Back in mid-November I bought the Moonlander Ergonomic Keyboard from ZSA. I had been giving serious consideration to getting a split keyboard and finally pulled the trigger.
My first thought was “Oh man, is it difficult to type on this thing”.
Having never used a split or ergonomic keyboard, I guess that wasn’t too surprising of a reaction. It really does take a little bit to get used to. I also had to keep playing around with the angles on it with the legs, the thumb pieces and its orientation.
No Key Labels
The one thing that bothered me at first was that so many keys are blank. Like I had no idea what they were. I didn’t know where the space key was, the enter key, or even the escape key. I had to bring up ZSA’s Oryx website to figure out what keys defaulted where. Now I do understand why they labeled (or rather did not label) the keys the way they did. The keyboard is extremely customizable in that you can remap keys however you so choose. I’ll fully admit that I am still running the default layout though because it seems to be working well for me.
The other thing that has taken some getting used to is that the keyboard has a feature called layers that allows each key to be mapped to different actions depending on what “layer” you’re on. By default you’re on layer 0, which is the standard QWERTY layer. But you can also switch to 2 other layers either by holding down a key like you would shift or the fn key, or a hard toggle. Outside the F1-F12 keys, I hardly use the additional layers, but it is kind of nice to know they’re there as I get more used to it.
Where I’m At Now
My desk setup at home has 2 setups next to each other. One for work, the other for personal. Right now I have the Moonlander connected to my work machine since I use that on a more consistent basis than my personal machine. I will sometimes move it over, but I keep my Keychron K4 hooked up normally, though I really should use the Moonlander more. It really does feel more natural for my wrists and hands.
I’ve definitely gotten more used to the split setup, but I do often find myself fat fingering more keys than I used to. And the funny thing is that I’ve been fat fingering on a normal keyboard as well. I have to wonder if it has something to do with being more used to split and having to go back. While I can mostly type without looking at the keyboard like before, every once in a while I find myself confirming my hand and finger placement.
I also have quite a bit to grow into once I decide to play around more with the key mappings and layers.
I think at this point, if I had to choose one keyboard to go with, I’d choose the Moonlander. The only thing I would miss the standard keyboard for would be gaming. I don’t think I could get used to a split keyboard as fast for games. But who knows, anything is possible.
I think I do want to get a new TRRS cable (the cable that connects the 2 halves). The one that it came with is just so long, it’d be nice to have a shorter one that I don’t need to coil.
If you’re on the fence about whether you want to get yourself a split keyboard, I’d have to say you should. I’m happy with my purchase.