The key difference between a staggered keyboard and an ortholinear one lies in the arrangement of the keys.
Conventional keyboards have staggered keys, a legacy from typewriters, whereas ortholinear keyboards feature a grid layout, promoting a more natural finger movement. In ergonomic ortholinear keyboards, columns may be staggered based on finger length, encouraging an intuitive placement and reducing strain on wrists and fingers.
Although technically they could be called "columnar," many use both terms interchangeably. From a theoretical standpoint, ortholinear keyboards have the potential to enhance typing speed, accuracy, and comfort, marking a step forward in ergonomics.
For Dygma keyboards, the Defy follows a columnar layout, while the Raise follows a staggered layout. Before deciding which suits you best, let's check out the benefits of each layout:
Benefits of Columnar Layout:
- Reduced Finger Travel: Columnar layout minimizes finger travel, creating a more natural and ergonomic movement pattern compared to traditional staggered layouts.
- Natural Finger Movement: The keys are arranged in columns, allowing fingers to move in a more natural arc, reducing strain and discomfort.
- Reduced Wrist Discomfort: The layout contributes to better hand and wrist alignment, potentially reducing discomfort and promoting a more ergonomic typing experience.
- Wireless Options: Some columnar keyboards, like the Dygma Defy, offer wireless capabilities, providing flexibility in setting up ergonomic workspaces.
Benefits of Staggered Layout:
- Familiarity and Ease of Transition: Staggered layouts are more common and familiar to users, making the transition from traditional keyboards smoother.
- Wider Product Variety: Staggered layouts offer a wider range of product options, including both membrane and mechanical keyboards, providing users with diverse choices.
- Ease of Finding Replacement Keyboards: Staggered layout keyboards are widely available, making it easier to find replacements or alternatives when needed.
- Compatibility with Traditional Typing Methods: Staggered layouts align with traditional typing methods, making them more suitable for users who are accustomed to conventional keyboard setups.
Which keyboard is right for you?
To choose one, it's essential to know where you are on the ergonomic journey.
The Dygma Raise is the perfect keyboard for users who are new to ergonomic keyboards. It can be used as a regular 60% keyboard at first, and then gradually split as you become more comfortable.
The Dygma Defy is a more advanced ergonomic keyboard. It has an optional tenting and tilting system for optimal wrist and hand position, full wireless capabilities, multi-pairing for up to 5 devices, and much more.