Planck Keyboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Planck keyboard is a Do-It-Yourself keyboard.

planck keyboard MustacheRabbit 2015 2
Planck keyboard. Built by MustacheRabbit. [image source imgur ]

This is the fastest keyboard to get Repetitive Strain Injury.

OLKB Planck 40% keyboard review - ON HELIUM! (Zealio purple 65 g)
by chyrosran22
Planck Mechanical Keyboard Review and Build

Total Key Count

Total key count: 47.

12 columns × 4 rows - 1 = 47

Use as Steno with Plover

The Plover project, is a project that uses normal computer keyboard as steno machine. And the planck keyboard seems to be associated or chosen as the keyboard to use for Plover.

174 WPM 10fastfingers on a Planck with Plover
stenotype machine 2015 53567
Stenotype Machine

Problems of Planck

The Planck has lots problems. It's a keyboard lots dweebs on reddit love. It annoys me to ends. Where to begin?

First, it has only 47 keys. Too few. Everytime you need to type a number, or punctuation, or and math + * = symbols, e.g. 2018-05-03 or 2 x^3 + x = 9 , you need to hold a modifier key. Meaning, if you write lots of math, or programing () [] {}, this keyboard is hell.

Also, it'd be impractical to use planck for Chinese, Japanese, Russian, etc. Because, for example, in Chinese, you need to press a digit key every 3 or 4 keystrokes.

There's no tenting. You get wrist pronation problem.

keyboarding RSI forearm Pronation 33159
keyboarding RSI forearm Pronation

[see Is Keyboard Tenting Important?]

You also get ulnar deviation.

keyboarding RSI ulnar deviation
keyboarding RSI Ulnar deviation

O, and, no arrow keys. You can't play pacman while eating pizza.

If you don't really type that much (but you think you do), that's no problem.

[see How Many Keystrokes Programers Type a Day?]

A good fix to the planck is to add 1 more row, 2 more columns and 2 columns of gap, or just add 4 more columns. And if the price is still low, this keyboard would be great. Even no tenting still, you don't have ulnar deviation problem anymore because your hands will be placed wide apart, and becomes usable for foreign language or math.

After all, compared to a normal PC keyboard, it's much better.

[see Computer Keyboard Design Flaws]

Preonic Keyboard

Apparently, there's Planck with more keys.

preonic keyboard 92542
Preonic keyboard [image source]

Total key count: 5 rows and 12 columns, minus 1 (doubled space key), is 59.


Subatomic is 5×14, total of 70 keys. It's coming.

What About as Steno with Plover

It sucks.

I think Plover is a bad concept.

The very concept, of using a computer keyboard as steno machine, is a bad one. It's a fast way to get Repetitive Strain Injury.

Because, Steno machine keys, are not like computer keyboard keys. Steno has large keys, each steno key has a area that's some 5 times larger than computer keyboard key, And, steno is designed so that you can easily press hold multiple keys down, but computer keyboard keys are not.

Using planck plover as steno, is like, using fork as knife, you get forknife. See your doctor about mouth cut.

If you go to the trouble of actually learning steno, as a way to improve typing speed and or ergonomics, then, i think a design with far greater potential, and greater versatility, and economic viability, is piano keyboard.

Chorded Keyboards

  1. Stenotype Machine
  2. Using Piano to Type Text
  3. Michela Chorded Keyboard

Where to Buy

You can buy the kit at


plank keyboard trackballs 39200-s
Planck KeyboardKensington Orbit Trackball with Scroll RingLogitech Trackman Marble Review. [image source reddit ]


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40plus Keys Keyboards

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