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Pome76

As standard as this row-staggered keyboard looks like, Jamie Ding's Pome76 behaves like a "unibody ergo". How?

KBD.news
Published November 29, 2023
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Except for the bottom row, the Pome76 shared by Jamie Ding (aka jmding/jmding8) seems to be a pretty standard keyboard. What makes it unibody and ergo is the logical layout and moving e.g. modifiers to the thumb keys.

Pome76 attempts to balance productivity, ergonomics, aesthetics, and cost. It is a Neo65 with a custom nice!nano based PCB, ZMK firmware, and an estimated battery life of 1 year. It is designed around an unusual keymap which pushes the home positions out to the edges of the board – Jamie.

As the successor of the author's Mercury, the Pome76 pretty much replicates Jamie's row-staggered split layout on a more traditional form factor fitting the Neo65 case.

Pic:

With a generous 5U gap between the "halves", the hands are separate enought to alleviate ulnar deviation. And while symmetric layouts (e.g. Rominronin's Katana) seem superior to row stagger even if you don't like columnar stagger, who are we to judge one's personal preferences:

I used columnar-staggered and sculpted key-well boards (Kyria and Advantage) pretty extensively in the past but found that they made it really hard to go back to a regular keyboard. […] I also just never experienced a significant improvement in comfort or productivity from these new layouts. Although theoretically they should be better, it just didn't seem to translate into real world benefits for me – Jamie.

In the author's experience, moving the Shifts to the home row (S+D and K+L combos) and the modifiers to the thumb cluster eliminated ulnar deviation, which seemed to clear up any (admittedly minor) pain he had.

Specs

  • 76 keys (standardish layout)
  • MX, hotswap or soldered
  • nice!nano
  • modified Neo65 case

Resources

Gerber files in the repo, open source may come later:

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Published on Wed 29th Nov 2023. Featured in KBD #145 (source).


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