Model 01 Typist's Keyboard

Posted: June 19, 2015
Model 01 Typist's Keyboard

I know the Model 01 is a "typist's keyboard" because some enthusiastic whippersnapper used it to type an F'in fat wad of text explaining the sculpted hardwood butterfly's design elements and functionality on maker Keyboardio's Kickstarter project page. In 30 words or less, I'll try to paraphrase: Model 01 is a masterpiece of 2 blocks of solid maple, tactile mechanical keyswitches, and custom-sculpted keycaps. Typing on it, according to Keyboardio, should feel like "a dream."

Or if you prefer pictures to words...then why they h-e-sculpted-and-tactilely-intuitive-double-L are you reading about a keyboard? Just kidding, here's a GIF.

The Model 01 represents a culmination of 2-1/2 years of learning and testing the perfect keyboard. Keyboardio chose a precision-milled maple base simply because it felt good to rest their hands on, and they split the 01 in two to guarantee a custom fit to every user's hands and desk. The halves are joined by default with a bar at the center. Users can choose to use a flat or tented bar to vary its elevation, or split the halves entirely, positioning them at shoulder-width apart on your desk if you are as ripped, jacked, and hulking through the upper body as I am.

Model 01's key layout is based on QWERTY, but the keys are aligned in columns Keyboardio feels correspond better to human hand anatomy, intended for easy reaching without finger contortions. The angled halves of the keyboard keep typing wrists in a neutral position to preclude fatigue and strain. For those who prefer a different keycap layout, Keyboardio will be making additional sets in various styles (e.g., Dvorak, Colemak, Workman, and a variant of the Malt layout) after their crowdfunding campaign ends.

Additional Model 01 features include recruiting the thumbs for more typing tasks than "just whacking a big spacebar" and incorporating a palm key. Similar to a Function key or special type of Shift key, when typists drop the base of their thumb onto the palm key, it will turn the H, J, K, and L keys into arrow keys, and the number keys into F-keys. The Model 01 also has an "Any" key. No one really knows what it's "supposed" to do, but since the keyboard includes a source code and screwdriver, maybe you can figure it out.

Oh, and it glows. Each Model 01 key includes an independently programmable RGB LED underneath it. It can breathe, glow, and do basic animations out of the box, or the more artistic gamers and word nerds out there can teach it to Beetlejuice out a dance to your favorite Harry Belafonte song.

The Model 01 typist's keyboard seeks funding on Kickstarter through July 15, 2015.

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