Back-to-the-Office Ergo Brings A Bit Of Home Sweet Home

A monoblock split keyboard with the all-important num pad.

We sure do love a good one-piece split keyboard, and it’s not just because you never have to worry about the halves drifting too far apart throughout the day, though that’s a big plus. For one thing, the angles are always just right without having to mess with anything, so muscle memory gets you back to the home row every time. Usually, the only thing missing from these mono-block splits is the num pad. Well, not on the SuperLyra.

This is [Malevolti]’s back-to-the-office build, and it’s sure to start a few conversations. While we don’t have a lot of details, there will be plenty forthcoming on the Black Cat Plasticworks website. As soon as next year, [Malevolti] plans to sell fully-assembled SuperLyras, kits, and bare-bones PCBs. We really appreciate that it allows for either MX-type switches or Chocs, depending on the hot swap sockets installed.

As much as we love the Maltron-esque num pad in the middle, we imagine that it would be more comfortable to use if it were canted at 45° angle relative to the user’s dominant hand. Fortunately, some enterprising redditor had the same idea. They’ve already mocked this up in Photoshop and are inviting comments on another thread.

Want to go split, but don’t know which is right for you? Check out this Split Keyboard Finder.

12 thoughts on “Back-to-the-Office Ergo Brings A Bit Of Home Sweet Home

  1. I am using a membrane switch ergo keyboard right now. And still working to adopt an Ergodox split board to gain the niceness of Cherry switches. If I could have found a one piece board like this, I would have jumped on it.

    The ergodox though, a big unexpected benefit is the total reprogrammability. Maybe I should just burn my old keyboard and force myself to learn the Ergodox by sink or swim. Don’t expect any long postings from me for a couple of months if I go that route.

    I’m not going the ergo route because of any injury or anything, I immediately found the angles layout more pleasant and natural and now there is no going back.

    1. I recently switched to a split keyboard (I have both the Moonlander V1 and an Ergodox EZ) and honestly, sink or swim is the way to go. It does not take that long to retrain yourself. Honestly the hardest part is figuring out the key layout I want to use. Still trying to find that balance of familiarity to a standard layout, and practicality in the split layout.

  2. I don’t understand the design with the numpad. You already loose the hand that moves to that area, why don’t you have a modifier key to converts one half into a numpad? that would seem a more efficient build with less hand travel.

    1. The layers are a great solution when all you do is type with both hands. But as soon as you are entering a two-factor auth code from a cellphone you hold in your left hand, they become unworkable. Yes, you could have a switchable mode for this, but then you get all the caveats that come with modes (as opposed to the quasi-modes you usually use for layer switching). The fact of life is that while we have a pretty good idea by now how a good keyboard for typing should look like (34/36-key low-profile one-piece split with tenting and splay), keyboards are now used for other things as well, and many of those uses are incompatible with that.

      1. You should investigate toggles in addition to holds, it’s handy to keep one around for each layer. I do advise that you have some kind of layer feedback on your keyboard though, I’m accustomed to Ergodox EZ which has three LEDs so enough for eight layers of feedback.

        1. That’s exactly what I meant about caveats of modes. And feedback is useless, since I don’t look at my keyboard while typing.

          A separate numpad would work pretty well for this, except I never learned to use a numpad (on the computer I had you either had numpad or arrows, and arrows were way more useful).

    2. I don’t use a numpad, and finally bought a TKL keyboard that just ditches that and should have long ago. But indeed with layers, you can just put a numpad on some layer and then shift to that layer and it magically appears under your right fingers! What could be better than that? You never even move your right hand.

      1. But then either you have to keep holding that layer switching key with your left hand, or have some kind of toggle, which guarantees that every time you forget to toggle it back, you will get a weird mix of digits and operators instead of the text you were typing.

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