Best Keyboard for Emacs

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Here's what i consider the best keyboards for emacs.

Microsoft sculpt ergonomic keyboard 21855
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard. amazon

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic is the cheapest here. It came out in 2013.

Particularly nice is the huge AltCtrl keys placed symmetrically for left & right hands, and very close to the thumb.

For detail and video, see Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Review

Matias Ergo Pro keyboard

Matias Ergo Pro keyboard 90213
Matias Ergo Pro Keyboard. Matias ergo pro keyboard

This features traditional staggered keys layout. Mechanical keys, large Ctrl and Alt keys, split space-bar, and extra copy/cut/paste keys on the side is a nice touch.

For detail and video, see Matias Ergo Pro Keyboard

Kinesis Advantage 2 Keyboard

The Kinesis Advantage2, came out in .

Kinesis 201133-s
Kinesis Advantage 2 Keyboard. Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard

This is bowl shaped. Bowl shaped makes your wrist posture more natural when typing.

The other big advantage is lots thumb keys. Thumb keys for Control and Alt, or, you can put Shift key there too if you want.

Kinesis Advantage2's on-the-fly programable keys are wonderful. No need driver/software. To remap keys, just press keys to set them. Can also record key macros.

There are quite a lot emacs+Kinesis users. You see them on social networks. (goto reddit.com or twitter.com, search for “emacs kinesis” to see.)

Kinesis use mechanical key switch, and you can chose between MX Cherry Red (linear feel), or Brown (standard tactile switch).

This is my current main keyboard.

For detail and video, see Kinesis Keyboard Review

Truly Ergonomic Keyboard

Truly Ergonomic Computer Keyboard-3246
Truly Ergonomic keyboard. (photo by To1ne, used with permission)

This is another excellent one. Not much thumb keys, but compact and portable.

Truly Ergonomic Keyboard Review

Truly Ergonomic Keyboard is one of my current and i love it. You can see my key config and setup at xah fly keysXah's Truly Ergonomic Keyboard Layouts.

Ergodox Keyboard

ergodox keyboard 2015 JvwKmR9-s
Ergodox keyboard. 〔photo by tricheboars image source

Ergodox Keyboard Review

In summary, i think these are the best keyboards for emacs.

  1. If you want most comfort, then Kinesis.
  2. If you want split pieces, the Ergodox or Matias Ergo Pro Keyboard is for you.
  3. If you want compact, the Truly Ergonomic Keyboard is way to go.
  4. If you want it cheaper, then Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard.

Other Keyboards Emacs Users Might Like

There are few more, but they are $500 or more, or hard to buy. See: How to Chose Ergonomic Keyboards

Also, I recommend ergonomic keyboard ONLY. But, if you really just want a straight keyboard, then i recommend:

They all feature mechanical key switches.

Some of you will probably mention TypeMatrix, or IBM Model M, Unicomp buckling spring, or Happy Hacking Keyboard. Then, there are also other 2-Piece Split Keyboards. If they work for you, that's great!

Like it? Buy Xah Emacs Tutorial. Thanks.

or, buy something from my keyboard store.