I have made a mistake. I bought a keyboard without a standard layout in the bottom row. Often, it is not easy to admit making a mistake, but in this instance it is well worth sharing the experience because I hope it will save our dear readers time and money. Mostly money. Plus, this guide will save you a lot of frustration and emotional anguish.
You see, I have recently discovered mechanical keyboards. And they are indeed as wonderful as a budding teenage romance. But teenage romances all involve some level of awkward fumbling around, and when it comes to mechanical keyboards, fumbling means buying non-standard key layouts. Fumbling is bad, you know.
You see, I promised to myself that when I purchased my first mechanical keyboard that it did not matter an iota that it had a non-standard layout along the bottom row. Why would I want to change the key caps over and modify things? I mean, they’re just the things you press. Then I discovered there were different profiles. And colours. And that Corsair’s standard keycaps were actually pretty low quality. Seriously, they’re not very good.
Well, imagine what that realisation means now. Because of that non-standard bottom row, my options are now limited or far more expensive when it comes to changing things up. Either it will cost me a lot to find the right keys, or any modification will have to have the complete set in one hit. So you ask, how does one know whether a keyboard has a standard row without measuring every single key? Simple.
It has to do with the keys either side of the space bar. If the three keys to the left of the space bar and the four on the right hand side of the space bar are of equal width, then it is a standard layout! Now you can buy any set of keycaps and customise your board. Go forth, dear readers and have fun with your keyboards.