Alternatives to the Corne-ish Zen

I've gotten a lot of emails from those of you who saw my post on the Corne-ish Zen and want one for themselves. Sadly the group buys for the Zen are closed. There is no plan to make more at this point.

As of March 2024 here are a couple alternatives to look into if the idea of a small premium split keyboard is appealing.

Typeractive 5 Column Corne

corne from twitter (Image from @joe_scotto on X)

The Typeractive 5-Column Corne kit appears to be very similar to the Corne-ish Zen, especially when it comes to the choc-spacing of the keys. It's also pretty affordable. I may pick one up as a backup.

Joe Scotto has a great video on how to build one:

Ferris Sweep (Crab Broom)

crab broom

The Crab Broom aluminum case for the Ferris Sweep is a very nice looking setup with even fewer keys. I'm playing with ZMK combos to see if I can make myself go down to 3x5_2.

I have said that the only thing that would make me give up my Zen would be another Zen with a more pronounced curve… like the ergonomic curve on the Ferris. It really resembles my very comfy Atreus. I may end up buying on of these if I can budget the funds.

There are a lot of wonderful makers in this space, each with their own take and specialty. I know I'm missing a bunch of options but these are two to which I've found myself emailing folks over the past few weeks.

Some other places to explore:

  • My friend Jesse is launching 1337 keyboards very soon. Cornes and ninjuni with lovely woodcut cases.
  • The Glove80 appears to be a strong contender for those who want a pre-built with a few more keys.
  • beekeeb makes an interesting chocofi option, just no aluminum cases that I can see.
  • keebio is about to release the chiri which has an aluminum case and 3x5 spacing. Doesn't look wireless though.

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Changelog
  • 2024-03-22 11:04:32 -0500
    l337 -> 1337 typo

  • 2024-03-22 08:54:14 -0500
    Post