The Best Ortholinear Keyboards

Ortholinear keyboards are a special type of keyboard that has a lot of fans in the mechanical keyboard world. Because the keys aren’t staggered, they make for a unique typing experience that many people want to have.

To help you choose the right ortholinear keyboard, we put together a list of the best ortholinear keyboards that are currently on the market. Here is the list. Let’s start at the top!

Ortholinear keyboards

The Best Ortholinear Keyboards

1. OLKB Planck

The OLKB Planck becomes one of the most popular ortholinear keyboards on the market lately. Depending on whether or not you like to have a bigger spacebar key, the keyboard comes with either 47 or 48 keys.This is how to build your own keyboard at home.

The Planck will have to be put together by hand, which means that you will need to buy the PCB, the plate, and the PCB separately from the OLKB website. You can mix up the parts of the keyboard case and color schemes to make it look and feel the way you want.

The Planck Keyboard

Standard: The PCB can be replaced with a new one without having to solder it to the old one. You’ll have to buy the switches, keycaps, and cable connection on their own, too.

Because the case comes in a lot of different styles, it’s up to you whether you want floating keycaps or a case that goes all the way around your keycaps.

In exchange for such work, you can make your own ortholinear keyboard that is able to impress your friends.

To be as popular as it is, the Planck has a lot of help from people in the community. With QMK, you can change all the buttons and pieces to what works best for you.

Customizing the pieces is a must in order to get the hang of a smaller layout. Some keys will have to be connected on a lower layer in order to get around the 40% layout.

To get help with building your Planck keyboard if you get stuck and need help, you can also look for help on Reddit and Geekhack.

2. Plancks EZ

The Planck EZ is built on the foundation outlined by Planck, but it comes in a ready-to-use design that can be used right away. The keyboard doesn’t have to be made by you. You can buy it from ErgoDox instead. The keyboard is always in stock, which makes it very easy to get hold of it.

Plancks EZ

With the Planck, you can use QMK software to change how keys work. The EZ has Oryx software that works with onboard firmware to make it easy to move keys around and change their layouts. In the end, it’s the software that makes the Planck EZ easy to use.

You can make your keys do more than one thing, like control your mouse. The keyboard also provides a fully customizable RGB lighting so you can get the right look.

Switches made by Cherry MX or Kailh are called switches.

Switches by both Cherry MX and Kailh can be used on the Planck EZ. If you want a switch that’s tactile, clicky, or linear, there are many different options.

They have a list of all of the different switch choices here on their site.

There are hot-swappable sockets that you can use to change out the switches if you don’t like the ones that are there. There is no need to solder.

The only problem with the Planck EZ is that it only comes with 47 keys. Like the Planck, you can’t choose from 47 or 48 keys. Most people prefer the bigger key in the middle, so this won’t be a big deal.

3. Preonic

The Preonic is yet another great keyboard made by OLKB. Unlike the other ortho keyboards, this one has a layout that is 60% instead of 40%, which is what most ortho keyboards have.

It has a bigger 60% size.

Preonic

Because the Preonic has a bigger keyboard, it is easier for a normal computer user to use, and most people will find it far easier to use. You no longer have to go to a second layer to get to the numeric buttons. Instead, they’re right there when you need them.

The Preonic is a little bigger than the Planck, but it arrives with all of the same benefits as the Planck. You have the same QMK software as well as switches that can be changed quickly.

As with the Planck, you have to put everything together yourself. As of right now, there isn’t an easy version of the Preonic. You will have to put it together yourself if you like the design of it.

The Preonic has extra features that make it even better than it already is

The Preonic has some additional features that the Planck does not have. For example, the keyboard includes a pre RGB lights, footprints for more functionality, and a built-in dual channel speaker.

Some of the features:

  • 4-way DIP switch
  • Two pins of JST-PH
  • The 4-pin Qwiic JST-SH connector has four pins.
  • In this picture, there is a spot for a clickable rotary encoder to go.
  • Size of the footprint for a 6-pin male-to-male header.

4. Moonlander

Moonlander split an ortholinear keyboard in two.

The Moonlander is a new keyboard that has both an ortholinear layout and a split keyboard. This keyboard has so many features that I can’t wait to use it.

An ortholinear keyboard has become a good choice since the layout of the keys makes it a lot easier to enter a key without needing to spread your fingers as far. But when you combine it with the ergonomic environment of a split keyboard, it goes even further.

When you use the Moonlander’s tenting system, you can change the angle at which you type based on what is most comfortable for you and what works best for you.

Moonlander

You can easily change the angle of the keyboard to make specific keys closer so you don’t have to stretch your fingers so far. The keyboard is made for both big and small hands.

The Moonlander arrives with a wrist rest that is very easy to remove and the angle of the wrist rest changes as the keyboard tilts.

The Moonlander has the same QMK firmware as the Planck EZ, so you can modify the design and layers to make it look and work how you want. As a bonus, the Oryx software allows us to change the firmware super easy.

The Moonlander also arrives with typing lessons so that you can learn how to type on a relatively small keyboard with in ortholinear layout. The software that comes with this type of keyboard truly helps you get over all of the specific problems that come with using this type of keyboard.

There are a few additional add-ins that also show the attention to the details from when this keyboard was created. When you buy this keyboard, you get a case made out of neoprene. This means you can fold your keyboard and take it with you when you go somewhere.

The keyboard also has magnetic clips that keep the folded keyboard together when you’re taking it on a plane or in your car. Not only that, but the Moonlander’s super thin design makes it even easier to take with you.

This is also true for the thumb module. This is a great idea from a functionality point of view.

5. ErgoDox EZ

This is another keyboard that splits into two parts. The ErgoDox EZ is another split keyboard. The keyboard is already put together. It has a lot of useful features.

The ErgoDox EZ is very equivalent to the Moonlander, except that it costs less than the Moonlander. The keyboard has an adjustable system that lets you change the angle at which you type so your wrist and arm don’t hurt when you write.

ergodox ez

When you type or play games for a long period, the ergonomic design makes it more fun and less painful for your body.

It’s possible to choose RGB options.

With a lot of different options for lighting up, this keyboard can put on a performance that would end up making any gamer feeling like crazy. You can set the lights to only show up on the buttons that are active on each layer.

You can see which layer you’re typing on thanks to the lights. This way, you can see which keys you need to tap to finish your work. The side glow is also a great way to change things up a little and add a remarkable lighting component to your set up.

It’s the same as any other keyboard made by ErgoDox. You can be sure that the software and firmware will be right on. With an ortholinear keyboard, it’s very important to be able to move the keys around. The ErgoDox EZ is no different.

Why you should choose an ortholinear keyboard!

So that you can type quickly and easily, you should choose an ortholinear keyboard.

Ortholinear keyboards are different to the normal layout of keyboards. Keys aren’t arranged horizontally or in a grid. Instead, they are arranged vertically and in rows.

Why do some people like the vertical alignment keys on ortholinear keyboards? It will take some time to get used to the new layout.

Many people say that because the keys on an ortholinear keyboard are closer together and packed together much more efficiently, your fingers don’t have to reach as far when you type. This isn’t based on any research. People who type closer together are more effective and can speed up their typing and make their work more comfortable.

There is no right or wrong answer. As long as you like the look and feel of an ortholinear keyboard, you should get one!

You should also try an ortholinear keyboard if you think that saving a little extra space is worth it.

Grid Layout vs. MIT Layout: Which is better?

In keyboards that have 40% ortholinear keys, there are 2 major layout styles: Grid and MIT. It has 48 keys. 4×12: The spacebar just takes up one key instead of two.

Some people say that the Grid Layout is a good idea because when you’re typing, you usually only have one hand that likes to press the space button. It may be a little weird at first, but you’ll get used to it.

Personally, I usually hit the spacebar with my left hand when I play games. A person who prefers one side over the other would be easy to place the space key on that side. Most space bars are just too big, and the whole key isn’t even pressed.

The keys on the MIT layout are made up of 47 different shapes and sizes. Afterward, there is a row with 11 keys, and the two middle keys are combined to make a simple space bar.

A good thing about the MIT layout is that it doesn’t take over than half a second to get your keyboard in the right place. On the bottom, the big key goes. There is a different type of keyboard layout called Grid. To use it, you have to read the symbols on the keyboard and then say, “Oh, this side goes up.”

As a general rule, many people choose to make the bottom two keys space if they need all thumbs to press space.

In order to change the board’s programming, you can use QMK firmware, which is free to use. Make sure there aren’t only 48 things you can do with the keyboard.

It’s important to note that pre-built ortholinear keyboards usually come with the MIT layout, so if you want GRID, you’ll have to buy a kit.

ortholinear keyboard parts

A keyboard that is ortholinear isn’t always better

When you use ortholinear keyboards, they can be fun and interesting to use, but the number of benefits you get from switching to this layout is very low

When it comes to most people, an ortholinear keyboard is not getting more attention than a standard one.

Why? Because:

This means that smaller sizes make it more difficult to use.

There are ortholinear keyboards that come in a very small size.

Remove everything except for the alphabets and a few extra modifiers from your keyboard.

Because the numbers, function row, beyond that is gone, this means that everything else is also gone. You can only get to it on a lower level.

Because the quantity of time it would take to fully adapt to a small layout is a lot of time, there are some benefits to having less keys.

A lot of work goes into getting used to keys, no matter how they’re laid out.

You might be able to get back to your old wpm after a few months, but you’ll have to give up some productivity while you do that.

No, you won’t be any faster at the end of the road.

You’ll also have to switch back to a normal keyboard if you ever need to. This will make everything feel weird again.

They Aren’t Really Ergonomic.

Some folks may swap to an ortholinear board because it is more comfortable to work on.

The idea is that by trying to align the keys, your fingers don’t have to move as far when you type. The less overall finger movement should cut down on pain or the chance of getting a repetitive strain injury.

Even though this might be true, there is no proof that ortholinear boards are more comfortable.

If you want to improve your ergonomics, you should switch to an ergonomic split keyboard. This is proven to improve your ergonomics and reduce pain.

The ortholinear layout may be more comfortable for some people. But you can’t know for sure until you try it out for yourself.

It takes a lot of time to get used to.

One thing to think about when it comes to ortholinear keyboards is how long it takes to switch between different keys. There are a lot of things that someone who wants to change their board will have to think about.

You’ll have to get used to a new format before you can use it.

The modifiers will have a weird structure and may be shown with an icon that looks like something from another country rather than the usual English description.

Ortholinear boards will take weeks or even months to get used to, which most people don’t want to do.

You may type slower, make more mistakes, and look more carefully for the next key when you switch.

You will have to change the way your muscles work. For people who have been using the format for a long time, it can still feel like something out of another world.

If you want to use an ortholinear keyboard, you must be able to keep going for a few months as you get used to it.

Fewer Options Are Out There

As a rare choice, ortholinear keyboards have only a few options to choose from.

As it turns out, most ortholinear keyboards will need to be put together by you. To get the parts, you’ll need to buy them first. Then you’ll need to buy the mechanical switch and the keycaps on their own, too.

In order to build a keyboard, you’ll need to finish all the other steps first.

They make the only ortholinear keyboards that have already been built. Otherwise, you’ll have to build them.

This is also true: The number of options is also very small. You won’t be able to find things like scroll wheels, LED monitors, and more on a keyboard that is ortholinear.

And furthermore, the keycaps will must be in a certain shape to work.

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to switch to an ortholinear keyboard.

Another regular keyboard and an ortholinear keyboard are next to each other

ortholinear rainbow

Why might you want to try out an Ortholinear keyboard?

1. A Fun Typing Experience

The new keyboard layout can be entertaining to type on.

if you want to seek out an ortholinear keyboard, it would be the reason that makes the most sense to me.

Because the keyboard feels and looks unique, it can be fun for people who like to be different.

As a keyboard fan, you might find the standard layout to be a little boring and dull after a while, even though it works.

People who use ortholinear keyboards have to adjust and improve, not to mention the level of customization options that comes with the keyboards.

2. People can make it their own keyboard

Many keyboards don’t offer as much customization as ortholinear keyboards do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them.

Make changes to all of the multiple levels with powerful software. Find out what works finest for you and how to make it even better!

You can have a spacebar that is bigger, or you can have all of the keys be the same size.

If you don’t want to use stabilizers, you can also get rid of those, as well.

A lot of power comes from being able to change almost everything.

3. Excellent Customizability

Even though we’ve already talked about how tiny the layout size is, there are a few benefits to having a small keyboard.

With a small keyboard, you can put it in your bag and take it to your favorite place.

You can easily take it with you when you go on work trips or work in another room.

With a smaller size, there is a lot more freedom.

You don’t have to reach as far for the mouse.

You can put the mouse right beside your keyboard where the number pad used to be.

You can grab the mouse and be back on the keyboard more quickly this way. When you need to move the mouse a little, then go back to playing or typing, this is the best thing for you.

Ortholinear keyboards are about 40% smaller than normal keyboards, so you can save money on your build. They use about 60% less switches as well as keycaps, so you can save money on your setup.

It all comes down to what you like the best.

While I could go on and on about the advantages and disadvantages of an ortholinear keyboard all day, it all gets down to what you like.

Try out ortholinear keyboards if you like to try new things. As long as you’re used to typing on a normal keyboard, good for you!

It’s hard to say for sure if ortholinear keyboards are better or worse because it all comes down to what you want.

What is an Ortholinear keyboard?

The word ortholinear means “straight.”

It’s not the most graceful way to say it, but it refers to how the keys are perfectly aligned. Everything is arranged in rows and columns that are all the same length.

It’s a lot of fun to look at.

This is how a normal keyboard and a keyboard with ortholinear keys are different from each other.

Staggered (Normal) Keyboards vs. Ortholinear Keyboards

You can find keyboards in two different styles. The rows of keycaps don’t always line up in the same way. Staggered and straight.

A staggered layout is the standard way to put things on the ground. The keys are a little off and line up diagonally. So some keys can be bigger than others, like backspace, enter, shift, and other modifier keys. This is for a good reason, though.

With this layout, the keys are aligned with each other in a vertical and horizontal way. That’s how it’s done. Many of the keys are the same size. Except for the spacebar, everything else is the same (sometimes).

If you look at how keyboards were made in the past, you’ll see a lot of staggered keyboards. There was no change in how things looked as time went on.

Ortholinear keyboards have an even look because all the keys are laid out in a grid-like pattern. This is different from normal keyboards, which have a staggered layout. In most cases, the keycaps on ortholinear keyboards are all the same color and style. In this case, they are all the same height between each row.

Ortholinear keyboards are different from ordinary keyboards both in how they look and in how you work with them.

Should you try Ortholinear Keyboards?

Trying out an ortholinear keyboard can be fun, but it’s usually not a good idea to completely switch to one.

It’s up to you whether or not you want to switch to an ortholinear board. If you like the look of ortholinear style, you should go for it and try it. If you don’t like this layout, you might be better off sticking with a normal mechanical keyboard.

If you want to use a keyboard, you have to use the standard one.

It is very popular and people are used to it. People in the south say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

You don’t need to buy an ortholinear board by any means. It’s not always worth it to spend money on ortholinear boards. A lot of things are better buys than ortholinear boards.

Conclusion

Ortholinear keyboards, even though they have a lot of fans, have a lot of options right now. DIY kits, pre-built choices, and even split keyboards are all options you can choose from.

A few ortholinear keyboards didn’t make the list because we didn’t think they were as good as the rest of the keyboards on the list. If you’re not satisfied with this list, you can always check out the most recent group buys and pre-orders.

Ortholinear keyboards can be a good choice for people who like the space-saving layout and the symmetric look. We think any of the keyboards in this post are great.

It’s time to type!

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