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The original HHKB is 6u and there's a reason for that.
Don't try to work on this layout (6.25u or 7u) after years on real HHKB(S) if you want to stay sane.
You can still make the move from hhkb topre to mech, GH60 (or Satan clones) allows to implement the exact size of the HHKB and fully programmable with tmk/tkg.... (I did it with zealio 62g)
Not sure what you're talking about. Unless you are one of those rare species that uses the right Win-key and Alt-key, there's zero fkin difference. Even then, the difference is subtle.
As you know, hhkb needs the Fn key pressed for arrows and F1-F12.
With the original hhkb layout, 6u spacebar, you can operate and R-Alt+Fn+Arrow with one hand or more obviously a R-Alt+Fn+4 (R-Alt+Fn: right hand, 4 left hand) without spreading your fingers accross all the keyboard or breaking your thumb.
R-Alt too far on the right is simply against ergonomics. That's why the original HHKB is asymetric.
The reason why Tope uses 6U spacebars and it is asymmetric has little to do with ergonomics and more with Topre trying make all of their keycaps out of PBT.
Dr. Eiiti Wade wanted a spacebar positioned exactly in the middle.
I don't see the link between PBT keycaps and the asymetric layout.
About Dr. Wade, are you talking about the original Aleph layout?
The only technical data from Dr. Wade as far I know is this one, which is quite validating the final layout of the HHKB: http://member.wide.ad.jp/~wada/bit.hhkbd/hhkbd.html
I think djal got the point, at least people have been using original hhkbs may need some time to adapt to 7u space layout.
Subtle change is actually a big change when we use our keyboards.
This keyboard is not an original HHKB, but a tokyo60, so just be aware of that.
One more thing to say about symmetry,
original HHKB is not symmetric, also tokyo60 is not completely symmetric.
If you want to find the beauty of symmetry, you can never find it from both of them.
HHKB's spacebar is made of ABS
That's why I said trying.