ZSA Moonlander First Impressions

Published on , 570 words, 3 minutes to read

As I mentioned before, I ordered a ZSA Moonlander and it has finally arrived. I am writing this post from my Moonlander, and as such I may do a few more typos than normal, I'm still getting used to this.

a picture of the keyboard on my desk

The Moonlander is a weird keyboard. I knew that it would be odd from the get-go (split ergonomic keyboards have this reputation for a reason), but I was surprised at how natural it feels. Setup was a breeze (unbox, plug it in, flash firmware, type), and I have been experimenting with tenting angles on my desk. It is a very solid keyboard with basically zero deck flex.

I have a fairly complicated keymap that worked almost entirely on the first try. Here is a more user friendly visualization of my keymap (sans fun things like leader macros):

My typing speed has been destroyed by the change to this ortholinear layout. Before I was getting around 70 words per minute at best (according to monkeytype.com), but now I am lucky to hit about 35 words per minute. My fingers kinda reach for where keys are on a staggered keyboard and I have the most trouble with x, v, . and b at the moment. I really like having a dedicated : key on my right hand. It makes command mode (and yaml) so much easier. The larger red buttons are a bit odd to hit at the moment, but I imagine that will get much easier with time.

Each key has a programmable RGB light under it. This allows you to get some really nice effects like this:

The left hand of my steno layout

However brown colors don't come out as well as I'd hoped:

My media layer that mostly has brown lighting, this looks a bit better in the dark

I am not sure how I feel about the armrests. On one hand they feel a bit cold (context: it is currently 1.57 degrees outside and I'm wearing a hoodie at my desk so that may end up being the cause of this), but on the other hand i really hate typing on this without them. The tenting is nice, I need to play with it more but the included instructions help a lot.

I still have a long way to go. I'll write up a longer and more detailed review in a few weeks.

Expect to see many more glory shots on Twitter!

As an added bonus, here is the if err != nil key in action:

Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.

Tags: moonlander, keyboard