μTRON Keyboard from Japan
A design review of the μTRON Keyboard. (aka microTRON, muTRON, uTRON.) This is a keyboard from Japan.
This is a excellent design. The only design issue i found is that it doesn't have dedicated function keys. The function keys are merged with the number keys. However, the other quality design makes up for it.
- For why the μTron is a excellent design, see: Keyboard Hardware Design Flaws.
- For why dedicated function is important, see: Function Keys in Computer Keyboard.
μTRON Keyboard Layout
Here's its manual utron_keyboard_manual.pdf.
μTRON keyboard has 2 modes. Normal mode, and the TRON mode. For each mode, it also has Japanese mode and English mode.
TRON mode is a Japanese input mode that inputs Japanese alphabets directly. TRON is also a operating system. See: Japan M-Type keyboard, TRON keyboard
μTRON vs Happy Hacking
μTRON compared with Happy Hacking (HHKB) Keyboard.
The μTRON's keys are smaller. Note that, the width of four keys (ASDF) on HHKB measures 7.5 cm, but 6.8 cm on the μTRON.
The key switch mechanism is Topre switch, which is even better than the famed Cherry MX switches. 〔➤ Guide to Computer Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms〕
Video Intro ＆ Official Website
Official website: www.personal-media.co.jp
As of list price is JPY$50000, which is about USD$418.
Where to Buy
Here's ways you can buy it:
- Ask a Japanese friend to buy for you and ship it to you.
- Go to Tokyo, then visit Akihabara Electric Town.
- You might be able to buy it online, from a Japanese site. Either the official site, or amazon japan www.amazon.co.jp
or, try search amazon uTRON keyboard
All the big photos are by the keyboard expert webwit, at http://webwit.nl/input/utron/ and http://forum.hardware.fr/hfr/HardwarePeripheriques/Clavier-Souris/unique-clavier-mecanique-sujet_6902_27.htm. Used with permission. Thanks to webwit for real quality photos.
TRON Operating System ＆ Encoding
Note that TRON is a operating system kernel design, from Japan. See: TRON Operating System ＆ Encoding.
For 1990's version of the TRON keyboard, see: Japan M-Type keyboard, TRON keyboard.
if you like μTRON, then alternatives for you are probably:
- Ergodox Keyboard
- Esrille New Keyboard Review
- Truly Ergonomic Keyboard
- Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
- Maltron Keyboard