Ergonomic keyboard or Snake oil?

Was at Office Depot and noticed a keyboard on sale that was touted as the Anti-RSI keyboard from A4Tech. Anti-RSI position on A shaped keyboard from A4Tech

This, according to their web site, has an innovative “Natural A shape” layout that allows you to type ergonomically with your wrists held in their natural position, rather than bent at a strained angle. The site shows this convincing-looking diagram:

So I examine the keyboard, and it’s the exact same layout as on a normal one, but the keys are diamond-shaped so the lines between their edges have that “A” shape.

Anti-RSI Keyboard from A4Tech

Which is nice, except that when I type I hit the tops of the keys, not their edges, who for all I care can have any shape at all. In fact, I hold my wrists at the correct angle when using any keyboard, and would do the same on this one.

So… either I’m missing something, or this is nothing but hype.

Any insight, anyone?

5 Responses to “Ergonomic keyboard or Snake oil?”


  1. 1 Amitai

    Probably just snake oil.

    When my old Microsoft Natural Keyboard started dying on me, I asked our admin for a new “anti-RSI” keyboard. She had one ordered for me – a Logitech wireless “natural” keyboard (with a bonus wireless mouse). However, the curve of that keyboard, which is much more defined than what you show here, was not enough for me to use comfortably, and I immediately returned the set, and took a “defective” new Microsoft keyboard, which suits me just fine. It’s “defective”, because it has two keys marked “X” and no “C” – I learned to use it that way.

  2. 2 Jared Goralnick

    When I tried this, it didn’t help any. However, I’m a huge fan of the old Microsoft Natural keyboards (the older ones had bigger, stronger keys). Not sure what it does for my body…but it sure makes typing easier.

  3. 3 Mikael le Fou

    Hello 😉 I like the A-Shape design even if I’m a old fan of the Natural Keyboards…

    Recently I found a much better Natural Keyboard > the Data Desk Smart Board with aligned columns of keys (Smart Board II incoming)

    http://www.datadesktech.com/desktop_sb.html

    I will never type again in qwerty on a classic keyboard with staggered keys 😀

  4. 4 MOH'D

    I have one of A4Tech A-Shaped keyboards, I’ve been using it for the past 8 years and I can’t for the life of me get over it.

    A4Tech make hideous looking keyboards and I can’t find anymore where I live. I wish I can find the same A-Shape layout used by other big companies such as Logitech.

    I take good care of this keyboard I’m using… I clean it once every year.

  5. 5 cousteau

    I saw this keyboard looong ago (maybe even before this post was made, and this post is 8 years old), and I had the same thought. I’m glad I’ve managed to find it again; I didn’t remember the brand.

    I think the main advantage of this keyboard is that it somewhat teaches you the correct hand posture, which is with both hands slightly inwards (although for some reason, all typing tutorials tell you that your left hand should go on a \-oriented diagonal), mostly in a visual way rather than a mechanical one.

    Additionally, keys are not flat; they’re slightly curved so they might guide your finger in the right direction. However I think this is mostly negligible.

    In short, I am going to agree with the snake oil thing. The design is pretty, though.

    BTW, this design, and the accompanying picture of how it helps reduce strain, reminds me of the TrulyErgonomic keyboard, which seems to be a very comfortable, good looking, and expensive ergonomic keyboard. Wonder if one got “inspired” on the other.

Leave a Reply