Mechanical keyboards have been gaining popularity lately and feature different sizes, components, switches, lighting, and more. One company, X-Bows, has introduced a new mechanical keyboard that has a radically different, and ergonomic, design on Kickstarter. Created and developed by Dr. Sigo Wang — a medical doctor with over 20 years experience in medical imaging and metacarpal injuries, X-Bows was designed to be an accessible way to improve keyboard ergonomics without requiring a significant investment of time from users to adjust to.
The company says that the X-Bows keyboard was designed with three main criteria:
- Enhancing the comfort and ergonomics of the keyboard
- Limiting the learning curve for our new layout
- Creating an attractive design
The first, as you’ve noticed from the image above is the “cross-radial design,” which is definitely a very noticeable and unique feature of the keyboard. According to the Kickstarter description, the “key columns are angled to promote a more natural angle for our wrists.”
Moving the ENTER, Backspace, SHIFT and ALT keys into the center of the keyboard achieves two things:
- First, it limits stress on the pinky, our weakest finger. The thumb is very underused on traditional keyboard layouts so repositioning these keys utilizes it without adding undue stress.
- Second, it makes these keys much easier to reach. On traditional typewriters these keys didn’t exist, had limited functionality, or had completely different functions. They were simply tacked onto the side of the keyboard. Making these keys easier to reach allows you to get more done when you’re typing and reduces the need to move your whole hand to reach a key – one of the most fatiguing acts in typing.
It’s an interesting concept, and given some of us have been using the same keyboard layout for over a decade, it’d definitely take some getting used to.
Features and specifications of the X-Bows keyboard include:
- The body of X-Bows is made fully of aluminum. This prevents any flex and feels more satisfying than lighter keyboards.
- Gateron Switches are among the most sought-after in the keyboard market. They have an estimated lifespan of 50 million actuations.
- Type of lighting provides backlighting and effects for X-Bows. Individual key lighting can also be set in the accompanying software.
- Using X-Bows intuitive software, users can set individual keys to perform macro functions that would take multiple keystrokes to perform on ordinary keyboards.
- X-Bows training wheel keys smooth the transition from using modifier keys on the periphery of the keyboard to using the new ones in the middle of the board. These keys can later be reprogrammed to the users’ needs.
- Keyswitches: Gateron Blue/Red/Brown/Black
- RGB DIP LED Lighting
- Cable: USB-C to USB
- Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux
- Dimensions: 345 x 137 x 30 mm
- Weight: 0.8 Kg
The X-Bows Mechanical Ergonomic Keyboard was successfully funded on Kickstarter and is now available in a number of options which start at an MSRP of US$150. The current pricing is $119 for the “Natural” model (ABS plastic bottom shell), and $199 for the “Knight” model (one-piece aluminum body).Purchase from X-Bows