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I am considering purchasing this style keyboard with the split keys.

alt text

I found it a bit awkward to use at first but I'm sure I will get used to it. That's the problem.

If you use this style keyboard almost exclusively, do you find it harder to type when you sit in front of a regular keyboard?

I travel a lot and work on other people's computer systems. I'm affraid I will "get used to" my keyboard and make it harder on myself when I have to type on a regular keyboard.

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+1 for including a nice picture. And no, it won't be a problem if you regularly use more than one kind of keyboard. – The How-To Geek Aug 25 '09 at 16:04

13 Answers 13

up vote 19 down vote accepted

I use a normal keyboard at work, and have one of these fancy keyboards at home. I can touchtype with the same speed on both of them.

When you do switch between different keyboards after extended periods (laptop v/s regular, for example) it does take a little time to get used to they key placement, but within a few minutes of typing, you will get used to it - especially if you have used both the keyboards before.

Muscle memory is a great thing :)

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No, if you're a touch-typist then going back to a normal keyboard is no problem.

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I used my buddies keyboard while I visited him for about a week and I can say that I came back to a normal keyboard without any problems what-so-ever.

It's nothing like trying to move from a Dvorak back to a QWERTY keyboard, that's for sure.

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I use that keyboard exclusively and I have for a couple of years. I have one at home, and had one at the office (before I started working from home). When I go to my in-laws it takes me a minute to switch back to a standard keyboard, but it isn't that bad.

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No problem at all. I'm able to switch between a normal keyboard and something as radical as the Kinesis Advantage keyboard, too, with no trouble. Maybe a minute or two to "switch modes", but then I'm fine.

Kinesis countour keyboard

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Love my Kinesis...Sometimes my thumbs get in the way a little if I've been on it all day and switch back to another, but only for a minute or two. – Douglas Anderson Aug 25 '09 at 18:49
Now that is something I'll need a few months to get used to. – Isxek Aug 26 '09 at 0:26
The first week was annoying, then you get used to it. – Nelson Aug 27 '09 at 22:59

I bounce between a few different keyboards pretty easily as my laptop has a slightly smaller keyboard, my work desktop has a regular keyboard but my home desktop has a wireless natural keyboard that I really like but not enough to move it among all my computers, though I may change that.

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It hasn't caused me a problem, and I've tried a variety of split keyboards and keyboard layouts over the years. Generally it only takes a short time to adjust to any physical difference.

I have heard it suggested that if you are using a split keyboard to alleviate discomfort or pain whilst typing, then you may be making yourself more susceptible to injury when you switch back to a normal keyboard layout. I have no idea if there's any truth to this, and I would strongly suggest that anyone experiencing pain or discomfort through typing consult a medical professional, before trying to remedy it with ergonomic equipment.

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I don't necessarily have a problem switching between different keyboard, however I must admit I end up buying the same one for each computer I use at home and at work, since I find it easier to work this way. It is an extreme however.

My biggest problem is that I need a keyboard like this because I type to fast, and the normal Dell type keyboard causes me to log myself out of our work network every few hours. Painful actually.

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As long as you're not switching back and forth between that and Logitech keyboards that have the reordered keys above the arrow keys. Those keyboards drive me crazy!

Logitech keyboard with messed up home/insert/delete/end/pg up/pg dw

Why does the delete key have to be so big!

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I've actually used a Logitech keyboard for a while. The home cluster is actually easier to use, once you get a handle on it. Home and End are actually left and right, instead of up and down. Plus, I bet if you took a survey, the most used key in the home cluster is probably the delete button. Easier to find when it's a different size. – Hello71 Jul 19 '10 at 0:36
The cluster makes more sense with Home & End being left/right rather than top/mottom, but the lack of an Insert key is annoying. Especially when you write software assuming the existence of such a key only to get new keyboards lacking it. – afrazier Oct 31 '11 at 13:16

I found that I was able to adjust between work and home when I used a natural keyboard at home and a regular qwerty keyboard at my home. My typing style isn't the traditional finger layout that I was taught in school so that may let me change between keyboards easily enough without much adjustment.

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This is no problem at all for me, did use natural both at home and at work for a while and regular where no problem then. Now days I got a gaming keyboard at home (non-natural that is), and still natural at work and it's no problem.

For me natural did feel odd at first (but mostly because using keyboard wrong with hands over the place) after a while I did get used to it, but that didn't make normal keyboard feel wrong. Natural keyboard mostly force you to use any keyboard the right way (unless one all ready is a pro)

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I used a natural keyboard at home for about a year. I never reached the same typing speed on it as I did on a normal keyboard, and it didn't feel more comfortable than any other in actual use. After having abandoned it years ago, I am still making more typos on a normal keyboard than I ever did before I used the natural.

I think that it would have worked better if I was touch-typing properly, but I find it hard to do proper touchtyping as a programmer, too many oddball characters needing modifier keys. :)

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I think if you use both types of keyboard on a regular basis, then no, probably not. However, from personal experience I can say that if you use natural keyboards 100% of the time, then after a while (say a year or two) then you'll certainly feel it when you go back to an old fashioned wrist breaker.

BTW, I have the Natural Keyboard 4000 and I can safely say it's the best ergonomic keyboard I've used - and I've tried lots of them.

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