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The Happy Coder is an indie developer blog written by Bruno Godbout.  Posts are on a variety of topics related to software development and indie developer life.

The Matias tactile pro after 6 months

I got tired of using Apple's chicklet bluetooth keyboard that came with my iMac. It's a beautiful keyboard, but I found I could not get to my normal typing productivity level with it. The flat, low rise keys just did not do it for me. So last summer I bought a Matias tactilepro keyboard.

tactilepro

Its sculpted key tops made it easier to keep my fingers on the right keys. The Alps mechanical switches also made it a more pleasant typing experience. I was thrilled to get back my paging keys and numeric keypad. I also made good use of the built-in 3-port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 hub. Overall it's a great keyboard and I have enjoyed typing on it for the last 6 months. I highly recommend it.

However I have noticed that I am having more pain than usual in my right shoulder and neck muscles. I have been struggling with muscle pain issues for many years due the long hours spent working at a computer, but things have been increasingly worse since I started using the full size keyboard. I suspect it has to do with the mouse being located further away to the right of the keyboard.

The keyboard is placed so that my hands rest evenly on each side of the alphabetical part of the keyboard. I am right handed, so the mouse ends up far away from my right hand, because of the space taken up by the cursor keys and numeric keypad. As a result, my right arm is in a less than optimal angle when I use the mouse. Over time I think this has been aggravating my shoulder and neck pain.

Note that this is not a problem specific to the Matias keyboard. This is a problem for right handed typists with any full size keyboard.

So I am going to try going back to a shorter tenkeyless keyboard.

Coincidentally, Matias has recently announced some new keyboards. Two keyboards caught my attention: The mini tactilepro and the laptop pro.

The mini tactilepro is essentially a ten keyless version of the tactilepro keyboard.

mini tactilepro

I saw this one first and was about to order one when I came across the laptop pro.

laptop pro

Not only is this one a bluetooth keyboard, it has the distinct advantage of being much quieter than the mini tactilepro. So I decided to order this one instead to have a quieter typing experience.

This is a pre-order. It is expected to ship by the end of February. I write some more about it once I get my hands on it.