Keyboardio Model100 with screwdriver, key cap puller, spare key switches, and other included parts.

I bought a new keyboard and have been using it for about a month now as my daily driver. It’s wonderful.

In 2019 I was given a Keyboardio Model01 keyboard as a gift. I had been curious of it for a while, so this gave me a chance to try one out without spending a big chunk of my own money. It’s a split ortholinear keyboard with custom designed key caps and a wooden enclosure in the shape of butterfly wings. It took me a day or two to start getting used to typing on, and about three months to be comfortably fast. I’m a software developer, and most of my day consists of typing, and so typing comfort and speed is important to me.

The switch to the new keyboard also involved switching to the US keyboard layout from my native Finnish one. I’d been touch typing with the Finnish keyboard since about 1983, so the layout change was also a big change. I switched so that typing program code would be easier. The Finnish layout hides some common characters (especially braces, brackets, and backslashes) behind modifier keys in a way that’s sometimes a little uncomfortable. The Model01 would’ve allowed me to keep using the Finnish layout almost without problems, I just chose not to. (The Swedish letter a-with-ring, or å, was a little difficult on the Model01, but I could’ve lived with it had I wanted to.)

The Model01 quickly became my favorite keyboard. Every time I used my laptop keyboard I found it quite uncomfortable, both mentally (“where is my Enter?!”) and physically (“oh my poor wrists!”). Part of the discomfort was due to the US/FI layout switch, but mostly it was how typing on a laptop keyboard feels, and how the keys are physically laid out, and how my hands and arms have to twist. There’s just no comparison with the Model01. For a while I even carried the Model01 to cafes and on overseas trips, but stopped doing that because it is quite a large extra thing to lug around. It’s easier to type with two fingers.

I’ve recently upgraded to the Model100, buying it from the Kickstarter campaign. It’s nearly identical to the Model01, but the key switches are different. I chose switches that are silent, but tactile, and it’s quite a quiet keyboard. My spouse appreciates the lack of noise. I appreciate that the typing feel is awesome.

The Model100 is without doubt the best keyboard I’ve ever used.

It’s not without issues. The wood enclosure will move with the seasons, like wood does. I had some issues with that with the Model01, so it’s not a new problem. I will cope, but I wish I could get an enclosure without this problem. Possibly one made out of plywood? Or metal?

I also wish the keyboard didn’t taunt me with all the possibilities that come from being able to, and encouraged to, change its firmware. I really want to, but I know it can become an endless time sink for a tinkering geek like myself, so I’m trying to resist.