Some years ago, I promised a review of AlphaGrip to Mike Willner
because I bought it. Back then, I used it only 1 week and I was able
to type at acceptable speed. But later I abandoned it being busy. So I
have mixed feelings: I like ideas behind the design, I have quite
pleasant initial experience with AlphaGrip, but then it did not suit
my needs and I found points that cause discomfort. But I did not
switch back to a regular keyboard.
Reasons for my discomfort:
- I did not find a single position for hands to reach every key easily
and to hold AlphaGrip well at the same time. So either I move hands
back and forth, or I place AlphaGrip on surface of my pants and hold
it very lightly by fingers only. It may be a problem with size of my
- It is harder to access green shift than red shift. And there is no
way to remap them. (I'd made it like red-green-red-green instead
current green-red-red-green, so green shift would be more accessible
to left hand and red shift would be more accessible to right hand.)
- I type a lot in Russian language, and there are 33 letters in
Russian alphabet, so colored shifts occur typing regular text. But
this problem was expected.
- I'd like to type much faster. So many keys for thumbs instead of
other fingers do not seem to allow such productivity. And this problem
was expected too. I'd like to see 3 keys per finger where there are 2.
- I did not like the shape of backside, it felt unnatural for me. But
I can't insist on this point.
- I use membranes with much lower actuation force now and I don't see
other way to go.
So AlphaGrip is not for me. Maybe some changes could improve it for
me. Handheld design is very cool.
There are several other strong handheld keyboards already in
I'll write only a few suggestions for improvements: 1) use a
programmable controller and allow users to remap everything (including
colored shifts), 2) make the whole design 3d printable and Open Source
(under GPL 3 license like ErgoDox keyboard), it'll allow users to
tweak design till perfection and help you develop the best keyboard
ever. Good luck!