Jack Baty

Director of Unspecified Services

Out with the HHKB. In with the REALFORCE?


I don't know about you, but I think the HHKB might be the greatest keyboard ever made. If all the other keyboards had the same, or nearly the same, layout, I might never consider switching to anything else. But the HHKB has a non-standard layout. This introduces a bit of friction when moving between my desktop Mac and the MacBook Pro. I do this several times every day.

The other fancy keyboard I own and love is the original REALFORCE K2. The K2 has a normal layout, function keys, and arrow keys. It also has my beloved Topre switches.

Occasionally, I drag out the K2 and see if it makes my life easier. The short answer is that, yes, it does. The Delete key is where it belongs. The Tilde key isn't at the top right(!). I can jump between the K2, the MBP, and iPad keyboards with no jarring layout surprises.


I've tried this before and failed each time. However, I've been using the K2 for a couple of weeks with no strong urge to stop. It's the longest I've gone without the HHKB in years.

That said, I'm typing this on the HHKB. You know, just for the nostalgia of it. It was a mistake, because now I'm reminded how perfect the HHKB is. Maybe I'll just have to adapt to life with two different keyboard layouts.

I promised myself I'd stick with the R2 for as long as I could. It's possible that it's been that long already.