ISO ergonomic keyboard with USB ports
August 13, 2019 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Are there ergonomic keyboards that have extra USB ports?

I'm specifically looking for keyboards that double as a USB hub so I can plug in a security key and be able to tap it without removing my hands from the keyboard. Currently I have a MS Ergo 4000 keyboard, which I've been using for nearly 20 years, so I prefer that kind of split design.

I know there are a million alternative ways to get a USB port on my desk (add a cable! use a port on my monitor! Get a dedicated hub! etc, etc) but I'm specifically curious what options exist for keyboards with integrated ports. This is nearly impossible to search for on Google because it assumes I mean "keyboard with a USB connection," which is basically all keyboards in 2019.
posted by rouftop to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All I know is that the Kinesis Advantage used to have this and the Kinesis Advantage2 doesn't. Kinesis says the built-in hub created lots of configurations where nothing worked and they didn't want to deal with this anymore. Just might explain why you are seeing this option less than you used to. I feel your pain because the port on the old Advantage was super useful.
posted by grouse at 10:54 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]

I don't know of any current layouts that do this. I've been trolling eBay for good condition used Microsoft Natural Pro keyboards (the ones with the full sized arrow keys and a PS/2 and USB adapter on the cord) for this reason.

As far as I was concerned, the Natural Pro was the perfect design. I wish they would keep producing it exactly as-was.
posted by jzb at 11:16 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]

Look for "keyboard USB hub" and see if any of those look workable. I think some of the big mechanical gaming keyboards have ports, but not sure which brands.
posted by Ecgtheow at 11:18 AM on August 13

This is more adjustable (being a real split design) than a Kinesis Advantage or the MS Natural boards but it does offer a USB 2.0 hub: Matias ErgoPro. Their straight boards have been pretty highly regarded since before this latest wave of "gotta have the clicky" keyboards, especially in the Mac community (since they've typically had the integrated USB ports - handy for wired Apple mice, with their short cables - and Mac layouts or at least the option for them). They are not cheap but they are the kind of keyboard you won't need to replace because it failed for a long time.
posted by mrg at 11:25 AM on August 13

They are not cheap but they are the kind of keyboard you won't need to replace because it failed for a long time.

Assuming you get a good one to begin with, I guess? I ordered one in 2017 and had to return it because the "-" key was dead. I tested it against several different computers, and no dice. A number of reviews on Amazon reported the same thing. Pity because I liked the feel and layout.
posted by jzb at 11:31 AM on August 13

Yep, the Matias ErgoPro would be the obvious choice, but they really made a mess with quality control on that one; I too had one and it failed a couple months after the warranty expired. Unless they've really gotten their manufacturing act together since then, I'd avoid that model.
posted by doctorpiorno at 7:01 AM on August 15

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