Tiny Ergonomic Keyboard Gets It Done With Only 44 Keys

Illustration for article titled Tiny Ergonomic Keyboard Gets It Done With Only 44 Keys
Photo: Keyboardio

This is the Keyboardio Atreus. It’s an ergonomic mechanical keyboard that’s less than 10-inches wide. It only has 44 keys, but that’s all the keys it needs. It’s a beautiful piece of typing hardware.

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It might not look like it has enough keys, but the Atreus has all the functionality of a full-size keyboard, just on different layers. Like many smaller-than-normal keyboards, it uses layers. Pressing a modifier key makes the letter keys function as number keys or function keys. It’s programmable, so they can function as anything, really.

Illustration for article titled Tiny Ergonomic Keyboard Gets It Done With Only 44 Keys
Illustration: Keyboardio
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The Atreus was designed in 2014 by Phil Hagelberg, who needed an ergonomic keyboard that could travel easily. He teamed up with Keyboardio, makers of the gorgeous Model 01 wooden heirloom keyboard, to create this wonderful tiny typing thing. Watch attractive people type on it in the video below.

I am amazed at the Atreus’ small size. I am enamored of its layout. See the way the keys line up with the position of both hands? That’s ergonomic art right there. I love the way the space button is positioned exactly where my right thumb always taps the space bar. All of this tiny convenience, plus it has hot-swappable switches so I can customize the feel of every key.

The Keyboardio Atreus went live on Kickstarter a couple of days ago. It was funded in minutes. Those interested in getting one delivered around August can do so by pledging $100 to the campaign, with tiers beyond offering a variety of cases and a gorgeous wooden base/wrist rest.

Illustration for article titled Tiny Ergonomic Keyboard Gets It Done With Only 44 Keys
Photo: Keyboardio
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Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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DISCUSSION

girlusocrzy
girlusocrzy

This reminds me of the Ergodox, Keyboardio, Yogitype, Twiddler, New Standard Keyboard, Radial Keyboard layout, and Dvorak. People keep trying to figure out new efficient comfortable layouts but the retraining required makes it a non starter.

Stenography keyboards in conjunction with AI for word reconstruction might be something else to look at if you want efficiency in a more standard format.

I think I will stick to a more standard layout. Quick access to arrow keys, tab, Ctrl, Alt, make me more efficient at navigating interfaces, formatting, editing, and typing. Cutting out the mouse and keeping the hands on the keyboard is a huge time saver.

Following Apple’s example, Microsoft now seems to be cutting out keyboard navigation in Windows 10, just look at their Photos app. Mnemonics are missing. Many modern apps overlook keyboard navigation and tab order. Visual cues for keyboard navigation such as mnemonic underlining and GUI cursor elements are completely missing. Slide-outs and other contextual UI elements throw another wrench in it. Luckily GTK, QT, wxwidgets etc seem to retain the importance of these features. My efficiency is much higher on the Linux desktop and luckily I am able to use it for work, I’m allowed to install whatever I want on my work machine!