When comparing CODE Keyboard vs ErgoDox, the Slant community recommends CODE Keyboard for most people. In the question“What are the best keyboards for programming?” CODE Keyboard is ranked 1st while ErgoDox is ranked 12th. The most important reason people chose CODE Keyboard is:
The CODE keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, regarded as top-quality switches. They have impressive levels of durability and consistently pass, with high marks, all the performance tests they are subjected to. There are 4 kinds to choose from: Blue, Brown, Green or Clear. The MX Blues are the most common kind. They are responsive, but soft, and quite noisy. The MX Browns feel similar to the Blues, but slightly less noisy. The MX Greens are often described as heavy Blue switches. They still make the click sound and offer tactile feedback, however the activation force is 80g (for the Blue switches, it's 50g). The MX Clear switches have medium stiffness and a tactile response but are non-clicky (similar to Brown switches but heavier and with a greater tactile feedback). It's characteristics make it fantastic for general typing in office environments.
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Pro Available with 4 different kinds of Cherry MX switches
The CODE keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, regarded as top-quality switches. They have impressive levels of durability and consistently pass, with high marks, all the performance tests they are subjected to.
There are 4 kinds to choose from: Blue, Brown, Green or Clear. The MX Blues are the most common kind. They are responsive, but soft, and quite noisy. The MX Browns feel similar to the Blues, but slightly less noisy. The MX Greens are often described as heavy Blue switches. They still make the click sound and offer tactile feedback, however the activation force is 80g (for the Blue switches, it's 50g). The MX Clear switches have medium stiffness and a tactile response but are non-clicky (similar to Brown switches but heavier and with a greater tactile feedback). It's characteristics make it fantastic for general typing in office environments.
Pro Full white backlighting
The CODE keyboard comes with backlighting that feels similar to the one found on Apple products. You can pick from seven brightness levels and the onboard memory saves your lighting preferences. They also have gone to a lot of trouble getting the backlighting even by painting the backplate white and positioning the key symbols just right.
Pro Solid construction
This keyboard is built solidly, using sturdy parts made of robust materials. It's mounted on a solid steel backplate, weighs over 2 pounds and has a dual layer PCB board. In this aspect, it’s comparable to other keyboards renowned for their build quality, such as those from the Ducky series.
Pro Minimalistic design
The CODE keyboard has a textured finish that resists fingerprints and scratches. It has no stickers or logos and the back-lighting is very clean and elegant.
Pro Removable/replaceable USB cable
Many keyboards come with a permanently attached cable, meaning that if it gets damaged, you need to get it fixed or replace the whole board. CODE keyboards come with removable cables, which means they're easy to replace if broken. This also has the added benefit of allowing for more customization options: braided cables, different coloured cables, or longer/shorter cables for different setups without having excess cables hanging around.
Pro Available with or without a numeric keypad
Users can choose between versions that have and don't have a numeric keypad.
Pro Highly configurable
DIP-switches on the back of the keyboard can be used to disable the Windows key, switch Caps Lock with Ctrl, swap Alt with Command (if you're on macOS), and change to QWERTY, Dvorak, or Colemak layouts.
Pro Saves time with complex key combos
Key combos can be configured, supporting combinations of up to six keys. However, Ctrl, Alt and Shift don't count to this total. As a result, using these keys actually increases the combo key limit to nine.
Pro Consistent design
FN labels are on the front of the keycaps (i.e. media labels). This improves the user experience.
A consistent design is an outstanding aspect in this keyboard.
Pro Media control
Even though there aren't any dedicated media keys, the navigation cluster has secondary media control functions. To access these functions, the keys should be pressed in combination with the Fn key.
Pro Very portable
This keyboard’s detachable cable, dimensions, and weight make it extremely easy to carry around.
Pro Ultimate customizability
You can map any key to any position easily using a simple GUI, including making hardware key layers. And, since the firmware is open source, you can modify it to do anything you want. Many of the hardware components can also be altered/replaced by equivalent parts.
Pro Split design lets you optimize positioning
You can arrange each side of the keyboard to match your hand positions. Helps keep your body straight and improve your posture.
Pro Open source
The ErgoDox has an open design, so if you want to modify anything at all, you can fork the Github repository.
Pro More actions for the thumb
Unlike other keyboards, like the Lexmark M15 and Cherry G80-5000, where the only action performable by the thumbs is punching the spacebar, ErgoDox has extra keys placed near the spacebar, within thumb reach. This prevents the thumbs from being a bit redundant.
Pro Many easily accessible keys for touch typists
There are more keys which are easily accessible for touch typists than on common keyboards.
Pro Comfortable for those with broad shoulders and large hands
Because of its split design, the ErgoDox lets you optimize the positioning of its halves according to what's best for your body shape, even if you have broad shoulders and large hands.
Pro Key rows are aligned
Almost all the keyboards have a small row offset (for example, on a standard QWERTY keyboard, the A key is not directly below the Q key. On the ErgoDox, this isn't the case: keys form straight columns. Together with the movability of the two parts you can stretch your fingers straight on, not slightly sidewards. This helps with touch typing, since you just need to stretch your fingers straight onward to reach the key above, rather than stretching it onwards and sideways.
Pro Customization settings saved on the keyboard
With most programmable keyboards, you have to use their software in order to save and reuse your customizations. Using such keyboards on other systems "degrades" them to their default setting. Since with the ErgoDox the settings are saved directly on the keyboard, no matter the system where you're using it, your macros, tap dances and layers are always available.
Pro Firmware updates
Because of the nature of ErgoDox, within an open source community, there are advancements in firmware being made continuously.
Pro Split design forces correct hand position
The Ergodox doesn't allow you to reach over the centerline to hit T and H with a single finger, or whatever other bad habits you might have. The split design forces you to keep your hands in the right position.
Pro ErgoDox EZ offers a 2-year warranty
The pre-assembled version offers an extensive 2-year warranty, provided you haven't taken it apart or physically broken it.
Compared to alternatives which offer RGB lighting, USB passthrough or other features, this keyboard is pretty expensive.
Con Lacks numpad
This is a tenkeyless keyboard which means that it doesn't have the numpad.
Con Too small for some, particularly those with big hands
This keyboard's small size may prove difficult for some people to get accustomed to.
Con Sculpted keys make switching to Dvorak difficult
Dvorak is a keyboard layout that's an alternative to the commonly used QWERTY layout. While QWERTY was designed in the early days of typing, Dvorak is a more comfortable, modern layout which is technically superior. It is designed to have more flow than QWERTY, where the left hand does most of the work. Here, keys are strategically placed to spread the typing out more evenly. This creates better flow (left hand types a letter, then the right hand, then back to left and so on). In this keyboad, the keycaps are sculpted for the QWERTY layout, which means that, when you switch the keys around, each of the keys is at a slightly different angle than the one next to it.
Con Spare parts and keycap sets can only be obtained from third parties
The manufacturer doesn’t sell spare parts or keycap sets, so if users want to change the layout, they have to get these components from a third party.
Con It's hard to source the MX Clear version
The version of the CODE keyboard that comes with the MX Clear switches is constantly out of stock.
Con No wireless connection
CODE keyboards connect via USB. No Bluetooth or any other form of wireless connection is available.
Con Needs to be assembled
This can be fun, but some people just want a working keyboard without having to spend three hours with a soldering iron. It's tricky to find pre-assembled ErgoDoxes, and they're not mass-produced. It is also possible to commission an enthusiast to build one up as well. Some Massdrops of the ErgoDox kit did came with an option allowing one to choose whether to have it pre-made or not.
However, you can order and ErgoDox EZ preassembled here.
Getting a complete kit from Massdrop costs about $400. Sourcing each part individually ends up a bit under $200.
Con Tends to move around during use
Due to its split structure and lack of sturdiness, it tends to move during use.
Con Difficult to source individual components
You have to either source the individual components and build it yourself or wait for a Massdrop group purchase.
However, you can order it preassembled here.
Con Hard to use with small hands
Because of its size, it's hard to use for those who have small hands.