ErgoDox EZ or 60% or Planck EZ?

Hi everyone,

my first post on this forum and I’m quite a newbie in the keyboards world ! :blush:

I’m a software developer; I’m thinking about a new desk setup and now is time for the keyboard. At the moment I use a Filco US qwerty keyboard most of the day. When I’m not at the desk I use the macbook pro keyboard.

At the beginning, I started looking at the ErgoDox EZ mainly because it seems really customizable, well built and highly appreciated by the community. I tend to use the keyboard as much as possible without switching back and forth with the mouse. So, I think it’s fantastic to me that I can easily customize the keys.

Now, I’m a bit scared by ErgoDox EZ mainly because it seems to be really different (and difficult at the beginning?) from the classic keyboard layout. I do not have any problem with the initial learning curve, but I’m concerned to be really slow when going back to my laptop keyboard.
I’ve understood that having a split keyboard seems good for the wrists and arms, but still a bit scared of loosing muscle memory for the macbook keyboard.

So I started looking at something less drastic like 60% or 40% keyboard. I like the idea of having all the keys really close and to be able to program the layers and combinations.
The main reason I’m looking at the Planck EZ is because I like the ergodox-ez (ZSA Technology?) brand, they seem to have a great support, warranty and a nice configurator.

My concern about the 40% (Planck EZ) is about being too small, that I have to always use combinations to get characters like “&#{}()/,” etc… and since it’s ortholinear, once learned I still could struggle when going back to a normal keyboard right?
The good part about the 40% (and maybe also the 60%?) is that they could help me limit the travel of the hands …

Maybe I’m not asking myself the right questions to better understand which keyboard to buy.


First of all you are spot-on about ZSA. I bought my Ergodox-EZ in May and they have been super helpful with pre and post purchase support.
Now I don’t have a Planck-EZ, but do have an Ortho60 from Cannonkeys which is similar but with more keys than the ZSA Planck. I find I prefer having as many keys on a single layer as possible. So I actually use the Ergodox-EZ almost all the time. I have a separate “coding” layer where I’ve put the full set of alpha/num keys, but then set the thumb keys to the most commonly used punctuation. I then still have a option to shift to a strictly number/symbol layer when I need a numpad on the right hand and all my symbols on the left. AND, not enough can be said for the ZSA online configurator. It is SO easy and quick to use and it offers almost all of the QMK features in a point and click GUI. This is what won me over the other Ergodox options out there. I’ve probably created over 100 revisions of my layout to reach my ideal setup (so far!).
As far as switching back to a laptop keyboard, I found that really hard and it impeded my getting used to the Ergo. I started taking the Ergo with me to work so I pretty much use it exclusively.
Hope this helps!


I’ll copy post my answer since amusingly someone asked this question as well a few days ago (guess Planck and Ergodox is blowing up, so hopefully more include ErgoDox in keycap kits :slight_smile: )

As someone who owns a Planck layout, an Ergodox EZ and Hot Dox of which Hot Dox is now my primary I prefer the Hot Dox hands down. The only downside is that the Hot Dox doesn’t have a tenting kit yet. To me the biggest sells of ergodox layout is the split which makes it more comfortable and not really having to move my hands much while having access to much more labeled keys (than the Planck) like numbers/specials/homing/print/etc w/o toggling layers. That’s just my personal take as at work and at home I use numbers/specials frequently.

If you have a MK meetup in your area it may be ideal to go to one and demo the layouts yourself before investing.

Edit: Not only is the Hot Dox cheaper than ErgoDox EZ it’s arguably more mod friendly as case is open source, etc

To address your other concerns, I use my Hot Dox for work as DevOps/programming, but use a Kira (full layout) back at home when gaming and my hands don’t really have any issues switching between the two (or laptop layout when traveling/meetings). It took me about 2-3 weeks to get fully up to speed on ErgoDox. As a best practice whenever I did prod env work I switch to my old keyboard so I didn’t have any mistrokes until I felt at ease with ErgoDox

Your concerns about Planck are warranted in my opinion. I have a Planck for my Plex/RetroArch server at home I got because of the compactness for times when I want physical access, but it’s a pain to do anything in terminal, enter alphanumeric+special char passwords. It would be a real pain to program with I think

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If there was an EZ version of the preonic I would suggest it as a perfect alternative to this. A bit more compact and still having the numbers row available for special characters you might need.

Thanks a lot guys, I think I’m going to order a ErgoDox EZ :slight_smile:

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