Who else has a ZSA product (Moonlander/ErgoDox EZ/Planck EZ)?

This thread is another version of this thread: Who else has a fairphone? :slight_smile: .

Searching by “keyboard QMK”, it seems the users of Framework and ZSA might be similar. ZSA is a company selling QMK based open customizable keyboards. ZSA is also supporting the right to repair, selling parts of the keyboard on the website.


Yesterday I just ordered Moonlander from their website, and I have to say the purchasing experience was amazing. The every steps are smooth and considered. I didn’t need to use the shipping forwarding service.

I think the Framework can learn from them to scale up Framework’s shipment to worldwide. It’s worth for Framework to buy it to experience the customer journey.

Their payment confirmation email is nice.

zsa_step2_payment_confirm_email

Getting Started page on the above email is also helpful.

I have both a Moonlander and a Planck EZ - I like them both. Took a while to find the custom keymapping that would make me most productive but once I did it was pretty great.

I really wish there were a wireless version of the Planck EZ, it’d be the perfect travel keyboard.

I am really looking forward to customizing the key mapping. I hoped the Moonlander could be used as a travel keyboard too. While you are using both Moonlander and Planck EZ, how to adapt to both different key layouts? It looks hard to adapt.

A keyboard with both wire and wireless is really a nice feature. Seeing the Keychron Q1, Q2 and System76 Launch, all the QMK based customizable keyboards are not wireless. I wonder if there is a reason.

This is a little bit off topic of the off topic. Just now I emailed ZSA to suggest a new keyboard as their product, that is a physically moving keys customizable keyboard like this keyboard. I think the ZSA is already successful to make a keyboard consumable on the worldwide level. So if they will have it as a product, a new trend of “physically moving keys customizable keyboard” will happen.

Same here.

I was skeptical of the ergo properties of the Moonlander to begin with. I was coming from a UHK and wasn’t all that sure ortho-linear was going to be that big of a difference.

I was wrong. After about a week of getting used to the layout and retraining a couple of fingers, I was up to full speed on the Moonlander. MY absolute favorite layout items are space, backspace, and enter. I put them all on the thumb cluster. It is so much easier to correct things because my thumb just has to hit the key right under the space bar. Incredibly intuitive and fast. In general typing on the Moonlander is just comfortable.

Mouse emulation on the Moonlander is wonky though. It is had an exponential curve that makes it almost impossible to use, especially if you have several monitors. The UHK’s mouse emulation is MUCH better as it has a linear curve, which makes it very predictable to use. According to ZSA this isn’t something they can really fix as it is just a part of how QMK works.

All that said, I thought I was done with the UHK. The Moonlander is just really comfortable to work on, and the RGB backlighting makes it really easy to see in low light situations. (The UHK v1 does not have backlighting. V2 does.)

But the UHK finally got it’s additional modules which for me was a thumb cluster and trackball mouse. This put the UHK back in the limelight, because it was incredible how having a mouse right where my right thumb is, was useful.

That said, the Moonlander is still more comfortable despite the lacking functionality.

The Planck EZ is another matter. It is great as well but the biggest problem I have with it is the location of the USB C port. It should be on the side. Because it is not taking advantage of its compact size for mobile applications is not very useful. you can’t have the Planck right underneath your device because of the USB C cable jetting out.

One final thing is the method of updating and customizing the keyboards. The UHK wins hands down. It has custom software called Agent (available for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux) that can change the keys in real time. You just load up your layout and change whatever you want. When you click save, it automatically loads it to the keyboard in a matter of seconds, and your changes are life.

The ZSA method is convoluted and slightly annoying. You need to go to a website to make your changes. (requiring an account to save and retrieve) After you’ve made your changes it needs to be compiled (which the site automates) and downloaded. From here you use another program called Wally (I think). This will upload the file you download to the Moonlander or Planck. You have to put your keyboard into reset mode for the file transfer to work. On Windows Wally was temperamental with me, and would not work at all with the latest version. Only version 2.# works for me. Fortunately it isn’t that bad and you don’t make changes all that much after getting it dialed in.

I wrote a little review on the Moonlander here where I go into a bit more detail on my thoughts if you are interested:

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I don’t know. They already have this. The switches and key caps are hot swappable and since the key functions are configurable, I don’t really see what this keyboard is offering? Other than novelty. To me this ability is just more prone to failure, from faulty contact, improperly seated keys, etc.

Not hating on the creativity there, just don’t really see the practicality of it being all that compelling to what is already on offer.

It’s not like hot swappable one. The keyboards is to adjust the positions of the keys and add/remove keys freely. You can change Planck layout, Ergo layout, number of keys freely (1st picture) and can change the board too (2nd picture). I think Moonlander has enough keys. But after practicing it, maybe people would recognize some keys might be not used. They want to use more compact keyboard. A keyboard like DK6 enables this use case changing the board to smaller one, and removing some unused keys.

I have never seen this type of keyboard before the keyboard DK6. Recently I was told by my colleague who ordered this one. I am not sure how it looks like.

Thanks for sharing the review about the Moonlander, and Planck EZ. The UHK keyboard is really cool. I didn’t know that. I hoped the “6” key should be on the right side, not left side. But except that, it looks really cool.

I don’t like the ZSA method requiring the account and the company’s website, though I can understand the benfit to share it to multiple devices. If the company stops the website, users can not configure the keyboard any more? The keyboard is still not really ours but theirs.

I will take a look at your blog later. Thanks.

I found this tweet about the DIY guide was hard to find.

I hope Framework improve the box and website menu, learning from the ZSA’s case. Here is a photo of the Moonlander’s box. The printed URL guides a user effectively.

On the menu “Learn More” of the website https://www.zsa.io/moonlander/ , the “Getting Started” https://www.zsa.io/101/ is top. Because the page is what a user checks at first. This is about a marketing funnel to guide a user.