Keyboardio model 100: a brief review

The keyboardio Model 01 was an amazing keyboard, with a couple of unfortunate flaws. The Model 100 is a billion times better.

Okay, a slightly less-brief review: I got the Model 100 with the silent tactile (Kailh BOX brown) switches and a walnut finish. Out of the box was a much nicer experience than the Model 01, with much nicer packaging and initial setup. I’m continuing to use my 3D-printed tenting stand, which still fits perfectly. I also appreciate that it comes with a carrying case, and that the packaging is much smaller and fits more easily on a shelf (especially for the replacement key caps).

Importing my layout from my Model 01 was a little tricky, though; Chrysalis currently has some bugs when it comes to layout import (especially for the color map), and I had to get some help from Algernon on the Discord for a quick fix, which was to install focus-send and run the following commands:

./focus-send --device MODEL01-DEVICE > colormap.txt
./focus-send --device MODEL100-DEVICE $(cat colormap.txt)

where MODEL01-DEVICE and MODEL100-DEVICE were the /dev/usb.tty* mount points for the keyboards' internal serial ports (easily found using Chrysalis).

I also ran into some weird corruption issues, where one of my layers got shifted over a bunch (fortunately it wasn’t one that I needed to store), and when I updated the color palette the entire layout got corrupted. Apparently that’s a periodic fluke that’s happening with Chrysalis and they’re working on figuring it out.

Also, another bit of weirdness is that the LEDs in the Model 100 have a very different color curve than the ones in the Model 01, so I’ve been trying to figure out my color palette again to make my key indicators distinguishable from each other. And some of the colors seem to map strangely? I wonder if maybe Chrysalis is expecting a different EEPROM layout than the Model100 firmware which would also explain some of the other weirdness.

But oh well, it’ll all get sorted out eventually. In the meantime, this keyboard is ridiculously comfortable, and while there’s some very slight differences in how the keys are physically situated, it’s not so much so that I’m having any trouble typing the correct keys. And these switches feel amazing, so much nicer than the overly-stiff occasionally-binding Mattias switches which were in the Model01. And they’re so quiet, too! If I were to add this keyboard to my old video about keyboard audio levels I think it would be pretty close to the beginning.

So, yeah. If you care about your hand health and want an ultra-comfortable keyboard that doesn’t hurt to use, I highly recommend this one. It does need some layout tweaks to really shine (but that’s part of the point, that you can map it however you want) and if you haven’t used a columnar split layout before there will be a learning curve (I remember the Model01 taking a few weeks before I was really good at it) but gosh, I can’t rate this keyboard highly enough.

When I bought mine on Kickstarter it came with a choice of secondary key caps, and so I chose the unpainted translucent ones so that I could once again simply blank out the keys which differed from their labels (and a couple more for symmetry):


I hope this keyboard lasts me for a very, very long time.


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