Cherry G80-5000 Review
The Cherry G80-5000 keyboard was a mechanical keyboard the features split keyboard design for ergonomics. It may even be the first mechanical keyboard that not only features the split design (as Lexmark M15 did) but also allows the keyboard to be raised into the shape of a tent in which uTron keyboard has similar approach to.
Pro First for Cherry to feature a keyboard with Cherry MX Brown
The Cherry MX Brown switch like virtually every other MX switch by Cherry are either a love or hate affair.
Cherry MX Brown is notably light to touch and therefore would also suit those whom may not have "heavy fingers" and/or potentially those whom may already have RSI (short for: Repetitive Strain Injury).
The latter variants of the G80-5000 however also comes with Cherry MX super blacks for windows keys and the context menu keys. Note that this is only for those three keys, not all the keys are fitted with Cherry MX super blacks.
Pro Window and contexts keys are in a separate "cluster"
Unlike regular keyboard layouts whereby the window and context keys share the same row and space as most of the other modifiers such as Control, Alt and Spacebar. On the latter versions of the G80-5000 these keys are placed on the far left of the keyboard as to prevent any accidental presses.
Pro Split ergonomic design
The keyboard could be used either normally as a regular standard keyboard, or the keyboard be split apart (to prevent pressing the wrong keys with the wrong fingers for instance), or even be raised up as to not require one to have their palms resting on a much lower space. This basically gives one the advantage in possibly not "overstrain" their limbs when using the keyboard as well as encouraging the correct posture for typing.
Pro Spacebars are extendable
For people with large hands whom may find once the keyboard is split and/or raised can extend the spacebars simply by either pulling it or pushing it to desired length (or all the way if need be).
Pro Numpad option available
Cherry G80-5000 can be paired up with Cherry G80-5700 via the extra connector on the back of the Cherry G80-5000. This enables numeric entries for those that requires and/or cannot live without it.
There has been rumours that G80-3700 can be made compatible with G80-5000 however by connecting in a different form than how G80-5700 is to be connected.
Con Numpad usually not included
Most of the time if and when one sources a (usually) cheaper G80-5000 they may find that it lacks a numpad. The numpad as mentioned is detachable and maybe only offered to new owners (at the time) as an option whether to purchase it or not. Therefore to source G80-5000 with G80-5700 is much harder and potentially more expensive.
Con Doubleshot ABS keycaps
This has been the long running tradition of Cherry. Whilst certain designs may receive dye sublimated keycaps (which would last much longer) the doubleshot is the standard fare.
ABS keycaps are known to be notriously cheap as the plastic is used amongst dozens of other products ranging from automotive applications to food containers. ABS plastics are subject to becoming shiny over time as well as yellowing which maybe the result of being subjected to too much ultraviolet light over time. As such they require more care and maintenance.
Dye sublimated keycap variants of the Cherry keyboards (factory made) are both rare and expensive. There has been no known dye sublimated variant of the G80-5000.
The keyboard feels fragile, notably with the plastic slider that allows one to adjust the angle of the split (ranging from how wide to how narrow). There was a prototype variant made with a more sturdier metallic design however only one has been sighted so far in the wild.
Cherry has already ceased manufacturing G80-5000 before the new millennium (year 2000). As such it is hard to source the keyboard as easily.
Sourcing the keyboard with the numpad is even more rare along with sourcing the numpad alone for the keyboard. One maybe able to source the Cherry G80-3700 as a replacement, it is inevitable otherwise hard to source Cherry G80-5700.
Con Restrictive role for the thumbs alone
The keyboard does boast many cool features of what an ergonomic keyboard should be however, some of the features are still reminescent of a traditional keyboard. On the traditional keyboards the thumbs are mainly used for hitting the spacebar when touch typing. However there has been many ergonomic designs (mostly later when Cherry stopped making this particular model) that gives the thumb more roles rather than simply hitting the spacebar alone. Examples of these are ErgoDox.