Planck Keyboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Planck keyboard is a Do-It-Yourself keyboard. It came out around 2016.

This is the fastest keyboard to get Repetitive Strain Injury.

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

Total key count: 47.

OLKB Planck 40% keyboard review - ON HELIUM! (Zealio purple 65 g)
by chyrosran22

Use as Steno with Plover

The Plover project, is a project that uses normal computer keyboard as steno machine. (steno machine is a specially designed chorded keyboard for fast typing used in court for transcription of speech.) And the planck keyboard seems to be chosen as one of the keyboard to use for Plover.

174 WPM 10fastfingers on a Planck with Plover
stenotype machine 2015-53567-s289x216
Stenotype Machine

Problems of Planck

The Planck has lots problems. It's a keyboard lots dweebs on reddit love. It annoys me to no 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 Words Do You 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.

[see Computer Keyboard Design Flaws]

Xah Talk Show 2019-11-17

6 hours watch, 24 hours watch, heximal system, stenotype, plank, plover, piano, keyboard systems. 2019-11-17

6 hours watch, 24 hours watch, heximal system, stenotype, plank, plover, piano, keyboard systems. 2019-11-17

Preonic Keyboard

Apparently, there's Planck with more keys.

preonic keyboard 92542
Preonic keyboard [image source twitter omkbd]

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.

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 ]

Alternative Input System

stenotype machine 2015-53567-s289x216
Akai MPK Mini MKII keyboard controller 71-s325x192
michela keyboard 17605
Michela Chorded ⌨
datahand wnx34-s289x217
azeron keypad 4t547-s249x251
Azeron Keypad
lalboard n2b3q-s366x171
bat keyboard a831d-s298x210
BAT Chording
right handed frogpad 60117-s216x289
georgi keyboard fj4y2-s289x217
Georgi Steno
ginni keyboard k5p8m-s322x194
Ginni Chorded 10

If you have a question, put $5 at patreon and message me.