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Omkar Konaraddi

A brief review of the Ergodox EZ

Published on 2020-11-08.

I've been using an ergonomic keyboard called the Ergodox EZ for the past two months.

Why did I get one? I was looking for a keyboard that I could position to my liking: a split keyboard that could be tilted and moved around. The Moonlander is a split keyboard that can tilt, and it's portable, but it was a relatively new product with no reviews and the expected delivery date was more than two months out when I was shopping for an ergonomic keyboard. So I settled on the Ergodox EZ which is also split and can be tilted (also known as tenting).

The Ergodox EZ is a bit bulky but it sits on my desk all the time anyway.

When ordering the keyboard, you can order either blank or lettered keys. I accidentally ordered the blank keyset so my keyboard doesn't have letters on it. It turned out to be a good choice because the keys are sculpted (unlike the lettered ones), I can touch-type anyway, I remapped some of the keys, and the keyboard has a clean look.

The keyboard is very configurable and easy to configure using Oryx and Wally. Oryx lets you configure what the keys on your keyboard do and then you use Wally to update your keyboard with a custom configuration. It can take a while to find a good configuration that fits your needs because there's so many things to change or tweak. I think I spent a few hours configuring my keyboard. Not a few hours all at once but cumulatively over the first two weeks. You can use the default or other people's configurations but you'll likely want to make some changes to those. For example, I configured my keyboard so I can hold a key down a little longer and it'll act like a Shift with the said key, so if I hold the A key for a tad longer then it acts like Shift+A.

Here's a link to my configuration at the moment: I use macOS and Windows so the configuration is meant to work well on both operating systems.

It took a while to get used to typing on this keyboard but the time it takes to become accustomed to the columnar layout of the keys is shorter than I anticipated. The first two weeks were a bit of a struggle but now, after two months of use, I type at the same speed as before.

It does take a bit longer to type out numbers since I have a blank keyset. Initially, I had to visually count the number of keys away a particular key is from the edge to determine which number it is ("1... 2... 3... okay so this key must be 4"). Now my fingers generally know where a given number is but sometimes I type a 6 instead of a 7 so I'm still building the muscle memory for the number row.

My wrists feel more comfortable using the Ergodox EZ than a regular keyboard. I tried using the wrist pads I got with the Ergodox EZ but they're too low when the keyboard is tented. I like having the keyboard slightly tented so I started typing while hovering my wrists over the keyboard and don't use the wrist pads anymore. Hovering while typing sounds like it's more effort but I find it more comfortable to type without a wrist pad now. However, because I hover my wrists, I have to make sure my wrists' angles are in a good position otherwise my wrists will pinch after a while.

The Ergodox EZ is a bit pricey but it's much better than a regular keyboard because of Oryx and the keyboard's ergonomics. It's well worth it if you type a lot on a computer.