Computer keyboards follow the standard known as QWERTY . That is, they have the alphabetic keys arranged in the same order as the old typewriters. In addition, they have another series of controls, until they normally add more than a hundred keys. The NSK 535 keyboards from New Standard Keyboards completely break with this tradition: the letters come in the same order as in the alphabet and have only 53 keys .
The letters are separated by the four typical arrows to move around in the text: on the left are the keys from A to M; right, of the N to Z . As the manufacturer is American, there is no direct key for Ñ (you would have to press N plus another special key, which would be the equivalent of Alt Gr on conventional keyboards).
How have they cut the number of keys in half? Well, putting more possibilities to each key , activating one or the other by pressing the controls in the bottom row. A curious detail are the buttons for numbers and capital letters . Each "half" of the keyboard has its own just below it, so we would use the thumb to activate the function and the rest of the fingers to type , all at the same time.
This strange and curious keyboard costs 60 dollars (about 43 euros ) and comes in two finishes: the NSK 535 S , with black keys and white characters, and the NSK 535 R , full of colors. Both measure 316 x 128 x 23.3 mm , weighing about 400 grams , are connected by USB and are compatible with Windows Vista (of course, also with previous versions).
Disadvantages? Well, you would have to learn to type from scratch . The idea has good details, like the use of the thumb. But we doubt that someone who has spent his whole life using QWERTY has the patience to learn how to handle this system well. Once you learn, you write instinctively. Perhaps they could be of use to someone who has never used a keyboard in their life , but sooner or later, especially for work reasons, they would have to learn the system that most mortals use.