Thinking of getting the M01 and would like some help deciding

I recently decided to get a new keyboard, one that is high quality instead of the usual keyboards that are around.
Didn’t take me long to find the mechanical keyboard reddit. I did my research and by the end of it im here, thinking of getting an ergonomic mechanical keyboard for the healthiest and best typing experience i can get.
Many of you might be biased (cause im on this brands forum so its expected) but ill still ask anyways.
Should i get an ergonomic keyboard or not?
Should i get keyboardio m01?
How does it feel?
How does it work for gaming?
What kind of switch does it use?
And most importantly
Is it possible to buy it from the EU? (Or Great Britain to be more specific) because i wouldn’t want it to take a long time to reach me and i don’t want to pay for the fricken import tax, those are stupid expensive.
I really hope you guys can help me make this decision, cause i have been on this for a while now and i really want to make a decision and go on with my life XD.
Cheers

Loving mine at work after about six months. The very adjustable split keyboard has helped my RSI and upper back pain. I find it comfortable to type on. I don’t game on it.

Yeah I did a bit of reading and most of those who get it love it.
Thanks for your reply

As the Model01 manual puts it, all keyboards are bad for your hand health, but ergonomic ones are in most cases, much less bad than other keyboards. I’ve been using ergonomic keyboards for quite a few years now (ErgoDox EZ first, Model01 later), and I can’t imagine going back to traditional keyboards. Love them dearly.

Yes! It’s one of - if not THE - best keyboards on the market at the moment. The thumb arc, the palm key are all amazing. The fully sculpted custom keycaps likewise. And the halves having standard camera mounts allow one to do some very interesting tenting setups:

I have a Quiet Click, and it’s my favourite switch. It is quiet, more quiet than the cheap membrane keyboard I used to use when I needed to silence the clickety clacks. I love the weight of the switches too, they’re not buttery light, but they don’t require hammering to activate either - it’s a sweet spot between the two. I wouldn’t mind a bit more pronounced tactile bump, but that’s about it.

Depends on the game, really. I’ve played Elder Scrolls Online with it fine, worked amazing for that, and plenty of others. My main issue when gaming was that to make game controls feel good, I had to either remap the left half so it had all the shortcuts I wanted, or I needed to remap the key bindings in the game. Remapping the keyboard has the disadvantage that if you want to type, you’ll have to switch to a non-gaming layer. Remapping in-game is mind numbingly boring.

But then, this goes for any kind of split keyboard. If you have the patience to set it up to fit your needs, it works very well for gaming.

Oh, and the keyboard is fast (unless you sprinkle expensive LED animations onto every key press, that will slow things down).

Matias Quiet Click, mostly. You can find Loud Click variants for sale here and there, but in general, the Quiet Click variant is the most common. These are ALPS-style switches, not compatible with MX-style keycaps. While the switches themselves are compatible with ALPS keycaps, the physical layout and the frame of the Model01 is not, you’re pretty much tied to the custom keycaps. But those are the best, anyway. :wink:

You might be able to buy a used one, yes. Buying from the shop, it ships from Hong Kong, I believe, so import taxes and whatnot apply in that case. (Those should be included in the price at checkout, though, so you shouldn’t be paying anything on top of that.)

Thank you so much for your full review!
I really needed something like that to make my decision and yeah ill be buying it. i rather pay the upfront cost and take care of myself while im still young. Prevention is easier than a cure after all.
Are you sure about it being included in the checkout? The only thing i ordered from the US was a mass drop and i had to pay extra for that. Will i not have that issue?

Once again, thanks for spending time to type your answer <3

Pretty sure, yes. When checking out, before paying, you get a screen where you enter shipping address and stuff. After that, it calculates shipping cost, and that says: “USD 135.08 of taxes & duties are INCLUDED in the cost” (this USD 135.08 is shipping to Hungary, shipping to the UK will likely be different).

Oh you’re right, i just checked.
I’ll wait for a few more days before pulling the trigger then. I really want it but the extra 100 dollars is very unattractive :confused:.
Thanks

There are promo codes which take 20 dollar of the total price. “KBIOLOVESREDDIT” and “SOOON” without the quotes. When I last looked they seemed to still work (only one can be used at a time). Buying one from Germany would have been ~370 Euros if I remember correctly.

Since I’m a student and don’t have much money I decided to go with a used Model01 to save money. Used Model 01’s are usually around 200 Euros + shipping.

For example here is a used loud click from the netherlands: [FOR SALE] Model 01 LC (EU)

Thanks a ton for your help! Yeah im a student myself so i really want to get them low priced.

Chiming in with my experience…

I love the feel of the M01, though I prefer I higher angle of tenting than the octo-stands provide. I’ve been using column-oriented keyboards for years, and find that if I spend any significant amount of time on a standard row-oriented board, my hands start hurting.

As far as gaming goes, I’ve used it with World of Warcraft with only a couple tweaks to the keymap & in-game keybinds - I moved the LED cycling to the fn layer, and have an additional ‘6’ there for hotkey use, and added Backspace in-game as a keybind for jump.

Awesome, thanks im pretty much convinced at this point.

I’ll try to be a bit more critical, because points made in comments so far have been mostly positive.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the keyboardio 95% of the time, but it is not perfect for me and I have noticed some annoyances over the course of a year with it:

  1. After comparing it with a few other keyboards that have different switches the keyboardio feels pretty bad. It seems to be that Matias switches bind a lot when the pressure on the key is off center. That in combination with the keycap design (some keybio keys have off center stem placement) make it worse than just pressing the switch on its own. They are also sensitive to dust and dirt accumulating, which means you’ll have to clean it out every once in a while. The clicky variant makes the issue way more noticable. On the quiet click it is still there but one can live with it and it never stands out a lot, it just adds a slightly cheapish general feel.

  2. A thing with using split keyboards - When you need a mouse often and you have the keyboard positioned perfectly at the width of your shoulders to have the ergonomic typing, it is going to be fatiguing and/or uncomfortable, no matter where you place the mouse. The keybio occupies a lot of desk space in general and the space between mouse and keys is increased a bit due to the octopus stand and the wooden body. So when you have to move your hand over, you have to place the mouse farther to use it comfortably without bumping into the keyboard, which in turn is a uncomfortable movement to make over and over.

  3. Gaming sucks. Especially because most games heavily rely on the mouse. There is nothing wrong with the keyboard inherently, just the experience. Since the keyboard is split, reaching for the other half is no fun, so you have to put all keybinding on one half, which is already impossible with some games. After remapping my 17th game and printing out an overview of the mapping for each one of them because I have learned the default one over the years and couldn’t manage to learn my keybio bastardised layout for each one during my casual sessions, I just gave up and bought a Steelseries Apex Pro TKL exclusively for gaming.

  4. If you don’t type a lot, you probably won’t notice much of an ergonomic difference compared to a regular old keyboard.
    I’ve picked my desk and chair so that I can sit for hours without any back or shoulder pain, the only kind of pain I have is in my wrists, but keyboardio doesn’t have enough of a sideways tilt to help with that.
    While coding I type in short bursts and not continuously, with lots of autocompletion and many key combinations for my IDE. Due to the lack of dedicated F keys, some of them are hella awkward and require finger acrobatics, which are not good for finger pain/fatigue. Others are impossible to do one handedly at all so you either have to let go of the mouse or you are back at the gaming problem of remapping. I’d prefer to have more keys, if not dedicated macro keys then at least the F ones.
    I would guess I type at most for 1h total during a day of work, with around 50wpm, so personally there is not much difference in speed or body feel after a day of work compared to when I’m not home and doing work on my laptop.
    Your experience with that might be very different though, it heavily depends on your body, your habits and what kind of typing you are going to do - the more you type the greater is the benefit of a keyboard that is ergonomic for your body.

  5. It reminds me of linux, because it works on the principle of “you reap what you sow”.
    Out of the box, it will probably not suit you very well in many aspects and you’ll have to put in time and work to make it more tailored for you. Some people would rather just buy a keyboard and use it. If you are a windows user … maybe its not for you.

Now that I have it, it is very nice to have and as a side effect it has taught me many things about ergonomy, how keyboards function and how to touchtype. But if I had the option to try one for a month before buying, I would have probably held back on the purchase. A lot of people resell theirs after a few weeks or months, because nobody told them clearly how and why the keyboardio might not work out for them.

Two alternative keyboards that I can recommend checking out are the kinesis advantage 2 and the ultimate hacking keyboard. One of those might work better for you, but they are not perfect for me either.

Otherwise the keyboardio definitely feels like a superb typing device for when you want to actually type (and not use shortcut combinations or the mouse) It is immediately noticable how much work went into designing and perfecting the layout. It traces my fingers natural motion very nicely.
Personally I find it very fun and satisfying to use, but the flaws I mentioned above make me want to get a better alternative, as soon as one gets created, or at least take a few months of my life to heavily modify this one in hardware and software, which I havent done at all by the way. I prefer to just use things, so I’ve kept with the default US layout, even though I’m from Europe.

If you don’t mind the flaws that I listed, the keyboardio is totally worth it. This is a very consumerfriendly product - it is made to be tinkered with and thus uses widely available standards for the coupling cable, the stand mounts and even the mcu. The customer support is amazing and I truly feel like the people behind it care about you and your typing experience.

@sonicdud - can you solder? Or do you know someone who can do it for you? If so then a DIY keyboard could also be an option. There are some designs for under 100 or under 200 euros/dollar/pound.

Have you tried placing your mouse between the two halves? I have modified my firmware and use the built-in mouse more and more in order to not leave the home row, but since some task are just easier/faster with a real mouse I placed mine between the two halves and it works quite well. A trackball would probably be better though.

I don’t game much anymore and so haven’t played any game with the Model 01, but I always assumed the Model 01 can just be used like a game keypad like those from Razer, Logitech or whatever? One hand and M01 half for keyboard commands and the other hand controls the mouse. For games with text chat’s (e.g MMORPGs) or games which have keys on the other half (like opening an inventory with i or world map with m) I would have assumed moving the halves closer together would be enough. Is it uncomfortable due to the column stagger or is there a different reason?

Yeah, can recommend the Advantage 2 as well. My colleague lend me his for a month before I decided to go with a used Model 01 (instead of a used Adv 2), and the Advantage 2 feels really nice due to the sculpted keywells. Especially when typing while resting the palms. If floated typing is used I prefer the Model 01 since it’s thinner (I don’t use the octo stands). The Advantage 2 is really bulky. Here is a picture I made today at work:

Other things which might be disadvantages: it feels cheap, it’s slightly louder (with MX Browns) due to the hollow case and the programmability [0] as well as the thumb cluster are worse. Price wise it’s around the same compared to a new Model 01 (~300 £ vs ~325 £).

[0] programmability can be fixed by ordering a drop-in replacement PCB the community made, which brings QMK to the Advantage and Advantage 2. Price wise this could also be an alternative for you. The predecessor Advantage can sometimes be had for around 100-150 and with the PCB drop in replacement it should work well if you don’t mind rubber function keys.

Keeping in mind I’m in the UK, what DIY options do I have? I know of a few I have been introduced to on the reddit, but I was wondering if you reccomend any if you have an idea.

Cheers.

Nice to see you here as well, and once again thanks for your detailed work. I’m still looking around before I make a decision.

I mostly use my M01 for gaming. I find it to be a pretty good experience. Remapping the keyboard controls in every. single. game. is annoying but once I figured out my system I at least got pretty quick at doing so.

I replaced the default keycaps for the WASD keys with the transparent keycaps and found some keycap stickers on Amazon, which looks pretty nice. (The LED effect is my Fire Effect plugin.)

A hectic Overwatch match used to exacerbate my RSI pretty bad, and with the Model 01 that’s not a problem any more.

Thats good to know, i was wondering about that so its good to hear.

First of all I have to take back the under 100 claim. Looking at the BOM they didn’t include the cost for the case. For split keyboards under 100 that would leave small models like the Mitosis or if you get creative with sourcing the materials I’ve seen claims of handwired ~90 euro Iris.

Above 100 I would look at the smaller Ergodox variations like Redox, Ergodash, Iris, Ergodone (around 110-150 pound from alieexpress), HotDox [0] etc. But to get a good price you would often have to buy the parts from different vendors. Because if you buy a DIY kit of one of those boards for example from falbatech you pay slightly over 200 euros (but that also includes free shipping currently and 3 year warranty).

If you have cheap access to a 3d printer at the university, a maker space in your vicinity or you own one then you could print the case to make it cheaper.

Buying a used Advantage and a Stapelberg mod kit should also be under 200. Both sometimes sell from the UK. For example a Advantage was offered two weeks ago for 80 pounds (maybe they are still available, the Kinesis also works without the PCB mod, though it’s recommended because sometimes the shift (?) key can be stuck): https://old.reddit.com/r/mechmarket/comments/dgdl7f/euuk_h_kinesis_advantage_mpcusb_kinesis_advantage/ - and PhenixFire sold PCBs kits 1 year ago: https://old.reddit.com/r/mechmarket/comments/8ae27b/gb_kinesis_contouredadvantage2_qmk_mod_kit_r2/

But a new or used Model 01 would certainly be less of a hassle and the build quality is better.

[0] doesn’t require soldering since it uses hot swap switches. multiple stores sell it pre-assembled or with case + pcb (you would need to buy switches and keycaps seperatly). But seems to be out of stock in europe. With shipping and tax from the states it’s probably over 200.

Honestly I’m burnt out at this point, i’ve done so much research on all the options that i dont even know what to do anymore. Im tempted to just get any mechanical keyboard if only to delay this headache for a future date.

FWIW, I use a trackball between the halves and it is a wonderful experience. A mouse would work far worse there due to space constraints, but a trackball is just the right thing to place inbetween.