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Dygma Raise keyboard review: Elevating the laws of ergonomic


June Wan/ZDNet

Gaming keyboards are available in all sizes and styles. They’re usually constructed with the clickiest of keys, plastered with RGB lights, and supply “ergonomic assist” within the type of cushioned wrist rests. However, as most typists and business professionals can attest to, a real ergonomic keyboard goes past the additional padding. And till now, there has but to be a full-fledged ergo keyboard that is simply nearly as good for gaming as it’s for bodily well being.

Professionals of their early 20s endure from frequent neck, again, and wrist points. If they’re already experiencing well being issues, what will it’s like in 10 years?

That’s what Luis Sevilla, Dygma CEO and a former eSports coach of the two-time LEC champions Fnatic, got down to resolve when he turned his career-inspired ardour venture into an ergonomic resolution for the plenty in 2017. Over the previous two weeks, I had the chance to check out Sevilla’s newest keyboard — the Dygma Raise — which was designed to alleviate frequent ache factors similar to carpal tunnel, ulnar deviation, and extension. The keyboard is not low-cost. But with the bounty of customizable and modular options, its beginning value of $319 is an funding that turns into simpler and simpler to justify over time.

Like

  • Highly customizable keyboard
  • Modular nature is an ergonomic dream
  • Thumb cluster is purposeful for all customers
  • Carrying case and keyboard instruments bundled in

Don’t Like

  • $89 Tenting package just isn’t included
  • Requires a little bit of muscle reminiscence/touch-typing
  • Bazercor software program remains to be a piece in progress
  • More costly than normal ergo keyboards

Design

There’s no query that the Dygma Raise is a looker. The keyboard fields a 60 %, or 68-key, format that ditches the quantity pad, perform keys, and arrow keys, in favor of a smaller kind issue. In doing so, the Raise feels much more compact than conventional tenkeyless (87 keys) and full-size (104 keys) choices.

What actually units the Raise aside from different ergo options is its break up design. Split keyboards are nothing new, and Dygma’s angular strategy does a dependable job at holding elbows pointing outwards (as an alternative of in opposition to the physique) when typing, wrists nicely rested in opposition to the soft-touch cushioning, and shoulders aligned with the again. All of this makes for a extra pure typing expertise, freed from any long-term discomfort. The solely caveat, actually, is the necessity to recalibrate your touch-typing and muscle reminiscence.

dygma-raise-tenting-kit.jpg

June Wan/ZDNet

A separately-sold tenting package might be put in to the bottom of the Dygma Raise and is supposed to scale back the pronation of your wrists. Pronation happens when your palm is face down, like when typing on a conventional slab keyboard. In this place, the ulna and radius bones of your forearm are literally twisting in a way that reduces blood move and might be discomforting.

With the tenting package, the internal sides of the Dygma Raise might be elevated as much as 4 pegs of levels (10°, 20°, 30°, and 40°). This method, your wrist and forearm are angled in a way that’s supinated or untwisted. From testing, I discovered the 20° angle to supply essentially the most comfy elevation for all-day typing. Anything greater and my wrists would simply slide off of the keyboard.

Also: The greatest ergonomic keyboards: Work extra comfortably

The tenting package is quintessential for customers seeking to obtain the final word ergonomic keyboard resolution. It’s unlucky that Dygma would not bundle the

$89 accessory

with the already-expensive Raise.

dygma-raise-pins.jpg

June Wan/ZDNet

Still, there’s extra than simply the add-ons that the Dygma has going for it. The pin connectors, for one, make attaching and detaching the 2 halves of the keyboard easy and intuitive. By infusing magnets on the internal sides of the Raise, I used to be in a position to seamlessly alternate between split-keyboard mode and the usual QWERTY format. Though, after my first few days of testing, I used to be spoiled by the consolation and ergonomics of the split-keyboard design.

The Raise is wired through USB-C to what Dygma calls the Neuron, a centerpiece that features as a dongle and space for storing to your backlighting profiles, key layouts, and features. It has three USB-C ports: one for all sides of the keyboard and one to connect with your Windows, Mac, or Linux pc. With modularity in thoughts, the Raise can function even in case you disconnect both facet of the keyboard. This is especially helpful for players who primarily function with the QWER and WASD keys, as they’ll detach the correct facet of the keyboard rather than extra floor space for the mouse.

dygma-raise-neuron.jpg

June Wan/ZDNet

My major concern with transitioning from a wi-fi

Logitech MX Keys

to the wired Dygma Raise was how the cabling would deal with standing desks. I’m a type of “desktop on the ground” customers, so I usually expertise connectivity points with shorter cables. That wasn’t the case with the Dygma. The braided twine of the Raise was lengthy sufficient to increase from the ground to my standing desk’s highest elevation. I nonetheless want to see a wi-fi model of the Raise sooner or later, although.

Also: ZDNet’s most beneficial standing desks

As far as typing on the Dygma Raise goes, it took me a superb week to absolutely regulate to the altered format. With a 68-key design, the absence of the arrow keys and quantity pad — each of which I generally used on my MX Keys — was very noticeable.

Dygma accomodates full-size customers like me with an eight-key thumb cluster and remappable buttons through its Bazecor software program. See, most keyboards available on the market subject a singular, elongated house bar. Instead of following suite, Dygma has divided the singular house bar into 4 remappable keys, with one other row of 4, low-profile keycaps beneath. For my leisure and gaming wants, I ended up setting the underside row to quantity controls and up and down features.

My evaluation unit got here in a silver case and Kailh silent pink switches, however you possibly can combine and match colours, PBT keycaps, and switches when buying the keyboard from the Dygma web site. Whichever combo you select, the Raise arrives in a tidy carrying case, with an “Enhancement Kit” that is full of totally different coloured switches to check, thick and skinny o-rings for sound dampening, and a keycap swap puller. Yes, which means the keycaps and switches on the Raise are hot-swappable and appropriate with third-party equipment.

dygma-raise-extension-kit.jpg

June Wan/ZDNet

Software

As you could possibly infer, the typing expertise of the Dygma Raise is enhanced by its Windows, Mac, and Linux appropriate, open-source software program, Bazecor. Using this system, I used to be in a position to modify the backlighting and underglow settings of the keyboard, remap keys (as described earlier than), and set as much as 10 layers or format profiles. 

The latter characteristic is most helpful for artistic duties like video-editing or programming, the place you are reliant on sure keys and macros greater than others. Still, with as much as 10 solely separate and customizable enter layouts, the quantity of performance that Dygma has managed to pack right into a 68-key physique is astounding. 

It’s necessary to notice that every macro or layer comes on the expense of one of many 68 keys on the Raise, so you may need to select the place and what number of you set — correctly.

bazecor-0-3-3.png

Most customers, together with myself, most likely will not be utilizing all 10 layers of key modifications, but there’s nonetheless loads of tinkering that might be accomplished on the base degree. To alleviate the method of establishing your excellent keyboard format, Dygma pushes a brief survey everytime you purchase the Raise. The questionnaire measures your typing experience, use instances, career, and different user-related information, and takes these solutions to counsel layouts that suit your profile. For extra choices, you will discover a breath of user-generated layouts on Dygma’s subreddit and Wiki page.

Also: The greatest gaming keyboards: All the hits and clicks

Rich in customizability, Bazecor usually requires loads of effort and time. Fortunately, the consumer interface is uncomplicated, straightforward on the eyes, and works simply as nicely on the Mac because it does on Windows. The software program stays in beta, however it’s a big first step in the direction of the customization freedom that players, working professionals, and typists have longed for.

Conclusion

The Dygma Raise is a valiant try at redefining what it means to be an “ergonomic keyboard”. Starting at $319, the Raise just isn’t low-cost by any means. It additionally faces stiff competitors, with options such because the

Kinesis Advantage2

and

ErgoDox EZ

priced carefully in vary. But for lovers who search the joys of conventional gaming keyboards and the advantages of form-fitting ergo ones, the Dygma is a substantial decide that gives one of the best of each worlds.

As for me, I’ve since moved again to the

Logitech MX Keys

. But from time to time, as I’m typing out articles like this one, my wrists ache for the ergonomic euphoria that was the Dygma Raise.