TypeMatrix Keyboard Review
This is another interesting design. This is a big improvement from traditional PC keyboard. But isn't perfect.
This keyboard offers hardware Dvorak layout. 〔➤ Dvorak Keyboard Layout, My Experience ⌨〕 〔➤ Keyboard Layouts Fight! Dvorak, Colemak, Workman, NEO, Bépo, …〕
The keys are laptop type of shallow flat keys. This is not good for prolonged heavy typing (such as data entry clerk).
The Ctrl key is hard to use. One small one on the left buried with other keys. One larger one but far away on the right, also buried among other keys. This is bad for Emacs users.
The Alt keys are nicely positioned, right under thumbs, for both hands. Good for ErgoEmacs users. For GNU Emacs, you can swap Ctrl ＆ Alt.
- Linux: Swap Control Alt Keys, xmodmap ⌨
- Microsoft Windows: Swap Caps Lock, Alt, Control Keys
- Mac OS X: How to Swap Control, Caps Lock, Option, Command Keys
Big space-wasting Space bar. It'd be much better if it's split into 2 keys, and one of them should be ⌫ Backspace. The other could be Ctrl. 〔➤ Should You Type Space After Comma? and Tiny Space Bar on Japanese Keyboards〕
They left one extra column for the right hand to be pressed by pinky. For example, these keys:
- = [ ] ' \
Since you are designing a complete new layout, it'd be better to move this traditional column to the center, and eliminate the 6 keys by pinky.
Some special functions now need a combo key. For example, to increase sound level, you need to press 【Fn+⌫ Backspace】 instead of one single button. This is annoying. (For detail of the efficiency of single button vs key combo, see: Keyboard Shortcut Design: Dedicated keys, Special Buttons, Extra Keys.)
Compared to other ergonomic keyboards, the TypeMatrix is not so good. But if you don't type all day and prefer shallow flat keys, this beats Apple's Aluminum Slab keyboard for sure.
Typematrix 2020 Keyboard
A older model, no longer made, is Typematrix 2020.
Actually, this is a better design, because:
- Wider hands separation. In this model, there's about 3 keys separation. In 2030 model, 1-key separation.
- Split space bar.
- Special keys are bigger. ⁖ Tab ↹, Ctrl, Alt, Fn, ▤ Menu, ⌫ Backspace
See: Ergonomic Keyboards Reviews: How to Chose a Ergonomic Keyboard.