Richard Li

Pseudo-Programmer Keyboardio Model 100 Review

I do very little programming these days, but a fair amount of typing. I’m writing stories in Google Docs, mucking around with spreadsheets (Excel, Google Sheets), and writing blog posts in VSCode. However, all these long hours at the computer causes my chest to tighten up as my hands are too close together, so when my colleague Luke suggested the Keyboardio Model 100, I thought I’d try it out.

My main experience with keyboards are various Apple keyboards and a Kinesis keyboard from my programming days. The Kinesis keyboard I used was old (PS/2 keyboard connector) and it was a life saver for me when I started typing extensively. I would not characterize myself as a keyboard or switch afficiando.

So I received my Model 100 a few weeks ago, and I’ve been using it with macOS. So how do I like it? The short answer is I like it, but typing on it is taking some practice, and I’m not at full speed yet.


The keyboard looks great. I got the walnut enclosure, which looks and feels very nice. The programmable LEDs are very cool (my kids love the rainbow effect). The box is great, the carrying case is great, and the love of product shows everywhere in the visual experience.

The typing experience

If you haven’t been paying attention, there’s been a huge surge in mechanical key switches. I went for the silent tactile switches. The travel is a bit more than I’m used to with my Apple keyboards, but I haven’t noticed anything good or bad. I can’t say they’re definitively better, but they’re definitely not worse.

The default layout for macOS is fine, but I’ve found that I’m making typos (I switch on numlock a lot when I hit ’-’ because it’s in a different location). I’m typing away for a few weeks before I start customizing the keyboard layout. The Keyboardio folks have made a design goal to make the entire keyboard super-easy to customize. If I were buying again, I’d probably buy some unmarked key caps in addition to the default set, because I know that I’ll have to customize some things.

THe biggest challenge I’ve found is key combinations . For example, I take screenshots on macOS, and the keyboard shortcut that I use is Cmd-Shift-4. On the standard macOS layout, this is pretty easy: my left thumb hits the Cmd button, the left pinky hits the shift button, and then my middle finger hits the 4. This combination is physically impossible for me on the Model 100 without remapping, because all the modifier keys are next to your thumb. More generally, I use Cmd-Shift a lot (emoji, hello!) and so figuring out the optimal way to remap the keys in a way that’s consistent with my muscle memory has been hard.

The tricky thing about these key combos is that they’re part of my muscle memory, so I have to actually Google what I’m trying to do, and then figure out which keys to press on the Model 100. This is the thing that definitely slows me down the most.


The split keyboard with the tenting stands is great, ergonomically. I do wish the short Ethernet cable that connects the two sides was perhaps another inch or two longer. As it stands my hands are almost (but not quite) even with my shoulders.

I’ve been using my Apple Magic Keyboard for many many years now and there seems to be a little bit more travel with the mechanical switches, which does cause a little bit more fatigue for extended typing stretches. I expect this to resolve.

It’s hard to be quantitative, but qualitively the keyboard feels better than my old wireless keyboard. I’ll have to update this post in a few months to see if I truly feel better using it.


So all-in-all, I’m happy with it, and using it as my regular keyboard when I’m not traveling. The key combos has been a higher source of friction than I expected. This is an artifact I think of the diversity of my work: some weeks I’m spending a lot of time in Google Docs or Slides; other weeks I’m doing more in VSCode and a terminal, and every week I’m writing email. All in all though — hats off to the Keyboardio team, as they’ve really done a great job building a fantastic keyboard.