Dygma Raise: splitting the difference between gaming and ergonomics

Dygma Raise: splitting the difference between gaming and ergonomics

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The word ergonomic gets thrown astir a lot, slapped onto everything from chairs and desks, to mice and possibly astir notably, keyboards. It’s reasonably casual to find divided ergonomic and ortholinear keyboards disposable from a assortment of manufacturers. However, determination are precise fewer that equip their keyboards with features that would entreaty to enthusiasts. Alongside the Moonlander Mark I from ZSA, the Dygma Raise bucks that trend, with ergonomic features combined with enthusiast customizability.

The Dygma Raise is presently lone disposable via the company’s website, with the basal exemplary costing $319.00. The precocious terms constituent is not uncommon successful the divided keyboard ecosystem, but the Raise is simply a chopped supra successful that respect.

Ergonomics successful keyboard plan is each astir cutting down connected the magnitude of repetitive question performed by your fingers and hands. Ergonomic boards besides let you to presumption your hands farther isolated to relieve strain connected your shoulders, oregon structure the keyboard to relieve your wrists. The Raise is designed to accommodate some aspects.

The Raise is simply a divided layout, 60 percent, ergonomic keyboard with RGB backlighting. Split layout keyboards are precisely what they accidental connected the tin, dividing the disposable keys down the middle, typically wherever the 6 & 7 keys would be. This is meant to let your arms to remainder astatine 90-degree angles and supply a much ergonomic experience.

These aren’t the features that acceptable the keyboard isolated however; what truly makes this keyboard peculiar are the customization options and however receptive it is to modding, acknowledgment to its open-source software, hot-swap PCB, and its tiny but enthusiastic community. You lone request to wage a sojourn to the Reddit oregon Discord servers dedicated to this keyboard to recognize that it has thing of a following.

The Dygma Raise comes with its ain carrying case. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The laminitis and CEO of Dygma, Luis Sevilla, hails from an esports background, formerly serving arsenic the manager for the Fnatic League of Legends squad backmost successful 2016. Working with esports athletes gave Luis a unsocial position connected the challenges these players face. All excessively often helium would spot 18-year aged players incapacitated by repetitive accent injuries that are typically reserved for radical doubly their age. This is what inspired him to make the Raise.

Right retired of the box, it’s wide that nary disbursal was spared connected this keyboard. The Raise ships successful its ain hardened carrying lawsuit that holds the keyboard, cables, and an odd-looking USB-C cablegram splitter. Another bully interaction is the “enhancement kit” that ships with the keyboard, which includes samples of the further switches that Dygma offers successful summation to a enactment of rubberized o-rings, a operation power and keycap puller, and an aptly named “crap remover” (it’s a brushwood y’all).

The tools of the trade. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The Raise has an highly thin aesthetic, helped successful portion by its 60 percent layout. There is nary relation row, fig pad, directional arrows, oregon substance navigation keys. There isn’t adjacent immoderate disposable branding, conscionable a brushed aluminum chassis with a brace of steadfast leatherette wrist rests attached to either side. The wrist rests are secured to each broadside with a peelable adhesive, but they tin beryllium removed and reapplied if you request to cleanable them.

The Raise presents itself arsenic a azygous portion but is easy separated into 2 halves by pulling connected either side. The 2 boards are secured unneurotic by a bid of magnetized pins. This hardware is precise sturdy and has nary occupation keeping some ends unneurotic adjacent erstwhile held up by 1 side. Impressive, fixed the heft of the keyboard itself.

Both halves of the keyboard are held unneurotic by a bid of pins. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

From a gaming perspective, the Raise is unique. And portion it’s marketed arsenic a gaming keyboard, with the objection of macros and RGB lighting, you won’t find galore of the emblematic trappings you’d expect from different brands, similar dedicated media controls and extended cardinal layouts. The divided plan tin beryllium utilized to tally conscionable 1 fractional of the committee arsenic a gaming pad and determination your rodent manus person to the middle.

You tin configure the Raise with 8 antithetic 3rd enactment switches, with options ranging from Cherry MX Reds to the Kailh Speed Silver linear switches recovered successful mine. You’re besides invited to swap successful immoderate 3 oregon five-pin power you prefer. It tin beryllium configured to enactment ANSI oregon ISO layouts and presently ships with PBT keycaps for six region-specific layouts. All of the basal keys usage a modular keycap layout, allowing you to swap successful customized sets. By default, the Raise ships with a achromatic aluminum backplate, but tin besides beryllium ordered with a metallic backplate and achromatic keycaps for an further charge.

Another enactment is the tenting kit, which costs an further $89. This allows you to space each broadside of the committee upwards successful steps ranging from 10 to 45 degrees. It tin besides beryllium returned to a level position. The tenting kit shares the aforesaid physique prime arsenic the remainder of the keyboard, being composed astir wholly of aluminum, with the objection of its grippy rubber feet. Like different ergonomic boards, the Raise doesn’t person immoderate mode to beryllium tilted similar regular keyboards, adjacent with the tenting kit.

The tenting kit successful each its glory. Photo by Alice Newcome-Beill / The Verge

The 2 halves of the Raise link utilizing a brace of USB-C cables that pb to the packaged USB-C terminal dubbed the “Neuron” that past connects to your PC. None of the cables utilized with the Raise are permanent, truthful they tin beryllium easy replaced if you similar customized cables for your setup.

Dygma uses its ain proprietary bundle to remap keys and macros called Bazecor. This bundle is disposable for PC, Mac, and Linux. The interface is precise casual to usage and encourages tinkering with your settings to marque the Raise your own. Bazecor allows you to power the RGB lighting connected a per-LED ground but presently doesn’t connection immoderate animations speech from the lighting effects baked into the keyboard’s firmware.

All your macros, layers, and immoderate different customized configurations made with Bazecor are stored successful the Neuron, meaning that everything volition stay the aforesaid careless if you power the keyboard betwixt antithetic computers. This besides means that you don’t request to support Bazecor moving successful the inheritance to support your settings successful place.

The brains of the operation, the “Neuron.” Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

There are a mates of features that are indispensable to however this keyboard operates. Layers let the keyboard to store secondary cardinal functions nether the existing 60 percent layout erstwhile you property oregon clasp a key. This provides entree to commonly utilized things similar arrow keys and media controls.

The different diagnostic is the eight-bar, a clump of 8 keys close astir wherever you’d usually find the spacebar. While you tin remap these to immoderate function, by default these keys are utilized to displacement betwixt layers. In summation to unsocial functions, each furniture tin beryllium assigned its ain RGB lighting, allowing you to visibly item the keys you need, a clever and adjuvant touch.

Getting the Raise acceptable up and configured was a breeze, but getting utilized to its layout was acold much difficult, particularly arsenic idiosyncratic that typically uses full-size keyboards. But dissimilar what you mightiness expect, it wasn’t the divided plan that tripped maine up — it was the condensed 60 percent layout. I mislaid number of however galore times I caught myself reaching for arrow keys oregon my fig pad and abruptly realizing determination were none. My archetypal mates of days with the Raise were spent tripping implicit keys and reaching for functions that were nary longer there, eliciting much than their just stock of vexation and audible groans. While I yet got utilized to its somewhat alien layout, I inactive ended up glancing astatine my keys much often than I would’ve liked. The Raise isn’t unsocial successful this respect — galore divided ergonomic boards person a steep learning curve erstwhile you archetypal commencement utilizing them and tin instrumentality weeks to get acclimated to depending connected your typing benignant and usage cases.

In the twelvemonth 2022 adjacent the keyboards socially distance. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

While determination is that steep learning curve for this keyboard, particularly for anyone utilized to larger-sized keyboards, the accomplishment ceiling is high. You lone request to wage a speedy sojourn to the macros leafage of the Dygma Wiki oregon this Reddit thread to get a consciousness for what’s imaginable if you truly perpetrate to this keyboard.

Here's however the Dygma Raise sounds with Cherry Silver switches:

I afloat respect that for immoderate users this keyboard is simply a lucifer made successful heaven, but unluckily for me, it felt much similar a shotgun wedding. Even aft spending a sizeable magnitude of clip with the Dygma Raise, I’m not wholly definite this keyboard is for me, oregon adjacent for astir keyboard users. You truly person to perpetrate to the ergonomic plan and quirks of the 60 percent layout to bask utilizing this board.

For anyone that’s intrigued by the plan of the Dygma Raise, but is understandably turned disconnected by the monolithic terms tag, determination are a fig of little costly options retired determination for you to experimentation with. As I mentioned earlier, the Moonlander keyboard from ZSA is easy the closest analog, but inactive retains a comparatively precocious terms of astir $270. There are a fewer somewhat little costly options, however, similar the Kinesis Freestyle Edge that comes successful astatine astir $200.

Dygma besides precocious launched a Kickstarter run to money a task that builds connected the foundations of the Raise keyboard by adapting and refining it into an ortholinear design. Given the magnitude of attraction and attraction that went into their archetypal design, I’m excited to spot what they travel up with next.

While the outgo of this keyboard whitethorn beryllium prohibitive for many, the Raise does bring a antithetic instrumentality to the typically staid ergonomic keyboard world. If you’re a 60 percent keyboard enthusiast that tin place a colossal terms tag, and is looking for your adjacent obsession, the Dygma Raise is decidedly worthy considering.

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