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Ergonomic Keyboards With Programmable Keys (Guide)

A flat keyboard doesn’t provide an opportunity for your wrists to rest or lie in a natural position. This can lead to repetitive motion that causes carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions.

Ergonomic keyboards with programmable keys facilitate gaming, office work, and home computer use. Although these keyboards are sometimes more expensive than other options, investing in your health can pay off big down the road.

Koolertron Programmable Split Mechanical Keyboard, All 89...
Editor Choice
Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX...
Budget Choice
Alienware Low-Profile RGB Gaming Keyboard AW510K: Alienfx...
Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet Ergonomic Split Mechanical...
Koolertron Programmable Split Mechanical Keyboard, All 89...
Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX...
Alienware Low-Profile RGB Gaming Keyboard AW510K: Alienfx...
Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet Ergonomic Split Mechanical...
$149.99
$189.99
$136.00
$169.53
96 Reviews
672 Reviews
540 Reviews
219 Reviews
Koolertron Programmable Split Mechanical Keyboard, All 89...
Koolertron Programmable Split Mechanical Keyboard, All 89...
$149.99
96 Reviews
Editor Choice
Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX...
Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX...
$189.99
672 Reviews
Budget Choice
Alienware Low-Profile RGB Gaming Keyboard AW510K: Alienfx...
Alienware Low-Profile RGB Gaming Keyboard AW510K: Alienfx...
$136.00
540 Reviews
Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet Ergonomic Split Mechanical...
Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet Ergonomic Split Mechanical...
$169.53
219 Reviews

Last update on 2022-05-18 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Do programmers use ergonomic keyboards?

Programmers spend a considerable amount of time tapping away at the keyword while writing, compiling, or bug fixing code.

Having a keyboard that supports their wrists can make a big difference when it comes to workflow, comfort and injury prevention. That’s even more true for keyboards that have programmable keys.

If you are a programmer, consider ergonomic keyboards with programmable keys and mechanical switches for light, fast and efficient typing.

Mechanical switches respond quickly to finger taps and programmable keys save you hundreds of strokes per hour when implemented optimally.

How do you program keyboard layout?

Did you know that you can create a custom keyboard layout in Windows? Here are the steps to customize your typing experience:

  1. Open the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator app.
  2. Go to the File Menu and choose Load Existing Keyboard.
  3. Choose the layout that works for you.
  4. Select Save Source File As on the File Menu to make a backup.
  5. Program keys as desired.

To return to normal keyboard mode, select ctrl + shift and the quotation mark key (second key to the right of the L).

Read Do Mechanical Keyboards Last Longer?

4 Best ergonomic keyboards with programmable keys

1. Koolertron Programmable

Koolertron Programmable Split Mechanical Keyboard, All 89...
96 Reviews
Koolertron Programmable Split Mechanical Keyboard, All 89...
  • 【89 Programmable Keys & 8 Macro Keys Based Hardware】Program all 89 keys or create 8 complex macros with the configuration...
  • 【Built-in MCU】After keyboard keys be set up, it will be automatically stored in keyboard's MCU, and no need reset the keyboard...
  • 【Support 9 Kinds Key Program Types】 Normal/3-Layer/Mouse/Hotkey/Burst/Round-Robin/Continue/Jitter/Special Functions/Disable...

Last update on 2022-05-18 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The Koolertron Programmable Split Mechanical Keyboard gives you the best of both worlds, with a split keyboard for ergonomic typing and 89 programmable keys.

Features

Both sides have a USB port for auxiliary devices, and you’ll find the switches require little support to operate.

The keyboard also makes it easy to type comfortably with straight wrists. The split keyboard design allows you to customize the distance between each hand so that you can choose the most natural position.

Its plastic construction makes it lightweight, but it also has a sturdy feel. Its Gaterons or Cherry MX switches come in red, black or brown. Meanwhile, the smooth switches allow gamers to focus on the game, not their keyboards.

Benefits

This mechanical keyboard features great build quality and keypads that work independently. It’s highly configurable and easy to take apart.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks include a lack of backlighting and non-adjustable feet. The braided cable is also a bit short and the keyboard only supports micro USB.

What sets it apart from its competitors?

The split keyboards work independently and mini-USB ports on each half allow for independent use. This is a desirable feature in ergonomic keyboards.

Plus, you can program all the keys (89) thanks to SMKD62 software that automatically stores any changes on a built-in MCU.

2. Cloud Nine C989M

Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX...
672 Reviews
Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX...
  • SPLIT KEYBOARD DESIGN - Helps ELIMINATE Wrist and Shoulder PAIN while you type. By keeping your hands and arms properly aligned,...
  • BUILT IN-TENTING (& palm support) - Your hands stay COMFORTABLE all day with 7 degrees of angle built into the tented palm...
  • Do you suffer from SORE WRISTS, RSI Symptoms, CARPAL TUNNEL, or ARTHRITIS? This keyboard can HELP! It can be separated up to 6...

Last update on 2022-05-18 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The Cloud Nine C989M is a mechanical keyboard with ergonomic features designed for work and gaming purposes. It has a split design that keeps shoulders, wrist and hands aligned to prevent repetitive strain and pain.

Features

The C989M has enough heft for comfortable use and stability. With 7-degree tilting in the wrist rests, and the beefy chassis, it doesn’t move around on the desktop. That’s a key feature with two different components to juggle.

Surprisingly, the big media knob doesn’t impede typing. You can control volume, backlight brightness, and scroll functions easily, and there are 10 macro keys on the left keyboard.

Benefits

Numeous macro keys, beautiful RGB backlighting, a solid build quality and multi-function knob are the major benefits of this programmable ergonomic keyboard.

Drawbacks

Like all products, theC989M has a few drawbacks. For example, there’s no windows key and it has a short bridge cable.

What sets it apart from its competitors?

You make customizations through the C989M application software, which is easy to use. It also gives you control over macros, modes, and RGB lighting. This is fun for gamers and useful for programmers and other users who want to personalize their keyboards.

The C989M keyboard has Cherry MX switches available in red, blue and brown colors. RGB backlight improves visibility and beauty and allows you to select from 18 patterns.

3. Alienware

Sale
Alienware Low-Profile RGB Gaming Keyboard AW510K: Alienfx...
540 Reviews
Alienware Low-Profile RGB Gaming Keyboard AW510K: Alienfx...
  • Featuring the latest generation low-profile Cherry MX keys for better control with quick and smooth triggering
  • Fully customizable with AlienFX per-key RGB lighting which allows you to choose from up to 16 8 million colors per Key
  • Slim profile for enhanced ergonomics new generation iconic Alienware design

Last update on 2022-05-18 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The Alienware Low-Profile RGB Gaming Keyboard has released another low profile keyboard with programmable keys and ergonomic features.

This gives you the best of both worlds if you’re a hardcore PC gamer who loves the feel of mechanical keyboards. Quick actuation and laptop like low typing might make this more comfortable for new ergonomic keyboard users.

Features

The mid-priced AW510K brings polish and style to your workspace.  If you don’t recognize the name, you’ll probably know its parent company, Dell.

The keyboard has a volume ruler and USB passthrough and delivers comfortable typing features.

Benefits

Low-profile Cherry switches and a sleek look make this a fun, versatile keyboard. It also has USB pass-through and other features that make gaming and work easier.

Drawbacks

Many reviewers and users feel that the keyboard has an unnecessarily high price tag. It also has Alienware’s difficult to configure software going against it.

What sets a product apart from its competitors?

The AW510K is a full-size keyboard with 105 keys that include media controls (F9 through F12). it also has a dedicated mute button, and you can  use the plastic volume roller to quickly turn music and media volume up or down.

4. Kinesis Freestyle Pro

Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet Ergonomic Split Mechanical...
219 Reviews
Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet Ergonomic Split Mechanical...
  • AWARD-WINNING SPLIT DESIGN: Advanced ergonomics for all body types and preferences via adjustable split, splay, and tent (tenting...
  • GENUINE CHERRY MECHANICAL SWITCHES FOR PREMIUM TYPING FEEL AND PERFORMANCE WITH LESS NOISE: Cherry MX "Silent" red mechanical...
  • FULL ONBOARD PROGRAMMABILITY WITH THE DRIVERLESS SMARTSET ENGINE: 9 custom layouts, 8 office hotkeys, on-the-fly macro recording,...

Last update on 2022-05-18 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Kinesis broke the mold on curved keyboards when it released this programmable ergo keyboard. The Kinesis Freestyle Pro is a wired keyboard with split sections you can adjust for the perfect distance (shoulder width apart).

Features

The Kinesis Freestyle Pro has an ergonomic design that gives you more freedom for hand and wrist placement. Additionally, you can use the SmartSet app to reprogram the keys to your preferences.

Benefits

The keyboard is reprogrammable, so you can adjust your commands as desired.

Drawbacks

It’s not available in a wireless option.

What sets a product apart from its competitors?

There are numerous accessories available with this keyboard and it has cushion palm pads for additional comfort.

Product Evolution

There are numerous versions of the company’s Freestyle keyboards. The Kinesis Freestyle2 is a great keyboard. For example, it has the same design but uses membrane switches and does away with keyboard programming for those who don’t use that feature anyway.

Which keyboard layout is best for programming?

After researching and testing the top programmable ergonomic keyboards, we recommend the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. It has standard and premium ergonomic elements and the backlighting and sleek design are, what’s the word, cool.

Final thoughts and best pick

The last section should have come with a spoiler alert because the easy-to-program, aesthetically pleasing Kinesis Freestyle Pro is our favorite ergonomic plus programmable keyboard.

However, all four of the computer keyboards reviewed have great features that will serve you well if your primary concern is ergonomics and programmability.