We write about keyboards a lot. That’s because it’s the primary interface between the user and the computer. Keyboards are personal. Everyone from Joanna Stern at the WSJ to movie director Taika Waititi has complained about them. The ZSA Moonlander has a different approach to the keyboard.
The Moonlander keyboard is designed to be flexible for a number of different use cases. It’s a split keyboard designed to be ergonomic.
It’s a split keyboard, consisting of two keypads, one left and one right, connected by a short cable. If you’re playing computer games, you can disconnect the right and use the WASD on the left, clearing up some space on your desk.
It’s got multiple stands to adjust the angle that the keyboard sits on the table. There’s a small cluster of keys for the thumb, and that wing adjusts angle. The wrist rest and thumb cluster can both be detached for a minimal typing experience.
The keys are arranged in a columnar layout, which means instead of being staggered from row to row, they’re aligned vertically, and that rows are staggered. Moonlander is made this way because some fingers are longer than others, and you want the keys to fit comfortably under where your fingertips fall.
If you’re already a mechanical keyboard user, you may have developed an affinity for different key switches – some that require more force to press, some that are more quiet. The keyswitches in Moonlander are user-replaceable, so you can change it to your preferences.
All of the keys are fully backlit with RGB LEDs so that you can fully customize the colors of the keyboard.
The keyboard comes with a neoprene case, and the base is slim, allowing the key switches to be seen from the side. It’s one of the thinnest mechanical keyboards we’ve seen.
Learning to type is one of the skills that has fallen by the wayside in schools over the years, and learning to type on a split keyboard is definitely not taught. To help with this, Moonlander provides two tools: Oryx Live Training and a license to Epistory Typing Chronicles.
It sounds like overkill, but the whole thing has an arm CPU inside to handle the lighting, audio notifications and customizations. The keyboard IS a computer. It comes with a USB-C cable and USB-C to USB-A adapter if you happen to need one.
If you want an absurdly powerful, configurable mechanical keyboard, with open source firmware so you can do whatever you’d like to customize it, the ZSA Moonlander won’t come cheap. It’s $365. If you’re the sort of keyboard connoisseur who is attracted by all this, maybe it’s for you. ZSA.io