The Maltron is a strange-looking keyboard with two dips in the surface, one for each hand - it's based on the idea of adapting the keyboard to a relaxed hand and arm position, rather than making the user adapt as with conventional keyboards. It supports the QWERTY keyboard layout as well as a more ergonomic Maltron layout (unrelated to DvorakKeyboard
) - both use the curved keyboard, it's just a question of re-assigning the key mappings.
[details at http://www.maltron.com
Also a version with a built-in track ball seems to exist:
The text at http://mindprod.com/jgloss/dsk.html
also mentions a limited 2D edition
I've used one for years, and it's particularly helpful for recovery from RepetitiveStrainInjury
(of which CarpalTunnelSyndrome
is the most commonly known manifestation in the US). I'm quite sure that many of the problems of BadKeyboards
are created not by the Qwerty vs. Dvorak 'logical layout', but by the lack of proper curved keyboard design.
Looks very similar to a KinesisKeyboard, at an even more outrageous price (dual handed version starts at 375 english pounds).
seems to be the same design, but at a much more accessible price.
You can purchase these in the US for $750 at http://www.maltron-usa.com/
Kinesis's similarity isn't coincidental. Kinesis apparently negotiated with Maltron to produce keyboards with the Maltron layout in the US, but ultimately didn't sign the contract. They did however, get all the ergonomic and technical information on the Maltron layout, and then created their surprisingly similar contour design. Anyone considering a Kinesis should consider the Maltron instead. I believe Maltron has better ergonomics, as well as better BusinessEthics
. -- RagnarScheuermann
The Maltron is currently (January 2010) priced at $750. Speaking of BusinessEthics, while I can't say I particularly blame Maltron for taking this approach, they seem to be pricing the hardware under the assumption that the insurance companies of RSI-afflicted typists will pay for it.
Has anyone tried both a Kinesis and a Maltron? I'm a long time Kinesis user (about 6 years now) and I can type 70 wpm with no more wrist pain (used to be a big problem before switching from a standard keyboard to a Kinesis). But, I've always been unhappy with the function keys being so small. I also wish a trackpoint joystick was integrated into it (like IBM laptops). The Maltron has all the keys large, but I'm not excited about the position of some of them (I like the arrow keys under the fingers and I like pgUp and pgDwn under my thumbs). And, the keys don't look like they're shaped in the same way that the Kinesis keys are. The Maltron also doesn't seem to be programmable.