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Ergonomic keyboard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An ergonomic keyboard is a computer keyboard designed with ergonomic considerations to minimize muscle strain and a host of related problems.[1] Typically such keyboards are constructed in a V shape, to allow right and left hands to type at a slight angle more natural to the human form.

1 Keyboard types

1.1 Split Keyboard 1.2 Contoured Keyboard

1.3 Angled Split Keyboard

1.4 Other Ergonomic Keyboards

2 Considerations

2.1 Cost 2.2 Advantages 2.3 Disadvantages

3 References



Apple Adjustable Keyboard is an adjustable split keyboard



A "fixed-split keyboard" is a single board, with the keys separated into two or three groups, allowing the user to type at a different angle than the typical straight keyboard. An "adjustable split keyboard" has the keyboard split into several independent pieces, so the angle between them can be easily changed.



Maltron Keyboard with Malt Layout

The Kinesis Advantage contoured keyboard

A further development of the split concept are contoured keyboards like the 1977 Maltron or the newer Kinesis Advantage line, which place the keys into two depressions set approximately at shoulder width, with function keys set between the key groups for use with the thumbs. In this configuration, very little movement of arms and wrists is required.


Split Keyboard

The angled split keyboard (sometimes referred to as a Klockenburg keyboard) is similar to a split keyboard, but the middle is tented up so that the index fingers are higher than the little fingers while typing. Key Ovation makes the Goldtouch ergonomic keyboard which is an adjustable angled split keyboard.


Ergonomic Keyboards

Other ergonomic keyboards have fixed, vertically aligned keys, so the user types with their hands perpendicular to the ground, thumbs-up. Still others allow a range of rotation and elevations. A few ergonomic keyboards do not have the typical one key per letter, such as a keyer or a keyless ergonomic keyboard.

Datahand eliminates the need for any wrist motion or finger extension.

[edit]Considerations [edit]Cost
Simple ergonomic keyboards can cost as little as typical keyboards or as much as $995 for high end keyboards.

An ergonomic keyboard may reduce muscle strain and reduce risk of carpal tunnel syndrome,[3][4] [5] but there is no clear evidence of benefit.[6] Manufacturers claim ergonomic keyboards reduce injuries, and that after a user takes the time to adjust to this style of keyboard, ergonomic keyboards can make typing easier, faster and less awkward.

Some ergonomic keyboards are sold at very high prices. Typically ergonomic keyboards also include other premium features such as mechanical switches[citation needed] and programmable layouts which radically increase their cost, although this does significantly increase lifespan. For simply ergonomically shaped keyboards with no additional features, prices are a little higher than non-shaped keyboards. For a full featured mechanical keyboard, including adjustable splits, prices can be around $250, while premium ergonomic keyboards can cost many hundreds more. These keyboards may take more space on a computer table, forcing the mouse to be farther away.