Ergonomics is an in-thing today for everyone working with a computer. And that’s with good reason. An ergonomic workplace or game station allows you to work or play rapidly, accurately, comfortably, and safely.
There are many products that help you make up an ergonomic station. One of these is the split keyboard, a computer peripheral that has become even more popular these days.
Let’s check out what a split keyboard is. The information in this article will help you decide if a split keyboard is for you.
An ergonomic split keyboard, as the name suggests, is a keyboard that is split in the middle, usually right along the F5 function key and the middle 5, T, G, and B keys. The space bar is also often split so that both halves of the keyboard have a portion of the space bar. In other brands or models, the keyboard can be literally split into two halves.
It may seem preposterous that someone would design and market a keyboard whose key layout is divided into two sections. But there’s actually a good reason for this. It’s all about ergonomics. By splitting the keyboard, the peripheral works with your body. Once you get used to it, it makes typing easier, faster, and more accurate. More importantly, it encourages good, natural, and healthy typing posture.
Different brands and models of split keyboards have different features. However, there are some common features regardless of brand.
* The main keyboard is divided into two sections right at the center. In some models, the keyboard can actually be split in the middle, forming two halves. This is the most prominent feature of the product.
* Except for split mechanical keyboards, they are slim and lightweight.
* Keyboards that can be split into two halves can be easily stowed in small containers such as a shoulder bag or even a belt bag.
* Split keyboards can be either wired or wireless.
* The more expensive and the best split keyboard brands and models have special features such as hotkeys, media keys, apps, LED or RGB backlighting, and more.
Split keyboards have their own share of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start out with their benefits.
* Split keyboards are primarily designed to provide good ergonomics so you can type at the proper posture for extended amounts of time.
* More importantly, typing in an ergonomic posture helps prevent typing-related injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist strain, or repetitive strain injury.
* In keyboards that you can actually split in two pieces, you can fully position the halves to your preferred and most comfortable typing position. For example, if you’re broad-chested or if you have wide shoulders, you can position the keyboard halves farther apart so your arms are aligned with your shoulder width. You don’t have to suffer from bunched up fingers or elbows.
* Most split keyboards have small tabs that can be extended so the halves can tilt from 0 to 30 degrees. In some keyboards, the tabs are at the side nearest to you. When extended, these angle the front of the keyboard downward, enabling a “negative tilt.” This helps keep your hand, wrist, and forearm in a rested, natural alignment as you type.
* Because the halves are split, you’re forced to type with your fingers on the right home keys. This trains you to touch type and no rely on visually confirming your finger position on the keyboard. Touch typing enables you to type faster and more accurately just by muscle memory.
Due to their unusual design, however, split keyboards have their own share of disadvantages:
* They are more expensive than most standard keyboards.
* Split keyboards that cannot be split into two separate pieces occupy a lot of space on your workstation or game station.
* Keyboards that can be split into two separate pieces are often tenkeyless types. That means, they don’t have a number pad. The cursor control keys, page control keys, and function keys are closer to the main keyboard, which can cause mistypes.
* If you’re used to typing on a standard keyboard, it will take some time to get used to typing on a split keyboard. It may be weird or even inconvenient at first, but trust us, it’s all worth it.
Split type keyboards definitely have a strange design. But don’t let that weirdness fool you. These are masterfully designed to help you type longer, faster, more accurately, and healthier. So invest in the best split keyboard today!
Here are some frequently asked questions about split keyboards.
Standard or split keyboards all do the same thing---register your input into your computer. The difference lies in how these keyboards are designed. If ergonomics is a big and important point for you, then a split keyboard is definitely better.
Split keyboards are designed to keep hands, wrists, and forearms at a comfortable width, usually in line with your shoulders. In two-piece split keyboards, you can position the pieces however you want for maximum typing posture and comfort.
By being in a healthy, proper, comfortable, and optimal typing posture, you can type faster and more accurately for longer periods of time without having to worry about incurring typing-related injuries. In other words, these are the best keyboards for carpal tunnel, repetitive stress injury, and wrist strain prevention.
Typing on a split keyboard can be challenging at first, especially if you’re used to typing on a standard keyboard and looking at the keys. The trick is to keep your fingers on the home keys: the A, S, D, and F keys for your left hand; and J, K, L, and the colon sign for your right hand.
When typing, your index finger should not cross each hand’s border. That means, your left index finger’s “border keys” should be the 5, T, G, and B keys. Your right index finger’s border should be the 6, Y, H, and N keys.
If you keep this in mind, continue practicing, and discipline your finger positions, muscle memory will take place. You’ll be able to type on a split keyboard effortlessly.