Esrille New Keyboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The Esrille New Keyboard came out around 2013.

Esrille keyboard 80052
Esrille New Keyboard, with Japanese labels.
Esrille keyboard 40445 s
Esrille New Keyboard 4032×3024 [image source reddit]

Esrille New Keyboard is from Japan, designed by Shiki Okasaka, from his company Esrille.

Total Key Count

Total key count: 76.

Each side has 38 keys. 6 are function keys, 6 are thumb keys.

Two Sizes of Keyboard

Esrille comes in 2 sizes:

The physical size of the whole keyboard is the same for both sizes.

Typing on Esrille New Keyboard

Typing on Esrille New Keyboard [source twitter nillpo]

Esrille New Keyboard Layouts

By default, the Esrille supports 3 English layouts: QWERTY, Dvorak, Colemak. [see Ergonomic Keyboard Layouts]

Esrille New Keyboard layout dvorak-2
Esrille New Keyboard layout Dvorak
Esrille New Keyboard layout fn layer-2
Esrille New Keyboard layout Fn layer

Japanese Input Layout M-System, TRON, Stickney Next, JIS Standard

The design of Esrille New Keyboard is much influenced by Japan's M-System keyboard and TRON keyboard.

Esrille also supports several Japanese input layouts, including M-System and TRON.

[see Japanese Keyboard Layouts]

N Key Roll Over?

The max number of keys that can be pressed at the same time, is 6.

[see N-key Rollover and Ghosting]

Programable Keys?

You cannot program the keys easily.

However, the company provides instructions and tools to do so. Basically, you need to be a computer programer to do so.

Here's an excerpt from the company's site (as of 2017-11-02):

Q: How can I customize the firmware?

Take the following steps to customize the firmware for your NISSE:

See also: Programable Keyboards with Onboard Memory

Comparison and Alternatives

Esrille is among the many new keyboards invented after 2010. They have one feature in common: symmetric, many thumb keys, and mechanical keys.

Truly Ergonomic Keyboard vs Esrille New Keyboard 2015
Truly Ergonomic KeyboardEsrille New KeyboardElecom EX-G Trackball [image source twitter mobitant ]

Hands-On Review

Here's a review by jbm.

I have an Esrille NISSE and love it. I've been using it full time (6-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week) since .

Side note: I believe I was actually the first person in the US to order one. It was before they were able to ship assembled boards internationally, so I ordered it as a kit and assembled it myself. I forget where I first saw it — maybe Xah Lee's blog - but the design was immediately appealing to me.

The other ergo boards I've used extensively are the Ergodox and Truly Ergonomic Keyboard. I like them all but the Esrille has been the best fit by a wide margin.

The things I like about all three are:

What I like about the Esrille above the other two:

Subjectively, I can tell you the Esrille is definitely the most comfortable for me. I used to experience some level of discomfort 1-3 out of most weeks, despite fairly good technique, regular exercise, breaks every couple hours, etc. I honestly don't remember the last time I experienced any discomfort typing since switching to the Esrille.

This is less important, since it's something you can always change, but I'll also mention that I've been very happy with the default layout on the Esrille, including the function layer. I fully expected to reconfigure things, just because I usually would, but in practice there hasn't been anything I've wanted to mess with.

As I'm sure you can tell, I'm a big fan, and would be very comfortable recommending it :)

Let me know if you have any questions about it — I'll be happy to answer any I can.


Esrille keyboard 1d102
Esrille keyboard [image source]

History of Esrille New Keyboard

Esrille keyboard M-system keyboard 2014-10-21
Esrille keyboard and NEC PC-9801 Keyboard, 1992 M-system keyboard 〔source, Shiki Okasaka, 2014-10-21

#新キーボード , NISSEとM式キーボード。

 日本語入力のため配列としてときどき紹介しているM式用のNEC製の純正のキーボード「楽々キーボード」とNISSEを並べて写真を撮ってみました。楽々キーボードは1995年にPC-9801用に作られたもののようです[1] [ ] 。標準品としては、このモデルの後1998年に作られた「エルゴフィットキーボード」[2] [ ] が最後のM式キーボードになるようです。『1年間で2万台の販売を見込んでおります』とありますので、今でも実際に使われているものがありそうですね。

 M式は試作品の段階ではNISSEのように扇型のデザインで作られていた[3] [ ] ものが、その『試作品に基づき,工業製品としての見地から改良を図っ』て、エルゴノミック要素は比較的強く残したまま格子状のデザインのPC-8801-KI[4] [ ] として最初に製品化されて、徐々に写真のようなエルゴノミック要素の少ないものに落ち着いていったようです。TRONキーボードもオリジナルのエルゴノミック要素満載のものは標準品としては1991年のTK-1のみで収束していて、現在はエルゴノミック要素の少なくなったμTRONキーボードの方が販売されていたりするのと流れとしては似ている感じだったのかもしれません。

 NISSEは、『一個でも一万個でもなく「二〇〇個」を作る技術を』という奥山清行さんの著書[5] [ ] に影響を受けて作ってきていることを以前書いたのですが、収束してしまったM式キーボードの最後の製品が『1年間で2万台の販売を見込んで』いたというのを見ると『「二〇〇個」を作る技術を』という言葉の意味が改めて伝わってくるようにも思います。


I tried to take a photo side by side NISSE as “Easy Keyboard” keyboard of genuine NEC-made M-System for which you are introduced from time to time as an array for Japanese input. Easy is like those made in PC-9801 for the 1995 keyboard [1] [ ] . As a standard, it was made in 1998 after this model “Ergo Fit Keyboard” [2] [ ] seems to be M-System keyboard last. We are right to be “we expect to sell 20,000 units in one year”, those that are actually used even now It seems there.

At the stage of prototype had been made in the design of the fan-shaped as NISSE [3] [ ] things, “Based on the prototype, it is working to improve from the point of view as industrial products” Te, M expression The comparison ergonomic elements it is the product initially, it seems went to calm with less ergonomic elements such as photo gradually as [4] [ ] PC-8801-KI design of grid-like leaving strongly subject. As a stream those of ergonomic elements packed original have converged only TK-1 in 1991 as a standard also TRON keyboard, towards the μTRON keyboard that became less of ergonomic elements and to them being sold now It does not may have been felt are similar.

NISSE Although I wrote earlier that it has been made to the influence book of Ken Okuyama's called “the art of making” two hundred individuals “without also one million units even one” [5] [ ] , meaning of the word “the art of making” two hundred individual “” is again Looking “expects to sell 20,000 units in one year” from that was a product of the end of the M-System keyboard you have already converged I think it also comes to.

Where to Buy

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Japan keyboards

Japan FKB8579 661 thumb shift keyboard 45474 s335x187
Thumb-Shift, 1980
NEC PC 8801 K1 keyboard bj3qh-s333x188
NEC PC-8801-KI, 1983
NEC mini7 mqjdk-s306x204
NEC 文豪 Mini7, 1985
TRON Keyboard Unit TK1 s1520x831
TRON, 1986
nec m-type keyboard 1990 36618-s278x225
NEC M-system, 1990
NEC mini7rm 48190-s306x204
NEC 文豪 Mini7RM, 1992
NEC M-shiki keyboard NEC PC98 1992-s333x188
NEC PC-9801, 1992
NEC keyboard pk-kb015 2-s320x195
NEC Ergofit, 1998
scythe ergo diver keyboard left s289x217
Scythe Ergo Diver, ~2003
utron keyboard 02-s289x217
μTRON, 2007
Esrille keyboard 40445-s289x217
Esrille New

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