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I've wondered the same thing but haven't come to a conclusion about it. I'm skeptical of any improvements the ortholinear layout would bring to be honest. If you are using a keyboard enough, the particular locations of any given key will be firmly in your muscle memory. However, perhaps it makes sense ergonomically for a split keyboard like this, since your hands are pretty much exactly perpendicular to the horizontal direction of the keys, so finger extension direction would indicate an ortholinear layout being ideal.

I bit the bullet and bought a "Truly Ergonomic Computer Keyboard" a few years ago, as it was the most conventional-looking split ortholinear keyboard available. It's a much nicer typing experience and causes me less finger strain, which started becoming a problem for me ~4 years ago. I would recommend strongly against that particular keyboard, since it uses inferior "kahil" brand switches that have exhibited various mechanical issues over the years (doubled presses and missed presses), but the kind of layout is definitely worth for me. The company has been extremely avoidant and unresponsive when I brought those issues up. It might have been due to a bad batch of keyswitches, so I can't recommend against kahil switches specifically, but TECK is definitely not a well-supported or well-executed product.

Regarding Truly Ergonomic, it's almost infuriating how poorly they are running their operation. They started with a great idea and a decent-sized following (in the beginning). All things considered their first-gen product was not bad at all. If they had owned up to the ghosting issues and focused on ironing out the kinks in the 200 series (or even 300), they'd be in great shape. But instead they alienated their target demographic. And instead:


They went back to typewriter layout, and now claim that infrared keyswitches are the secret to ergonomics. Complete With Marketing Copy Capitalizing Every Word. It's so bad that I genuinely thought some fly-by-night Chinese manufacturer had stolen their domain and logo. But nope, it's still the same people.

WTF? Did they lost their plot? How could they call it comfortable when it's horizontally staggered?

So today I found out that I own a legacy TECK model. I have visited their site some time ago the last time I remapped the keys with the online utility, so I'm baffled they went back to the century old typewriter layout, it's somewhat like they abjured what they professed few years ago. Bah...

I suppose they expect to sell more units of this more conventional layout.

My TECK has Cherry MX brown switches, and still has the double and missed-press problems.

Also lots of mechanical keyboards from companies other than Truly Ergonomic work fine with Kailh switches.

So I think it's the crappy TE firmware and not the switches.

I like the layout though, so I persist with using it at work. I much prefer my Ergodox at home though.

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