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April 4, 2006 7:43 PM   Subscribe

The Top Ten Weirdest Keyboards
posted by Falconetti (24 comments total)

 
They missed the Kinesis Ergo, which appears somewhat similar to the Maltron. The thumb-key layout is, however, quite different.

Very good keyboards, although not as durable as I'd like.
posted by Malor at 7:57 PM on April 4, 2006


I want a roll-up so badly I can taste it. Not that I'd ever, y'know, use its roll-up capabilities (what would you *do* with a rolled-up keyboard? Whack the dog when it misbehaves?), but still... a roll-up keyboard....
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:18 PM on April 4, 2006


I had thought the intent of the roll-up keyboard was to carry around for use with a PDA or somesuch.
posted by kafziel at 8:30 PM on April 4, 2006


Man, I want the roll-up AND the laser keyboard. That laser keyboard...my good God. Faaaantastic.
posted by ford and the prefects at 8:36 PM on April 4, 2006


The pics are interesting, but they're attached to some of the shittiest copy I've ever seen. "Ooh, and this one is strange, don't you think?" "And now these keyboards are getting weird, don't you agree?"

Those aren't quote marks above, by the way.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:41 PM on April 4, 2006


There are some wonderful—if ultimately impractical—keyboard layouts shown at The Classic Typewriter Page, including the curvy 1891 Franklin.

A little mod here, a little mod there, and you can have one too.
posted by cenoxo at 8:50 PM on April 4, 2006


I want a roll-up so badly I can taste it. Not that I'd ever, y'know, use its roll-up capabilities (what would you *do* with a rolled-up keyboard? Whack the dog when it misbehaves?), but still... a roll-up keyboard....

But wait, there's more! — for some reason they don't mention that they make entirely waterproof ones billed as "indestructible".

I found the rubbery keys a little weird to type on — just not as tactile a feeling as a traditional keyboard.
posted by rafter at 8:57 PM on April 4, 2006


i've always had a softspot for the Frogpad; shortly before it was actually released i saw it on gizmodo and was intrigued enough to email the lady who designed it, she was very charitable and answered all my questions.

i've looked for an excuse to get one, but i really can't justify the cost for something i would never use.
posted by quin at 9:10 PM on April 4, 2006


cenoxo:
That ElectriClerk is the shiznit.
posted by papakwanz at 9:10 PM on April 4, 2006


Has anyone ever tried these things? Do they do anything well?
posted by frogan at 9:43 PM on April 4, 2006


I liked the keyboards but yeah, not especially dynamic writing to accompany them.

And I liked my Stowaway folding keyboard when my PDA didn't have a keypad.
posted by fenriq at 12:06 AM on April 5, 2006


My old boss had a Kinesis keyboard... I tried typing with it a couple times, and found it particularly odd.
posted by antifuse at 1:36 AM on April 5, 2006


I'm sure you guys have already seen this, but the Optimus keyboard is not only weirder, but far cooler.
posted by Clamwacker at 2:41 AM on April 5, 2006


The pics are interesting, but they're attached to some of the shittiest copy I've ever seen.

Yeah, I thought that the last time one of this bloke's top tens was floating about the web, and was going to cut him some slack on the grounds that English is his second language. But then I realised he's Swedish, so has no excuse: in my experience, Swedish people have a better grasp of English than most native English speakers.

On topic: I want the laser keyboard thingy to use with my mobile 'phone. Would definitely beat lugging a laptop about.
posted by jack_mo at 3:43 AM on April 5, 2006


I loved the copy. It reminded me of Goldmember, from that unfortunate Austin Powers movie ... you know, the Dutch guy? When I read it, I imagined it in that accent. "Isn't that weeeeeeird?"
posted by thekilgore at 7:01 AM on April 5, 2006


I love the wrist one. But much too expensive for what it is.
posted by rottytooth at 7:28 AM on April 5, 2006


I had a roll-up keyboard. It was a total piece of garbage - it worked for about a week, then one of the internal traces broke, and the entire bottom row of keys stopped working. The sad thing is that this particular brand was asvertised as "The Virtually Indestructible Keyboard". Truth in advertising, indeed.

Of course, I only bought a roll-up keyboard because my S.O. was going nuts listening to me type on a Model M, so perhaps I'm a bit harder on keyboards than their average target user.
posted by deadmessenger at 7:36 AM on April 5, 2006


I can't believe they overlooked the bat keyboard. As I understand, Steve Rogers had something based on this design attached to the handlebars of his bike behemoth.
posted by adamrice at 8:07 AM on April 5, 2006


I've used a DataHand. It was just as bizarre as it looks. Very tiny finger movments in all axes - flicking fingers left-right, fore-aft, and down. I was able to type pretty well with it, but it was too tiresome to hold your hands so steady - any finger drift in any direction (other than up) can trigger a keystroke.

I use a kinesis now and love it. I could not care less about typing speed, but it approximately doubled my speed, primarily as a consequence of finally making genuine touch-typing possible for me. The movements are small, the hand position is comfortable, and sharing the load with the thumbs for frequently used keys like enter, space, and backspace helps a lot.

I like the kinesis I got at work so much I bought one for home. My wife sat down at the computer and said, "Ick." Less than a week later, she asked me where she could get one for her office.
posted by cairnish at 8:16 AM on April 5, 2006


Yeah, nice weirdness, but the guy should attend a Lileks seminar in caption writing.
posted by soyjoy at 8:55 AM on April 5, 2006


Anyone want my twiddler? I was going to put it on ebay. Yours for the cost of shipping. Email in profile...
posted by sohcahtoa at 9:41 AM on April 5, 2006


I had a roll-up keyboard, but my gf grabbed it out of my hands. She doesn't do anything with it, she just had to have it.

It does have a weird feel to it. Mushy, but not good mushy.
posted by QIbHom at 3:09 PM on April 5, 2006


WidgetAlley writes "I want a roll-up so badly I can taste it. Not that I'd ever, y'know, use its roll-up capabilities (what would you *do* with a rolled-up keyboard? Whack the dog when it misbehaves?), but still... a roll-up keyboard...."

I've got a waterproof roll up, we use them in concrete labs because the concrete dust basically eats a regular keyboard in short order. You can't actually type one them in my opinion though as there is no key feel what so ever.
posted by Mitheral at 6:45 PM on April 5, 2006


I've got a datahand, got it on ebay for less than half of the new price, but still ridiculously expensive. It's kind of fun and less difficult to learn than you'd think, but I find it still causes some hand stress (as someone mentioned above, you have to not move your hands, and moving fingers sideways is also kind of stressful. If I ever get a pair of VR goggles, they'd be nice to have, though. I could get one of those zero gravity chairs and (maybe) achieve comfortable stationary computing at last! I'd like to try a kinesis, but I can't just buy these odd keyboards everytime I want to try one out since they're so expensive - I really wish there was a place I could test them out.
posted by nTeleKy at 9:04 AM on April 6, 2006


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