. People at work hate using my keyboard, which is good because I don’t really like people using my computer anyway. :slight_smile:

I use a split keyboard at work. I much prefer it as your hands are in a much more comfortable position. I wish my laptop had one, but that would require a funky design. I can feel it in my wrist and forearm immediately on a regular keyboard.

Took about an hour to get used to it. I have zero issues switching back and forth between the split one and regular one.

I also use an ergonomic mouse (below) which looks like a joystick. That design, as weird as it looks, along with my ergonomic keyboard has saved my wrist.

I have a friend and former co-worker who tried one of those for about a week, but she just couldn’t get used to it. I thought it was very, very weird. I’ll stick to my trackball, thank you. :slight_smile:

1) Do you use, or have you ever used a split keyboard? If not, do you have anything against trying one?
I’ve been using one for a long time, I dunno, maybe 10 years?

2) Assuming you’ve used one, do you prefer split or “normal”, and why?
Much, much prefer split. I got one originally to relieve strain on my hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and back. It helps a lot.

3) If you’ve converted to using a split keyboard, how long did it take you to adjust? Did your typing improve? And would you ever switch back?
The only problem I had in adjusting is that almost all the split keyboards I’ve seen split the top-row numbers wrong. If you learned to type on a typewriter, you use your left forefinger for “6”; almost all the keyboards put it on the right. I think it took me a few weeks to get that fixed in my head; I usually key numbers on the keypad section anyway. I didn’t notice any improvement in my typing (I was already fairly fast), it’s just much more comfortable.

I won’t switch back at work, end of discussion. I’d complain to HR about WC claims if needed. If they’re going to cause me to have back, shoulder and arm problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome, then they’re gonna pay for it.

I still have a straight keyboard at home, cause I don’t type much there and the fam would complain. I do have some trouble switching back and forth, but not much. Straight/split keyboard switching is easier than fullsize/laptop keyboard switching.

I won’t use anything but a split keyboard for more than an hour. I looooves my Microsoft circa 1994, and you will pry it out of my cold dead hands (unless it dies first. Which I have nightmares about. I really, really love my keyboard, and they just don’t make 'em like this anymore)

I seem to remember it took no time at all to get used to it.

And yes, people bitch about it. I figure that’s their loss. Get off my keyboard!

Used one for about an hour. Never again unless I can find one that has the 6 with the right hand, where it belongs.

I hate split keyboards. My main reason is that, for some reason, I use my left index finger to type a “Y” 99% of the time (instead of the index finger closest to it). Using a split keyboard, I end up just hitting hard plastic next to the T and it pisses me off a lot. The angles of your hand weird me out, too. I type ~110 wpm with a normal one so I’m fine without switching.