The Atreus's mechanical switches enjoy great popularity among keyboard enthusiasts for their precise, crisp action. Most keyboards use a layer of cheap rubber to provide resistance under the keys, but each of the switches in the Atreus has its own separate spring. The clicky ones emit an sound to let you know precisely when the switch has activated, but non-clicky ones 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-era 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 about 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.

The detailed assembly guide goes through all the steps to go from a kit to a working keyboard with a few simple tools. Some soldering experience will help, but even for a beginner most mistakes can be easily corrected. At this time all keyboards use birch cases with black keycaps.

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.

If you're curious what it's like to put a kit together, several people have documented the process of putting theirs together.

Because there are so few keys, it relies on the fn key, which changes to a layer containing a numpad and punctuation. A final layer contains function and arrow keys, but the firmware is hackable and can be modified to do nearly anything.


Layers: letters | punctuation/digits | arrows/function