You often don’t think too much when you’re playing a game or typing on a standard keyboard. However, most standard keyboards don’t have proper keyboard ergonomics. Long hours of using a keyboard that is not designed to be body-friendly can strain your wrists, stress your forearms, slouches your shoulders, and misalign your spine. Prolonged erroneous typing posture can lead to serious conditions such as fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome, and repetitive stress injury.
But you can easily prevent this. If you want to type in a natural and healthy way, you simply need to change your keyboard. And your best bet is a split mechanical keyboard, a revolutionary ergonomic keyboard design.
This article will cover one of today’s newest split mechanical keyboards, the Cloud Nine Keyboard, specifically their flagship ergo keyboard, the C989. We’ll take a look at the ins and outs so you can see if it’s the right choice for you.
Let’s begin with the basics.
What Is An Ergonomic Split Mechanical Keyboard?
An ergonomic split mechanical keyboard is a full or tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard that can be separated into two or more sections. There are two kinds of split keyboards:
The “mechanical” aspect of a mechanical keyboard refers to the mechanical switches under each keycap. Each switch has a case, a spring, a stem, and two metal contacts. When a key is pressed, the stem pushes down the spring and connects the two metal contacts. This closes the circuit, which allows a tiny electrical current to flow through. The keyboard’s circuitry detects the keypress and sends a signal to your computer’s CPU for processing. The processed signal is then displayed on your screen as a character, symbol, or action. When you release the key, the spring pushes back the keycap, disengaging the two metal contacts and disconnecting the circuit.
A mechanical keyboard’s switches often come in three variants:
Due to the high-quality nature of mechanical keys, mechanical keyboards are sturdier than most other keyboard types. A mechanical key of average-quality mechanical keyboards has a lifespan of 50 million clicks. The best ergonomic keyboards have mechanical switches that are rated at 60 million key presses. Most mechanical keyboards have Cherry MX mechanical switches although other brands such as Gateron, Gate, Omron, and Kaihua switches are also popular.
How Does the Cloud Nine Keyboard Work?
Among the best ergonomic split keyboards in the market, the Cloud Nine C989 Ergonomic Mechanical Split-Keyboard is one of the winning computer products sought after by gamers and workers alike. Its revolutionary design, great functionality, and attractive aesthetics make it an amazing peripheral on a game station or work station.
The Cloud Nine Keyboard is designed with the finest ergonomic standards in mind. It can be split into two halves along the 6, T, G, and B keys. The two halves are connected by a 9-inch braided cable, which is quite a considerable allowance in terms of allowable distance. This enables you to comfortably type at shoulder width. The flexible cable provides you a huge degree of customization when it comes to positioning your keyboard.
Additionally, the wide allowance between the keyboard halves makes it convenient for you to place something in between, a stand microphone, for example, if you’re doing a live videocast on your channel or your mouse when you’re playing a first-person shooter.
Comfort & Ergonomics
Even the best ergonomic split keyboards have a 5 to 10-degree positive slope at the front or back. The positive angle causes a lot of stress and strain on the wrists. Left unchecked, this may lead to typing-related injuries such as cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, or repetitive stress injury.
On the other hand, the Cloud Nine Split Mechanical Keyboard has a perfectly flat slope at the sides of either half. The angle increases up to 14 degrees in the middle. This creates a slope that allows you to type with your wrists at a natural and relaxed angle.
Finally, the Cloud Nine keyboard has a large and wide wrist rest that supports your hands as you type.
The Cloud Nine Split Mechanical Keyboard features a full-sized board, complete with a numeric keypad, page navigation keys, and arrow keys. Thus, the Qwerty layout is standard, and it takes no time at all to get familiar with the keyboard. Additionally, because it’s a full-sized keyboard, your hands don’t bunch up as you type.
Switches & Keys
Underneath each key of the Cloud Nine Keyboard is a genuine Cherry MX Brown Switch. It provides a tactile feel, with subtle audible feedback at each keypress. Thus, with no loud click, you won’t disturb your nearby colleagues as you type. The subtle feel and the soft thud help make your keystrokes accurate even if you are touch type. The mechanical switches are long-lasting. Each switch is rated to more than 50 million clicks.
Responsiveness is superb. Your keypress registers on your screen when the key hits 2 millimeters, half of the total keypress distance of 4 millimeters.
The key caps can be removed, revealing the switches underneath. This makes cleaning the keyboard and swapping keys extremely easy.
Macro Keys & Center Dial
Each of the 10 macro keys allows you to program sequences and functions in 1 keystroke. This gives you a great advantage when playing a game. That’s because you can execute a complex action in one keypress, rather than laboriously run the sequence all over the keyboard.
The Cloud Nine Keyboard also has a convenient central dial. By default, you can adjust your keyboard lighting and volume controls by simply turning the dial. With the addition of the Cloud Nine app, the central dial becomes more versatile. You can tailor it to scroll, zoom or rotate images, manipulate brushes, and control multimedia playback.
The Cloud Nine keyboard comes with exclusive software that allows you to easily tailor your keyboard settings. You can program backlight sequences, macro sequences, and more.
The Cloud Nine keyboard has RGB LED lighting that cycles over 16.8 million lighting combinations. The keycap characters are translucent so the light from the LED shines through.
This ergonomic split keyboard has a built-in USB port on one side. This allows you to plug in an extra peripheral such as a microphone, stream deck, headphone, or phone charger.
What Is Our Team's Cloud Nine Keyboard Review?
We got a hold of the Cloud Nine C989 Ergonomic Mechanical Split-Keyboard and tested it out. This Cloud Nine Keyboard review will give you a glimpse of the product’s performance. Note that opinions are subjective; factors such as finger sizes, typing stance, and even existing body conditions can differ from one person to another. So it’s best to treat this keyboard review as a guideline rather than a hard-set evaluation.
The full-size of the Cloud Nine Keyboard makes it quite easy and familiar to type. However, it takes a lot of space on the table, being 22 inches in length and 10 inches in width. It also weighs a hefty 4 pounds, which is a little heavy if you want to carry it around.
The ergonomic quality of the split keyboard lives up to its advertisement. The split design lets you type at shoulder width, and the 7-degree tenting puts your wrists at a comfortable, relaxed, and natural angle. Proper keyboard ergonomics is the name of the game in the product’s design.
However, this position might seem awkward if you’re used to typing with a standard straight keyboard. It will also be a challenge if you’re not a touch-typist. Thus, typing on this ergonomic split keyboard can take time to get used to.
The Cloud Nine Keyboard connects to your computer via a USB cable, which is standard for all non-wireless keyboards. But with the addition of the braided cable that connects the two keyboard halves together, your work table or play station can get in a messy tangle. Make sure you arrange the keyboard in such a way that you minimize the tangles.
The characters on the keycaps are translucent, which shows beautifully when the RGB backlights are switched on. When the LEDs are switched off, the characters are difficult to see. Our team recommends that you switch on backlights to a single bright color so the characters will be visible.
The Cloud Nine split keyboard’s performance is superb. Key presses are accurately registered, and typing is a breeze. Gamers and typists will love the fast and responsive keys.
The Cloud Nine Keyboard is a plug-and-play peripheral but it does come with software that allows a great degree of customizing. However, the software is compatible with Windows computers but not with Macs. In addition, after installing the software, it doesn’t get automatic updates. You have to manually download and install the update patches.
Who Should Use A Split Keyboard?
The majority of users of mechanical keyboards are gamers. Features such as high responsiveness, comfortable feel, great key spacing, programmability, and anti-ghosting are prized as they provide gamers a lot of advantages to complete, survive, or win a game. In addition, the aesthetics of a mechanical keyboard, especially those equipped with programmable RGB backlighting enhances a gamer’s mood, allowing him to truly be “into” the game.
But the split mechanical keyboards are not just for gamers. Because of its proper keyboard ergonomics, a split mechanical keyboard is perfect for everybody who wants to type in a comfortable, natural, and healthy way. That includes typists, accountants, clerks, and other types of office workers, especially those who work in front of their computers all day.
A split mechanical keyboard is perfect for freelancers who work in a home office. Not only will it provide ergonomic benefits, but the aesthetics of an RGB backlit mechanical keyboard will surely spice up their workplace. Think about it: you have this glowing, flashing, high-quality ergonomic keyboard on a workplace that you want to call your own. A beautiful ergo keyword would be a great addition, isn’t it?
Finally, an ergonomic split keyboard is the best keyboard for carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers and people who have repetitive stress injury on either or both wrists. Due to the split layout, the keyboard allows the user to position the keyboard to his or her most natural typing position, alleviating stress and pain.
Health Benefits of Using a Split Mechanical Keyboard
When you type on a standard keyboard, your hands and arms are forced to face each other, coming to a central point on the home keys. This causes your shoulders to follow your forearm’s position, leaving you hunched and your spine curved. This position is extremely stressful and unnatural.
Enter the split mechanical keyboard. The two halves of ergo split keyboards can be positioned far apart so that you can type at shoulder width. With your arms at shoulder width, you can sit with your chest out and stomach in. Now, you’re sitting in a natural and relaxed position with your spine straight and upright.
Because a split mechanical keyboard lets you type in a more natural position, it helps avert injuries related to typing such as carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury. It reduces strain, minimizes pressure on the tendons, lessens fatigue, and prevents constriction of blood vessels to enable normal blood flow.
Productivity Advantages When Using a Split Mechanical Keyboard
A split mechanical keyboard doesn’t just keep you healthy. It also helps increase your efficiency, allowing you to impress your boss, give value to your company, and ultimately bring more money on your table.
We already know that an ergonomic keyboard is comfortable to type on. When you’re comfortable, you type faster and more accurately than before. You’ll be able to type documents, emails, manuscripts, and reports in no time at all.
Pressing a key on a mechanical keyboard requires minimal pressure and actuation force. In fact, you just need to press a key halfway for the keyboard to register the press.
Plus, the extra features of the keyboard itself allow accurate registration. For example, a keyboard’s anti-ghosting registers each and every keypress, even if multiple keys are pressed together. The single LED or RGB backlighting allows you to easily see the keys in dimmed environments.
Many of the extra features in the best ergonomic keyboards enable you to minimize efforts, whether in gaming or at work. Macro keys, for example, allow you to program complex combinations of keystrokes in one key; press the key and the combination sequence is activated. Media keys allow you to manipulate your media controls from the keyboard; there’s no need to open up a media window in your computer. And a high-quality mechanical keyboard often comes with an app that you install in your computer. You can customize every key, color combination, and more.
While it takes some time to get used to, a split mechanical keyboard such as the Cloud Nine C989 Ergonomic Mechanical Split-Keyboard can be a welcome addition to your game or work station. Your hands, wrists, forearms, and shoulders will thank you for using a peripheral with proper keyboard ergonomics. And with the stunning features of the best ergonomic mechanical keyboards, you actually get more than just an interface. You’re actually adding value to your game or work.
If you are experiencing injury, aches, and pains, please consult a medical professional as soon as possible. This article will only provide general information and should not be used for self-diagnosis and self-treatment.