On keyboard threads there have been expressions of interest for unorthodox formats. I am a fan of columnar staggered designs, and of these I think the best one to choose would be the Atreus. I would make my case for its consideration as follows:
- The footprint of the Atreus is small enough to fit within the space allocated for the keyboard on a standard laptop. Many columnar stagger designs (Ergodox, Keyboardio 01) have thumb clusters or arcs that would impinge on the trackpad.
- The Atreus is already commercially successful and marketed by Keyboardio, Falbatech and Profet. An Atreus equipped laptop would appeal to an established user base.
- For laptop application, the two halves of the Atreus can utilise the full width of the laptop giving the benefit of a wider typing stance. Perhaps the gap thus created between the two halves could house an arrow cluster?
- The Atreus has spawned larger variants which may suit bigger laptops (discussed below).
Thus far we have been referring to the smaller 42/44 key format. This would in my view be ideal for the 13.5" Framework. There have however been requests on this forum for 15" or larger Framework laptops in the future. Perhaps larger variants of the Atreus would suit the bigger laptops, such as the Atreus58 and Atreus62 (the 62 also being commercially available from both Profet and Falbatech)? These models extend the smaller form factor with extra rows or columns, which could be left unassigned by users who prefer the minimal layout.
I know from searching the forum there are others who are using columnar staggered keyboards of various types. There are many different types and they all have their adherents, so I have tried to make the case for the Atreus being both the most practical and widely acceptable option. Could all of us live with the Atreus if that were what was offered?
I hope I have made a compelling case and look forward to hearing what others think. Whilst other designs are sure to be worth consideration, I would prefer to focus on columnar staggered options here. Adherents of other categories such as ortholinear (grid-style such as the Planck) will hopefully also attempt to pitch their favoured options in specific threads. If more keyboard options emerge, so much the better!