Asked “ChatGPT” about left/right split keyboard.


Many of you have probably never heard of a left-right split keyboard.

A left-right split keyboard is, as the name implies, “a keyboard that is split into right and left sections.

Popular manufacturers include Mistel’s BAROCCO and Kinesis Freestyle, but they are little known because they are in a very niche genre.

However, the author believes that this “super niche genre” will be in the spotlight in 2023.

The impetus came on February 28, 2023, when Keychron, the fastest growing keyboard brand in the world, announced its first split keyboard, the Keychron Q11.

Split keyboards, which have not seen the light of day at all, are showing signs of gaining attention as they are released by prominent manufacturers.

Kawamura top RKawamura

As a proponent of left-right split keyboards, I am delighted.

However, there is a great deal we do not know about left-right split keyboards, including their prevalence.

So, we asked ChatGPT about the left-right split keyboard.

From here on, the questions will be listed under headings and described in a Q&A format.

Kawamura top R

Representative of GreenEchoes Studio

Ryosuke Kawamura

He launched his own media as a site operator and web writer, and now plans and manages multiple corporate media. He often types heavily in his work, and in his search for greater efficiency, he became addicted to the keyboard swamp and established “GreenKeys”.


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In which countries are left-right split keyboards prevalent?


Countries where left-right split keyboards are in widespread use include the following

  1. Japan: Japan is one of the countries with very high penetration of left-right split keyboards. In particular, many keyboards are ergonomically designed to improve the working environment.
  2. South Korea: The use of left-right split keyboards is also widespread in South Korea. Computer games are particularly popular in Korea, and the left-right split keyboard is considered suitable for game play.
  3. Europe: In Europe, left-right split keyboards are commonly used in some countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. These countries often offer keyboard layouts that are particularly language-specific.
  4. United States: In the United States, split left-right keyboards are used by few, but by workplaces and users who are particularly interested in ergonomics.

As mentioned above, split left-right keyboards are in use in several countries, but they are not yet in general use.

The fact that Japan comes first suggests that Japan has a high penetration rate of split keyboards, even on a global scale.

It is true for a very few people that the ergonomic setting helps to improve the working environment.

Secondly, I have the impression that in Korea, where e-sports is well known, it is probably a popular left-handed device.

I was surprised to see it being used in Europe as well.

However, it does not seem to be very popular in the U.S., which is also an English-speaking country.

What are the advantages of a left-right split keyboard?

  1. Excellent ergonomics: The left-right split keyboard is designed to fit the natural angle of the wrist, reducing the strain on the hands and arms. This reduces hand and arm fatigue and pain when typing for long periods of time.
  2. Improved typing accuracy: A left-right split keyboard may improve typing accuracy because the keys are more appropriately placed than on a regular keyboard. Key presses are also more evenly distributed, making typing easier.
  3. More free space: Split left/right keyboards have no space in the center of the keyboard, allowing more room for a mouse, documents, etc. This can improve work efficiency because more desktop space is available.
  4. Reduces shoulder and neck strain: The left-right split keyboard reduces shoulder and neck strain due to the separated keyboard layout. This can reduce shoulder and neck pain and stress, especially during long hours of desk work.

As described above, the left-right split keyboard has advantages such as superior ergonomics, improved typing accuracy, free space, and reduced shoulder and neck strain.

This was also a very targeted response.

As expected, the split keyboard has superior ergonomics and seems to reduce fatigue.

In addition, it seems to me that the circumstances that improve typing accuracy are that typing itself is difficult without proper fingering.

Free space can be secured, which is an advantage of placing a trackball mouse or trackpad between the keyboard, which is divided into left and right sides, so that you can work with symmetrical movements.

What are the disadvantages of a left-right split keyboard?


The left-right split keyboard has the following disadvantages

  1. Familiarity required: The left-right split keyboard may seem difficult to use at first because the key layout is different from that of a regular keyboard. However, once you get used to it, typing becomes easier, and you can get used to it with a little practice.
  2. Less portable: The left-right split keyboard has a different key layout than a regular keyboard and may be difficult to use if you are used to using other keyboards. Also, they may not be portable when used on the road or elsewhere.
  3. High price: Left-right split keyboards are often more expensive than regular keyboards, which may limit your options if you have budget constraints.
  4. Fewer layout options: A left-right split keyboard has a different key layout than a regular keyboard, so it may not be possible to use the same keyboard layout as a typical keyboard. Also, if you are used to a particular keyboard layout, it may be difficult to use a different layout.

As described above, left-right split keyboards have disadvantages such as requiring familiarity, low portability, high price, and few layout options. However, they also have advantages such as superior ergonomics, improved typing accuracy, and reduced shoulder and neck strain, so it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages when considering their use.

This was also answered by Don Pitt.

First of all, it definitely takes some getting used to.

The low portability is probably due to the column-staggered arrangement rather than row-staggered.

The so-called normal arrangement is a “horizontally shifted” arrangement that follows from the typewriter, but this arrangement, which is vertically shifted to fit the length of the fingers, is called a “column-staggered” arrangement.

However, if they follow the traditional low-staggered approach, such as the Q11 as presented here, the switching cost seems to be low.

Keychron Q11 1

The price is indeed high.

In addition, the need to make one’s own keyboard is one of the factors that may make it difficult to spread in Japan, as it is almost the only option available.

Which array is better, row staggered or column staggered?


Which array is better, row staggered or column staggered, depends on personal preference. However, each array offers the following advantages

Advantages of the Lowe staggered array:.

  1. Less hand movement: Row-staggered layouts require less hand movement because the left and right hands have less range to hit the keys. This may improve typing speed.
  2. Less finger strain: Low-staggered layouts require less finger strain because the thumb is used more frequently. Also, since the shift key is used less frequently, less stretching is required to press the shift key.

Advantages of column staggered arrays:.

  1. Easy to remember key layout: Column staggered layouts are easy to remember key layouts because keys in the same row have similar functions. It may also improve typing accuracy because there is less finger movement from the home position.
  2. Good overall balance: The column staggered arrangement of keys is well balanced and distributed, so hand movements are natural and less tiring. In addition, the number of keys struck by the left and right hands is evenly distributed, so less load is placed on one hand.

As described above, row-staggered and column-staggered arrays each have their own advantages. Which one is superior depends on personal preference, typing style, and purpose, so it is important to select an array that is easy for you to use.

Personal preference, yes, this is correct.

As with keyswitches and everything else, there is no such thing as a recommendation for a tool to be used on a daily basis.

It all comes down to “what you yourself are comfortable with and prefer to use”.

A skier should change wax depending on the snow conditions, and a typist should choose a keyboard as he/she likes depending on the type of text he/she is typing, his/her physical condition that day, and the typing feel and sound he/she wants to make.

Unfortunately, we were a bit close on the merits of each array, so we will put a fact check on it.

revised version

Advantages of the Lowe staggered array:.

  1. Low switching costs: Since this is the most popular arrangement in general, there is little discomfort from switching and you can get used to it quickly.

This will generally cover the whole area.

In my opinion, the Lowe Staggered is not so beneficial, largely due to the aspect that it is a remnant of the typewriter era.

The “less hand movement” mentioned earlier is specific to the left hand, and especially when typing Japanese, the frequency and range of movement of the right hand is quite large, placing a heavy burden on the little finger.

That said, it is by no means “well-balanced overall”.

I would also make a small correction regarding column staggering.

revised version

Advantages of column staggered arrays:.

  1. Less burden on the little finger: Column staggered layouts are symmetrical, and since the space bar, enter, backspace, and other functions are often concentrated mainly on the thumb, the ability to utilize the thumb, which is worked less frequently, reduces the burden on the little finger.
  2. Good overall balance: The column staggered arrangement of keys is well balanced and distributed, so hand movements are natural and less tiring. In addition, the number of keys struck by the left and right hands is evenly distributed, so less load is placed on one hand.

The key arrangement is frankly hard to remember.

There are no vertical rows of keys with the same function, just a QWERTY array shifted vertically.

It would be correct that there is little movement from the home position and the keys are evenly aligned left to right.

Conclusion|Will left/right-separated keyboards become popular in the future?

Finally, we asked AI’s view on the future development of the left-right split keyboard.


The left-right separation keyboard is in increasing demand in today’s increasingly health-conscious society because it is designed with healthy typing in mind. In addition, with the current increase in telework and remote work, more time is being spent at home working on computers, which is also thought to be contributing to the demand for left-right separation keyboards.

Furthermore, recent left-right separation keyboards have improved in design and functionality over their predecessors, and there is a diverse lineup, including those that support wireless or Bluetooth connectivity, those with touchpads or number pads, and foldable, compact ones.

Therefore, there is a strong possibility that the left-right separation keyboard will become increasingly popular in the future. In particular, the left-right keyboard will be a useful item for health-conscious people who do a lot of computer work, as well as those who telework or work remotely.

It’s a little regrettable.

Perhaps the appeal here seems to include a portable left-right split keyboard.

Indeed, this is also a “keyboard that can be split into left and right”.

Personally, I think that left-right split keyboards are likely to catch on, as they are a logical design.

It simply looks cool, and if the model can be split left and right with the option of using it attached remaining, then the function is just granted, and if you don’t like it, you can just use it attached.

This is an introduction to our question to AI about the future of left-right split keyboards.

Kawamura top RKawamura

I think I need to add a “Split” item to the keyboard database’s refinement items.

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