As far as I'm concerned there's nothing wrong with my keyboard
Hmm, you may think that there's nothing wrong with your keyboard, but in all likelihood there is. I'm guessing that it's an unshapely beast with cheap keys; one that probably came with your computer.
OK Mystic Meg, you've got me there, but everyone I know owns a cheap keyboard. So what?
My point is that you've probably never considered how uncomfortable and unsatisfying it is. Most of us spend more time than we would like to admit in front of a computer at work, thanklessly tapping at devices that have lost their magic over the years. The Model 01 aims to make the keyboard an important part of any PC setup again by bringing back the luxurious physical features of yore.
Luxury eh? Now we're talking
Yep, this is the QE2 of keyboards. The first thing you'll notice is that the enclosures are made from two blocks of solid maple that support your hands. Say goodbye to rubber supports that look lifted straight from the pages of an Ann Summers catalogue.
The keys have also been given the five-star treatment. If you look down at your current setup, you'll find that almost every key is an identical shape, which seems ridiculous given that each of your unevenly shaped fingers are poking its layout from different angles. In response to this the Model 01 features 64 keycaps that are custom sculpted to allow for the most natural, comfortable typing experience.
It's not just the key's shape that makes the all important difference to its feel, its the keyswitch beneath. Most modern keyboards have abandoned mechanical keyswitches in favour of little scissor mechanisms or rubber domes that don't provide a satisfying press. The Model 01's custom keycaps rest on high quality mechanical keyswitches which are tactile but clicky and are based on the ALPS keyswitches used in some of Apple's best keyboards. Super fancy.
All sounds terribly luxurious, but the separated sections remind me of those Microsoft Natural Keyboard monstrosities from a few years back. They scare me
It might scare you, but most people become accustomed to the split keyboard shape after a little while. Many even find that they can type faster than before.
Even if you possess the unfortunate armspan of an orangutan and the angle of the split key sections doesn't suit, you can always detach the two segments from one another and place them in whatever position feels best for you.
The amount of stress on your digits is also kept to a minimum by keeping the number of keys low. The Model 01 features fewer keys than a traditional keyboard but makes up for it with clever workarounds like the two 'palm keys' at the bottom of the layout. Pressed using the base of the thumb, these buttons work as function keys which change the output of other parts of the board, for instance by turning the H, J, L and L keys into arrow keys.
You know I'm sensitive about my orangutan arms...
Sorry, that was cruel of me. Maybe I can cheer you up with a few of the Model 01's other neat features.
The makers clearly want their customers to create a setup that works for them. Although the Model 01 ships as standard in QWERTY layout it also comes in Dvorak, Colemak, and Workman. It can also adjust to custom layouts and macros based on the current active application, so if you're an avid World of Warcraft nut you can fiddle with your hotkeys to your heart's desire. Event the RGB LEDs behind each key are programmable, so you could, in theory, tell them to flash red if you're typing too fast or spamming one of your in-game abilities too much. You can even flash the keyboard's firmware and insert whatever code your heart desires in its place. It's an exceedingly open platform.
At the time of writing, the Model 01 Kickstarter project has seven days left on the clock and has already smashed its funding goal several times over. The minimum pledge to get your hands on a complete keyboard is $299 (around £195); pricy, but potentially worth it for the years of happiness it may bring your fingers.