Dvorak Keyboards: A Complete Buying Guide

iKBC F87 Dvorak Keyboards

This article explores several different Dvorak keyboards (and multi-use, programmable keyboards) available on the market today after first discussing the unique purpose and value of Dvorak keyboards.

When it comes time to tackle a writing project or other work, we have the choice between pen, pencil, and given that we are now in the 21st century, a computer with a keyboard attached.

For most, the computer is clearly a superior choice in terms of the speed at which writing can be accomplished. It also increases the ease of retrieving and organizing information within typed and digital documents, when compared to hand-written notes. First came the QWERTY typing format, and then Dvorak keyboards emerged.

Comparison Table

How We Reviewed

We reviewed seven distinct Dvorak keyboards (and programmable keyboards) available on the market to assess their functionality and features.

Our goal is to help you choose which one might be the best choice to improve your typing efficiency.

What We Reviewed

Matias Half Keyboard
  • Scroll, select text, type corrections, or make deletions, without moving your hand back and forth between keyboard and...
  • Hold documents in one hand and type them in with the other hand
  • Users of Desktop Publishing, CAD, Photoshop and other graphics software can change tools and issue commands on the Half...

Features

The Matias Dvorak keyboard has a number of features, the most important and instrumental of which is that Dvorak functionality is hard-wired right into the keyboard.

There is no need to reprogram the keyboard upon plugging it in as you do with many of the other options available.


A physical switch is present on the keyboard through which the QWERTY or Dvorak layout is selected, making this keyboard easy to switch over for someone not familiar with the Dvorak layout to use the board.

Overall Value

The overall value of the Matias Dvorak unit is high, as it is priced at just $80 and also features QWERTY functionality hard-wired in with the Dvorak. The user can toggle between the two styles using a simple switch.

Pros

  • Dvorak and QWERTY
  • Toggle switch between the two formats
  • Two USB ports

Cons

  • Very plain design
  • No backlighting

iKBC New Poker II Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry MX Brown/Black Case)
  • Cherry MX Brown switches, a good blend of typing and gaming, the switches are widely considered to be the best...
  • True 60% mechanical keyboard, ANSI layout with real-time macro programming & quick access to media keys.
  • 3 programmable layers and 4 Built-in layouts, Qwerty, Colemak, Dvorak & Workman. The new Poker II is equipped with...

Features 

Key features of this product include the use of the Cherry MX black switch, alongside PBT caps, macro programming, a 6 DIP switch, and is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems.


It features 3 programmable layers, and 4 built-in layouts including QWERTY, Dvorak, Colemak, and Workman. The keyboard is fully programmable via the hardware, without the necessity of using the software.


It also has the added benefit of 6 DIP switches to provide for extended and easy customization, furthered by a USB Type C connector, which is detachable and braided.

Overall Value 

The overall value of the iKBC New Poker II is high because this keyboard is mechanical in its switching mode and highly convenient. The keys used are high in quality, and the overall customizability of this item is also high. While the price is high-end at around $110, the minimalist design does have its appeal.

Pros

  • Cherry MX black keys
  • Hardware-based switching
  • Minimalist appeal to the design

Cons

  • Non-ergonomic design
  • Relatively pricey
  • No back-lighting

Cooler Master MasterKeys S PBT- Tenkeyless Gaming Mechanical Keyboard,...
  • Cherry MX Blue (Low Tactile+Click) with 4 Green (Firm Tactile+Click) Switches on ESC, CAPS LK, SPACE BAR, FN KEYS. Good...
  • Thick 1.5mm PBT Keycaps for Durability - No wear and tear due to your sweaty fingers
  • Easy Switchable OS and Key Layouts - Switch from Windows, Mac, QWERTY, Dvorak, and Workman with simple shortcuts

Features 

Key features of this product include gaming mechanical keyboard switches, Cherry MX brown switches, and 1.5mm PBT keycaps. The Cherry MX brown switches are good for 50 million keystrokes, with the keycaps used made for durability. This means there is no wear and tear from sweaty fingers due to busy working or gaming. 


This Cooler Master keyboard also features a variety of OS and key layouts, spanning Windows, Mac, QWERTY, Dvorak, and Workman, as well as customizable shortcuts. Settings can be adjusted on the fly as well, allowing for changes in macros, repeat rates, and other settings with a tap.

Overall Value 

The overall value of the Cooler Master MasterKeys S PBT is moderate given its $80 price and relatively unrefined appearance. There is no backlighting, and switching between QWERTY, Dvorak, and other systems must be done via software, detracting from the convenience of the product.

Pros

  • Multiple layouts available, including Dvorak
  • 6-Key and N-Key rollover for precisio
  • Easily switchable key layouts and OS

Cons

  • Non-ergonomic design
  • No backlighting

iKBC PBT Backlit Doubleshot Mechancial Keyboard Keycap Set for...
  • 108 Doubleshot Backlit PBT Keycaps
  • Doubleshot legends for crystal clear shine through & never fading away legends
  • Covers all standard layouts (60%, Tenkeyless & Full Size)

Features 

The iKBC F87 RGB TKL mechanical keyboard is both reliable and consistent in performance, with mechanical key switches in Cherry MX. Cherry MX ensures the system for up to 50 million operations, meaning the keyboard provides us with reliable consistency. 


This keyboard features three built-in, preset layouts: QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak. Further, you can adjust the delays between keystrokes through the use of key bindings without having to apply any software action or code.


This particular model is designed for the professional writer and the gamer alike, with its high level of customizability adding marked value.

Overall Value 

The overall value of the iKBC F87 is quite high, as it features a technologically advanced, back-lit keyboard with three different modes. 

Pros

  • Colorful backlighting
  • Customizable keys and backlighting for each key
  • Highly reliable

Cons

  • Might be too bright for some
  • Non-ergonomic design

Kinesis Advantage2 QD Ergonomic Keyboard for Dvorak Typists (KB600QD)
  • CONTOURED ERGONOMIC SHAPE PROVEN TO INCREASE COMFORT AND PRODUCTIVITY: Patented design features split keywells with...
  • GENUINE CHERRY MECHANICAL SWITCHES FOR PREMIUM TYPING FEEL AND PERFORMANCE : Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches feature...
  • FULL ONBOARD PROGRAMMABILITY WITH THE DRIVERLESS SMARTSET ENGINE: custom layouts in QWERTY OR Dvorak, on-the-fly macro...

Features 

Key features of this product include a variety of operating system compatibility options, plus a generic HID driver providing for a unique operating system. 


It features unlimited "road mapping" to create dozens of custom QWERTY and Dvorak keyboards/configurations that will work within either a Windows or Mac environment.

Overall Value 

Given the price, the overall value of this particular keyboard is moderate. However, the huge level of customization balances this shortcoming out substantially for the ambitious or highly specialized user. 

Pros

  • Extremely customizable
  • Features Cherry MX brown keys
  • Keys have tactile, mechanical peak force of 55 grams

Cons

  • Highly specialized
  • High price

HRH Dvorak Language Silicone Keyboard Cover Skin for MacBook New Pro...
  • 1)The Dvorak keyboards are printed on the keyboard cover, Silicone skin made it easier for typing.
  • 2)(Both EU and US Layout) Precisely Fit keyboard of Macbook Pro 13/15 inch with Touch Bar (Apple Model Number...
  • 3)ATTENTION: Buy One Will Get Two pcs.Another one free gift cover is HRH Customized,not same as your order one but...

Features 

Key features of this product include a silicone keyboard cover we placed over our MacBook keyboard to provide us with visibility of the Dvorak-configured keys. 


This is not a functional, separate keyboard like some other Dvorak keyboards reviewed here, but rather it is something that one must already have the appropriate model MacBook to use.


It has both European and American key layouts, and it is available in a variety of colors and decal strippings.

Overall Value 

The overall value of this solution among Dvorak keyboards is high and makes your MacBook keyboard a teaching device to better learn the Dvorak technique. 


The MacBook has the ability to program keys through the use of the software, and thus this item is valuable as you develop the new, different typing technique.

Pros

  • Simple to attach to your MacBook keyboard
  • A number of languages to choose from
  • Colorful

Cons

  • Not a keyboard!
  • Only works for specific MacBook models

DVORAK SIMPLIFIED KEYBOARD STICKERS WITH YELLOW LETTERING TRANSPARENT...
  • The Best GIFT for any occasion
  • High-quality stickers for different keyboards Desktop, Laptop and Notebook
  • The Dvorak layout is spread onto transparent - matt sticker, with yellow color.

Features 

Features of this product are not particularly extensive, as the product consists of simply stickers that you attach to your own keyboard to help train yourself in the Dvorak typing method. 


The stickers attach individually to the keys, and due to this, there is potential for mistakes, which can throw off your training or force you to replace stickers

Overall Value 

The overall value of this particular product is low. The stickers must be placed individually on your keys. This process can take an extensive amount of time and be cumbersome.

Pros

  • Uses your pre-existing keyboard
  • Properly placed, stickers help you train in the Dvorak layout
  • Multiple colors available

Cons

  • Just stickers to attach to keys yourself
  • Can take a decent amount of time to install

 Dvorak Keyboard FAQ

Following is a brief rundown of the essential information anyone should know before making a purchasing decision on a Dvorak keyboard.

1. What Is a QWERTY Keyboard?

  • Before presenting the key data on the Dvorak keyboard and options available if you choose to try one, we must first know what QWERTY is. The QWERTY keyboard format that most people use today was developed to improve upon the efficiency of typed writing. 

Early typewriter designs experimented with letter placement, at first placing the keys in alphabetical order. In time, they would find that a different format was superior: QWERTY. The QWERTY configuration was designed to optimize the speed of typing by intelligently placing the keys in the most efficient manner possible.

2. What Is a Dvorak keyboard?

The Dvorak keyboard features a unique layout. It expands upon the QWERTY layout's intent through further research on practical typing. 

Through a decade of research on the frequency and sequencing of letters in the English language, a new keyboard layout was developed. This new layout has been designed to make the typing of English language words even more efficient than with QWERTY.

3. What Differentiates a Dvorak Keyboard?

QWERTY is named as such because the beginning of the letter keys beneath the numbers in the upper left-hand corner of the keyboard begins with “QWERTY”. In the instance of the

Dvorak keyboard, the upper-leftmost letters we encounter first, after a few symbol keys,  are ”PYF”. The remaining letters are also organized in an entirely different manner than on a QWERTY board.

4. Will I Be Able to Use a Dvorak Keyboard?

Using a Dvorak keyboard can improve upon the efficiency of our typing. However, this happens only after we’ve put in the necessary time to learn how to type effectively and quickly on it. 

As with QWERTY, learning how to use a Dvorak keyboard takes some time and training. It requires learning the different format thoroughly enough to realize those improvements in efficiency.

Where Can I Purchase Dvorak Keyboards?

Dvorak keyboards can be purchased from a variety of retailers online but their limited popularity makes them a hard find in common retail electronics stores. The Internet, however, presents a wide variety of options from which to choose, and we present our top choices below.

The Verdict

There are numerous Dvorak keyboards from which to choose on the market. Each of these Dvorak keyboards has its own unique presentation and functionality, and so it is up to the user to consider the features that they most prefer and desire. 

Some keyboards we reviewed are particularly tailored to producing more effective typing; others are designed primarily to boost gaming flexibility. The capacity to assign keys and create keystroke combinations that are programmable on the fly make some of these keyboards more effective for gaming needs than others. 

Of the many models reviewed, the iKBC New Poker II is the best option available in our view, as it costs just $110 and has great functionality.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here