Skip to main content

Indiegogo Project Offers ErgoDox Mechanical Keyboard Already Assembled

The original ErgoDox is an open-source, split mechanical keyboard that's offered as a kit, meaning the end user is required to pull out the soldering iron and slap it together. For the experienced builder, this kit has everything needed to build the peripheral, including the two circuit boards, ten acrylic case plates, a Teensy USB board (version 2) and more. Naturally, the ErgoDox isn't the ideal solution for general consumers looking for a completed split mechanical keyboard solution right out of the box, until now.

There's an Indiegogo campaign that's looking to raise funds for a completed version of the ErgoDox keyboard called the ErgoDox EZ. The campaign is seeking $50,000 and has already reeled in 270 people in 12 days pledging $44,112. At press time, the campaign still has 19 days to go and offers eight pledge tiers spanning from $145 to $880.

Connecting to a PC or Mac by a USB 2.0 cable, the two halves of this mechanical keyboard are strung together by a standard 3.5 mm cable, allowing the end user to place each side wherever they want it. The company is currently offering two kinds of assembled models, including a compact "retro" model and a large ergonomic version.

What's rather neat about this completed keyboard is that end users can choose what type of mechanical key switches they want. The ErgoDox EZ comes with Cherry MX Brown key switches by default. However, users can opt for Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Black (for $15 extra), Cherry MX Clear and Cherry MX Green.

In addition to choosing the type of switches that will be used, customers will also have the option of configuring the actual key commands. By default, the ErgoDox EZ comes with firmware programmed with a QWERTY keyboard layout. To change this, users can use Massdrop's Layout Configurator to make a new layout, or use new firmware by Ben Blazak that's located on GitHub.  

An FAQ on the Indiegogo page stated that the ErgoDox EZ will include PBT DCS keycaps. The keyboards will also either be ivory white, slate gray or midnight black in color.

As for the project's paid tiers, the featured "perk" of $190 will see pledgers getting "the works." This includes the ErgoDox EZ keyboard, a 2-year warranty, an injection-molded ABS case, blank PBT DCS keycaps and whatever key switch type the users wants. Need printed key caps? You'll have to fork over extra money for the $225 tier. The full printed keyboard is actually valued at $250, so essentially, customers will get $25 off the MSRP price but are required to pay $30 in shipping.

Don't want both pieces? The $145 "One-handed Pirate" provides either the left or right keyboard, a 2-year warranty, an injection-molded ABS case and blank PBT DCS keycaps. This can be used as a shortcut pad or a number pad to complement an existing keyboard.

The Indiegogo page revealed that May will be spent perfecting the enclosure design and ordering parts. June to August will be spent making the molds, while September will be spent perfecting the final mold. In October, the company will fine-tune the outer surfaces, and by November, the keyboard is expected to go into production.

The estimated delivery of the ErgoDox EZ is December 2015.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • Wow, only 225$ for a keyboard? What a deal! Idk why people spend hundred of dollars on mechanical switches, custom keycaps, and so on.

    With time, keyboards get dirty. I prefer to replace mine. Sure, you can try to clean, use pressured air and so on. But after a solid year of use, it's time to change it. Unless you like to remove every cap, clean them, take the whole board apart and dust the inside. It's just not worth the trouble.
    Reply
  • Referbo
    15630284 said:
    Wow, only 225$ for a keyboard? What a deal! Idk why people spend hundred of dollars on mechanical switches, custom keycaps, and so on.

    With time, keyboards get dirty. I prefer to replace mine. Sure, you can try to clean, use pressured air and so on. But after a solid year of use, it's time to change it. Unless you like to remove every cap, clean them, take the whole board apart and dust the inside. It's just not worth the trouble.

    Clean your hands and stop being a slob.

    Anyways, you can either buy a quality product and treat it well and have a high end product for a long time, or be a slob and buy cheap <mod edit> and get cheeto dust stuck in it and have to replace for another garbage keyboard ever year
    Reply
  • biggestinsect
    I have a mechanical keyboard, KB Race with Cherry blues. Take it apart about once a year and clean everything. Takes a little over an hour. So worth it.
    Reply
  • marthisdil
    15630284 said:
    Wow, only 225$ for a keyboard? What a deal! Idk why people spend hundred of dollars on mechanical switches, custom keycaps, and so on.

    With time, keyboards get dirty. I prefer to replace mine. Sure, you can try to clean, use pressured air and so on. But after a solid year of use, it's time to change it. Unless you like to remove every cap, clean them, take the whole board apart and dust the inside. It's just not worth the trouble.

    Clean your hands and stop being a slob.

    Anyways, you can either buy a quality product and treat it well and have a high end product for a long time, or be a slob and buy cheap sh*t and get cheeto dust stuck in it and have to replace for another garbage keyboard ever year

    So...I could buy new, cheap, keyboards for $10/ea per year, and it take me over 22 years to equal the price of one of these.

    fair tradeoff
    Reply
  • beoza
    I just got a Mechanical KB (Corsair K70 w/Cherry reds) in February, best investment I've made by far; my hands and wrists feel much better after hours of using it. I will never buy a cheap keyboard again! Cleaning is a breeze, pop the key caps off and just wipe with a cloth for normal cleaning. Only issue I had was the o-ring mod but it only took 30min. There's more to Mechanical keyboards than just the fancy switches and replaceable key caps, they tend to be easier to type on. After 2hrs of using my cheap Logitech K120 my hands and wrists would ache; since getting my mech keyboard I can type/game all day with no pain.
    Reply
  • Referbo
    15630954 said:
    15630284 said:
    Wow, only 225$ for a keyboard? What a deal! Idk why people spend hundred of dollars on mechanical switches, custom keycaps, and so on.

    With time, keyboards get dirty. I prefer to replace mine. Sure, you can try to clean, use pressured air and so on. But after a solid year of use, it's time to change it. Unless you like to remove every cap, clean them, take the whole board apart and dust the inside. It's just not worth the trouble.

    Clean your hands and stop being a slob.

    Anyways, you can either buy a quality product and treat it well and have a high end product for a long time, or be a slob and buy cheap sh*t and get cheeto dust stuck in it and have to replace for another garbage keyboard ever year

    So...I could buy new, cheap, keyboards for $10/ea per year, and it take me over 22 years to equal the price of one of these.

    fair tradeoff

    Right but the issue here is you're using a $10 keyboard which doesn't feel as good as a proper one... you can get a mech for $50 on fleabay SHIPPED that will last 5 years +
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    You lost me at split keyboard, yuck.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    While I'll agree that the price is insane, I don't agree that mechanical keyboards are so superior to the "cheap" keyboards. My father has been using the same "cheap" keyboard for almost 15 years now with no issues. Just because the keyboard has a low price, doesn't mean it is low quality. Just because a keyboard has "mechanical" switches, doesn't mean it's going to outlast a "cheap" keyboard.
    Reply
  • Turb0Yoda
    Wow, only 225$ for a keyboard? What a deal! Idk why people spend hundred of dollars on mechanical switches, custom keycaps, and so on.

    With time, keyboards get dirty. I prefer to replace mine. Sure, you can try to clean, use pressured air and so on. But after a solid year of use, it's time to change it. Unless you like to remove every cap, clean them, take the whole board apart and dust the inside. It's just not worth the trouble.
    Wow, only 225$ for a keyboard? What a deal! Idk why people spend hundred of dollars on mechanical switches, custom keycaps, and so on.

    With time, keyboards get dirty. I prefer to replace mine. Sure, you can try to clean, use pressured air and so on. But after a solid year of use, it's time to change it. Unless you like to remove every cap, clean them, take the whole board apart and dust the inside. It's just not worth the trouble.

    The funny part is that if you say, spend 100 bucks on a keyboard, you will waste 500 bucks in five years and we will spend 100-225 in a year, keep the keyboard clean, and save a lot of money. I've had this keyboard for nine year. A POS, Bargain Bin type of thing, membrane keys and all. Why has it lasted so long? I keep if clean. Meanwhile, you waste money. So guess what, you end up losing.
    Reply
  • kuhchuk
    Jesus Christ, this is a niche product. Niche products are almost invariably more expensive than their broad-market counterparts. Stop complaining about it. If you don't think it's worth spending more than $20 on a keyboard, keep on doing that. I'm 100% confident in my ErgoDox because I built it myself. I also know exactly how it's constructed and how it works, so I know for a fact that I can fix it if anything breaks (short of busting a PCB).
    Reply