Circle Device


Personal Interest

Choosing a Keyboard

Choosing a Keyboard

In our modern times we all spend a lot of time using a keyboard but only those people who have something of a passion for computing will agonise over their choice of keyboard. As an embedded systems developer and a passionate computer user since I can remember I fall into that category. I did not realise how important the location of my keys was until I had to make use of an Apple laptop keyboard for about 1 year. I did not care so much that the caps had the wrong glyphs on them (I can re-map that) what was a real problem was the instances where the keys simply did not exist... the pipe | and back slash \ characters are very important to a programmer, not to mention the frustrating half size arrow keys (yes, yes, I should be using HJKL, sorry).

Half Height Apple Arrow Keys

Mac Arrow Keys

Cherry MX Pro 6.0

Cherry MX Pro 6.0

Keyboard on my Laptop

Dell XPS 15 L502x


So, what do I want in a keyboard?

  • Must be a UK layout, not a twisted Macintosh layout
  • Must have a pipe backslash character key next to the left shift
  • Must have a double height enter key
  • Must have full size arrow keys, in the right place
  • Were possible, glyphs should match the standard UK keyboard layout

My Laptop (Dell L502x) fits this perfectly... but all the new models do not!

Aliexpress and other Keyboard Nerds

Fortunately, I am not the only person who cares this much about a keyboard. YMDK do PCBs, Switches and Keycaps. The Dell XPS L502x keyboard is a 84 key layout (well, seemingly) and the YMDK company seems to do several 84 Key layouts.

YMD96 YMD75 and GH60 YD60M layout assembly options

Also the keycaps on this keyboard look really nice... unfortunately they are not the UK layout.



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