X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V Keyboard Assessment: For a Choose Few

X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Split-V Keyboard Review: For a Select Few

Workplace ergonomics grew to become a very essential issue when everybody began do business from home throughout the pandemic. Even essentially the most careless folks I knew invested in laptop computer risers or stands and wi-fi mice (together with primary keyboards) to cut back neck pressure. And since many people are nonetheless working remotely or from dwelling, we frequently search the absolute best {hardware} to make our work lives lots simpler. And this isn’t simply restricted to your desk and chair, however extends to what’s in your desk as nicely. There are a number of varieties of ergonomic mice out there, and even a number of common ergonomic keyboards. Most of those go together with a bulge or a wave within the centre with the everyday scissor switches and the same old key format, which doesn’t require one to relearn finger positioning making them fairly simple to make use of and adapt.

Keychron Q10 Max Alice layout ndtv KeychronQ10Max  Keychron

The Keychron Q10 Max has an Alice format for improved ergonomics over a conventional keyboard


After which there’s the world of extremely customisable (to not point out costly) ergonomic mechanical keyboards.

First, there’s the standard cut up keyboards with an Alice key format (Keychron Q8 and so on.) which shuffles the keys a bit (has two area bars and B keys on either side), however packages it right into a single-piece keyboard design. This keyboard class additionally has one other sub-category with two bodily separated halves (Keychron Q11), letting customers unfold out the 2 halves for higher ergonomics.

Secondly there’s the entire world of custom-made ortholinear keyboards that are conventional trying keyboards however usually have a smaller footprint given their non-staggered key format geared toward sooner typing and fewer hand motion.

Then, there’s the acute world of ergonomic and tented cut up keyboards (Naya Create, ZSA Moonlander and so on.), with ortholinear key layouts that purpose to ship the absolute best ergonomics, by not simply maintaining your fingers positioned proper (or far aside) but additionally purpose to cut back finger actions to a minimal, making certain an virtually injury-free typing expertise.

NayaCreate keybaord ndtv NayaCreate  Naya

The Naya Create provides a cut up ortholinear key format with hot-swappable modules


X-Plus, a Hong Kong-based firm has give you the VickyBoard, which merges the Alice key format from the primary class with an ortholinear typing expertise of the second class however lays all of it out in a singular cross-radial design which has similarities however not the identical as tented cut up ergonomic keyboards when they’re unfold aside. The corporate claims to get you the most effective of each worlds with some additional keys thrown in at proper locations and claims to do minimal injury to your wrists and fingers whereas typing.

Other than the best way it appears? Is it value spending all that cash on this keyboard? After greater than a month of utilization, I lastly have a solution.

X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V Assessment: Worth and field contents

X-Plus’ VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V is at the moment out there for buy on Indiegogo and these can be found in 4 primary case finishes (or collection). It’s important to decide one of many 4 (Ruby, Sapphire, Onyx and Neon) case colors and go together with the keycap choices supplied with every case there on. Based on X-Plus, customers are free to pick a mechanical change kind of their selection (a collection of Gateron mechanical switches) when selecting a keyboard.

The essential equipment which incorporates the fundamental key device, charging and connectivity cable (together with a keyboard of your selection) has an early fowl pricing of Rs. 14,903 (excludes delivery and {custom} duties) and retail value of Rs. 20,688.

XPlus Vickyboard Ergo Split V back case ndtv XPlusVickyBoardErgoSplitV  XPlus

The VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V has a clear backside case which like the highest case is created from CNC-machined acrylic


The VickyBoard All-Star equipment features a particular X-Plus Key a particular Swap puller device, an X-Plus Mat and X-Plus Eva case has an early fowl value of Rs. 17,304 (excludes delivery and {custom} duties) and a retail value of Rs. 27,309. Since all of those equipment are priced at a premium, it is advisable to go for the latter because it provides higher worth.

X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V Assessment: Design

The X-Plus VickyBoard has a prime and backside case made totally out of CNC-machined acrylic. My Ruby unit with its clear sapphire keycaps appears like nothing else you have got in all probability seen on-line when searching for pre-built mechanical keyboards. Whereas the colourways are a bit vivid (and extremely subjective), I am a fan of the keyboard’s total design, solely due to how putting and angular it appears. It is also fairly the dialog starter, which means whoever you present it too will go “Wow! I would like this!” till they take a more in-depth look, look at the oddly positioned keys and provides it a fast go.

One of many benefits of a clear acrylic case (versus an aluminium one) is that it exposes the internals of the keyboard. This principally provides fanatics a window into the again of the PCB together with the chips and the wiring. And it positive appears good and attention-grabbing when carried out proper. Which is the case with the VickyBoard. One other benefit supplied by a clear acrylic case is the underglow the RGB key lighting gives in your desk mat.

XPlus Vickyboard Ergo Split V RGB dark ndtv XPlusVickyBoardErgoSplitV  XPlus

It is very arduous to beat the VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V’s RGB lighting and floor results


One element that stands out other than the clear design of the keyboard and the keycaps is the X-Plus brand. It is method too giant, garish and ruins the look of the keyboard for my part. And to make issues worse, there’s two of them one on the prime centre of the highest case and one other to the left of the directional keys.

The end of the CNC-machining strategy of the acrylic case is unbelievable, however it’s worrisome that the screws which maintain the 2 halves of the case collectively don’t have any metallic sleeve however drive straight into the acrylic case, which is placing a variety of religion into one thing this delicate.

As quickly as I pulled it out of its package deal, I shortly seen some deep scratches on my evaluate unit, proper out of the package deal. In the course of the evaluate interval, topic to common typing use, I didn’t handle to get any new scratches on it, however it is extremely simple to get a deep scratch on this one if it makes contact with a metallic object in your desk.

XPlus Vickyboard Ergo Split V logo ndtv XPlusVickyBoardErgoSplitV  XPlus

The X-Plus brand is an eye-sore on this beautiful acrylic case


Now acrylic is about 10 occasions stronger than glass whereas giving the same feel and appear to a fabricated product, however it isn’t immune to breaking, actually polycarbonate as a fabrication materials is lots stronger than acrylic and glass. The upside of utilizing acrylic is that it doesn’t yellow like polycarbonate and can be immune to flexing to a sure restrict, which makes it fairly sturdy within the case of this keyboard.

My delivery expertise with the VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V was not carried out proper and so my keyboard arrived wrapped in a bunch of froth sheets and bubble wrap, minus the same old branded cardboard packaging. The prototype keyboard I obtained was clearly thrown round throughout the delivery course of and so has a number of deep cracks on its acrylic case. Whereas this makes it evidently clear how delicate acrylic will be, I am hoping that the delivery expertise with the correctly packaged retail items (that had been shipped out in February, 2024) are lots higher and safer.

The VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V provides a 75 p.c format with 72 keys. However due to its further keys which might be all well-spaced out for higher ergonomics, it is going to really feel lots bigger in comparison with an everyday 75 p.c layouts.

My evaluate unit included a Ruby colourway with clear sapphire keys and Gateron yellow mechanical switches. The Eva case was shipped individually and it included a primary connectivity and charging cable together with a primary keycap puller device.

XPlus Vickyboard Ergo Split V side case ndtv XPlusVickyBoardErgoSplitV  XPlus

The X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V keyboard makes use of clear Cherry profile keycaps made from acrylic


Your entire key format is angled at 6-degrees and sadly this can’t be adjusted primarily as a result of it was supposed to offer the most effective consolation by the producer. This typing angle can’t be adjusted in any respect because the case doesn’t have any adjustable fold out toes to make any tremendous changes such as you would discover on common pre-built mechanical keyboards.

The Cherry profile keycaps that got here with my evaluate unit are of the clear kind and created from acrylic. They’ve a pleasant matte translucent end on the highest floor with clear sidewalls. I am not a giant fan of those as a result of it is arduous to learn the characters on the keys (with the backlights on or off) they usually do not sound nearly as good as the same old PBT keycaps.

XPlus Vickyboard Ergo Split V switches ndtv XPlusVickyBoardErgoSplitV  XPlus

The PCB helps hot-swappable switches


The PCB contained in the case additionally helps hot-swappable switches, which means you may swap the switches with a wide range of out there choices. Nonetheless, I need to add that I discovered the cutouts within the acrylic case for the switches to be very tight, making swapping very troublesome with the supplied change and keycap puller.

X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V Assessment: Efficiency

The cross-radial design of the keys implies that each halves of the format have been angled inwards after which fanned out. The keys even have an ortholinear format, which means that your fingers principally find yourself transferring up and down and never throughout, making typing extra comfy. This mix together with a 6-degree incline of the 72 keys made it slightly comfy to kind on, however you’ll have to put money into a set of ergonomic gliding wrist rests (additionally used for mice) or get an Alice format or cut up wrist relaxation (two piece) to make the typing expertise extra comfy as there’s a correct one-inch clearance from the underside until the keycaps provided that this keyboard doesn’t use low-profile switches.

For day by day work use, I’ve an everyday 65 p.c keyboard with common QWERTY format. So I tried to attempt to rewire my muscle reminiscence to adapt to this keyboard’s unorthodox format. I need to confess that I didn’t succeed, as this key design and format has a steep studying curve and wishes you to rewire your muscle reminiscence, given that the majority of us are used to common keyboard layouts.

XPlus Vickyboard Ergo Split V key layout ndtv XPlusVickyBoardErgoSplitV  XPlus

Even ortholinear keyboard customers will discover the fanned out cross-radial design distinctive


Nonetheless, I did try a number of assessments with this one and whereas I used to be clearly low on pace, I did realise that it was immensely comfy provided that my fingers had been firmly planted in place whereas typing. The rationale for this are the extra keys positioned bang within the centre of the cut up format. This features a delete, enter, management and shift keys which we frequently attain out for on both facet of the common key format whereas contact typing. The positioning of the 2 area bars and the centred delete key can be one thing I bought used to and located to be very handy. All-in-all this keyboard does what it claims to do which is to successfully scale back typing pressure in your wrists (with a wrist relaxation), it is simply that it’s a must to adapt your typing model drastically to a brand new format, which is able to take loads of time, until you’re an fanatic who’s already accustomed to utilizing ortholinear keyboards.

The keyboard by design helps hot-swappable switches. As for the switches, these are your typical Gateron G Professional yellow mechanical switches, which by trait are linear however require a little bit of power (50g) regardless that they’ve first rate pre-travel (2.0mm). These sound pretty commonplace (quiet) however supply a cushty typing expertise. Whereas a lot of the switches labored simply tremendous, I had two broken switches out of the package deal which had bent pins.

XPlus Vickyboard Ergo Split V keycaps dark ndtv XPlusVickyBoardErgoSplitV  XPlus

It arduous to learn the characters on the clear keycaps


I had my doubts about how nicely the keyboard would sound given the acrylic case (which isn’t good for acoustics) and the acrylic keycaps. To be very sincere, it sounded very hole and never satisfying in any respect, in comparison with a completely metallic pre-built keyboard at this value level, which sounds lots higher compared.

Whereas the acrylic case and acrylic keycaps have some influence on the sound, common PBT caps (out there on the enter and area keys and different case variants) would have improved this to an extent. The case due to its acrylic design is not plate mounted, however has the PCB straight mounted on to the CNC-machined case, which made for a slightly stiff typing expertise provided that the entire mount is inflexible and has zero flex. Add to this the clear design and it’s arduous to even add any sound dampening mods to this case to kill any undesirable sounds or vibrations.

Provided that this is not a keyboard constructed for the lots I nonetheless missed a easy mac/home windows change, which might conveniently let me change between a Mac or a Home windows format. The operate key row can be lacking, so these will must be reconfigured through software program.

The keyboard doesn’t use your typical VIA software program for key-remapping however goes with a {custom} QMK resolution for key-remapping and macros. It is not as handy as VIA the place remapping occurs on the fly when making modifications on a web-browser. Out right here, it’s a must to make modifications on a web-browser, obtain a configuration profile and manually load (learn: flash) profiles each time you wish to remap a set of keys, which might get annoying when you have a fancy setup.

XPlus Vickyboard Ergo Split V extra keys ndtv XPlusVickyBoardErgoSplitV  XPlus

The location of the extra keys similar to the cross-radial design takes some getting used to


Whereas remapping and loading keyboard profiles was not the issue, I used to be in for a shock because the cable I obtained for evaluate was not supported by the keyboard. Fortunately, I did have a spare one mendacity round and it helped me manually get into DFU mode. And I needed to get into DFU, as a result of I needed to reconfigure among the keys that are by default setup for Home windows.

Other than its putting design, one other function that basically stands out is wi-fi connectivity. When you can join the keyboard through a cable for low latency, it’s also possible to join it wirelessly (elevated latency) through Bluetooth. Wi-fi connectivity also needs to work higher right here provided that the case is not made out of metallic which is an issue with most premium wi-fi keyboards. Moreover, the X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V can join and change between 5 units (together with Android and iOS), which is healthier than the same old 3.

Battery life is fairly good total. The three,000mAh battery lasts a couple of week of use with LED lights however can final a number of weeks with the lights off. Charging pace just isn’t one thing I examined out, since this isn’t a keyboard one would journey given its weight (1.4kgs) and the way delicate it’s.

X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V Assessment: Verdict

The X-Plus VickyBoard Ergo Cut up-V is a keyboard I wish to use each day, due to how good it appears in all its glass-like acrylic glory. However for me it isn’t value retraining my muscle reminiscence to adapt to an ortholinear cross-radial format as a result of I’m extra comfy with an everyday keyboard format. And this additionally implies that it is all down to non-public preferences and your willingness to adapt to one thing new.

With that mentioned that is undoubtedly not a keyboard for everybody and undoubtedly not for the informal person in search of a correctly ergonomic mechanical typing expertise. It has a very steep studying curve and is supposed to be a showpiece that can sit on the cabinets of fanatics or those that are already used to the ortholinear key layouts (and doubtless already personal just a few comparable keyboards). Even seasoned cut up keyboard or Alice format customers ought to discover themselves scratching their heads over this one, due to the cross-radial design and that is lots to ask even for a keyboard that appears this good. This one caters to a distinct segment viewers and these are precisely the shoppers who will discover this keyboard attractive.

Scores out of 10

Design: 8
Efficiency: 8
Worth for cash: 7
General: 8

Enticing design
Constructed for RGB followers
Good ergonomics
Can join to five units wirelessly

Acrylic case and development is delicate
Key remapping is kind of advanced
Wants a cut up palm-rest to be efficient

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