Layout and Layout

The term “layout” is used in more than one context with keyboards (check Wikipedia for an in-depth explanation).

First, there are two types of physical keycap layouts, easily distinguishable by the Enter key which is either vertical or horizontal. The vertical Enter is mostly used with European ISO layouts while the American ANSI layout uses the horizontal Enter. Choosing a keycap language in the configurator will determine which kind of Enter is being used. With blank keys however, it requires a deliberate decision.

Second, it’s the placement of the symbols on the keys:

In this ANSI example the Esc key is where the `/~ key used to be, which itself is on the same key but on the second layer. The Ctrl key moved to where the CapsLock key was. And the Alt keys made room for the Swirl keys. The Swirl key is operated by the thumb and activates the second layer.

Although the differences from a traditonal alpha part are small it may be desirable for the Miniguru to behave like a standard alpha keyboard. The programming can be easily changed with one of the presets of the accompanying software. Changes are stored in the keyboard’s firmware and are immediately available when connecting to a different computer.

The idea was to keep the second layer simple. The major editing keys are on the right because they are often used with Ctrl and Shift combinations which are usually pressed with the left hand. There is a one key distance to the Enter and Backspace keys to avoid problems should a typo happen. And the most often used keys are on the stronger fingers, not the pinky.

Missing something? Programming a key just takes seconds and the result is permanently stored in the keyboard’s firmware. In most cases programming isn’t even necessary because the Miniguru comes with many presets. And presets can be exported and imported too so complex layouts can be easily shared.