The Atreus's Cherry MX Blue switches enjoy great popularity among keyboard enthusiasts for their precise, crisp action. Most keyboards use a layer of rubber to provide resistance under the keys, but each Cherry switch has a separate spring. The Blue switches emit an audible click to let you know precisely when the switch has activated, but Cherry MX Clear switches offer feedback you can feel without the click noise.

Many other ergonomic keyboards offer a split design where each hand can be naturally positioned at a different angle, but nearly all of them use the typewriter-style staggering where each row is shifted over a bit to allow the striking arm to come up. To reflect the fact that the fingers of the human hand are of different lengths, the Atreus staggers vertically instead. It also places more keys within the reach of the thumbs.

The case measures merely 26×12cm, and a fully assembled board weighs only 300 grams, making it easy to take with you. The small size means that your fingers never have far to reach, and it fits easily in your lap where your arms can stay in a comfortable, neutral position.

With a soldering iron setup, wire cutters, a brush for finishing the wood case, and a free afternoon, you'll be ready to go. The detailed assembly guide steps through all that's needed to go from a kit to a working keyboard. Some soldering experience will help, but even for a beginner most mistakes can be easily corrected.

A series of articles in progress steps through the logic of the firmware step-by-step, explaining in detail how the keyboard works if you are interested in digging deeper.

Given that there are so few keys, there is a heavy reliance on the fn key, which switches to a layer containing a numpad and punctuation. The final layer contains function and arrow keys, but the firmware is open source and can be modified to do nearly anything.


Layers: letters | punctuation/digits | arrows/function