ThePatient
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Feb 7, 2021
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If you just want info on the C9, you can skip my post, but if the goal is to find you the right kb, my question is: What is it about the MS 4k you like and dislike and what do you primarily do with it? I don't have experience with the C9, but I used the MS 4k for years and the MS Sculpt for a lot of years after that. I very recently retired my Sculpt and am using an Ergodox EZ, Ergodox Infinity, and a Sofle Keyboard. I primarily use mine for windows and macOS programming, as well as PC gaming. The sculpt might not be a bad choice for transitioning off an MS 4k. It can do reverse tilt, has all the keys, and a mostly familiar layout. The difference will be in the key travel and detached number pad. I don't do a lot of data entry, so the number pad mostly collected dust. The collection of programming languages I use require pretty much the full set of non alpha characters though. With the Sculpt, I tended to rest my palms on the palm rest and use that as my anchor rather than home row or hovering. I love how light and compact the Sculpt is compared to the 4k. After a short transition period of using it, then going back to the 4k, I preferred the short travel and light touch of the Sculpt over the long mushiness of the 4k. It felt more like gliding over the keys rather than having to push like a typewriter. You may find yourself bottoming out for a while whatever keyboard you try next. Tactile switches (like the browns on the C9) will feel like home coming from the membrane on the 4k. Some have mentioned split ergos, and I think something like an Ergodox might be a pretty big jump coming from the 4k, but a plus for them is that you can configure them however you want. It looks like the C9 has a huge footprint given the split, numpad, and two rows of macro keys on the left. You don't need near as many macro keys when you can use layers on a fully programmable board. Most boards like this have a way to toggle a layer that makes the right side into the number pad or whatever you want. This offers the convenience of the numpad without the need for it to take up extra space or take your hand off the home row. Personally, because I am left handed and not all games allow you to rebind everything to the right, I have a layer on all my boards to map the right side as wasd. I just turn it on with a button press when I start. tl;dr:
  • Consider Microsoft Sculpt - shorter travel, separate numpad, more familiar than other layouts.
  • Ergodox good too because you can use layers to avoid needing numpad or macro keys.
  • Brown switches will feel familiar coming from dome whatever you end up choosing.


Feb 7, 2021
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