Most people are used to a traditional keyboard with all the letters of the alphabet laid out in a row. The Planck keyboard is different. It has just 47 keys, which makes it much smaller and more portable than a traditional keyboard. The Planck keyboard was created for people who want a small, minimalist keyboard without a lot of extraneous features. It has a very simple design and is perfect for people who want to focus on typing without any distractions. But What is a Planck keyboard? Does that mean it’s less efficient? Where can you get one? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Planck Keyboard
A Planck keyboard is a type of keyboard that is designed to be as small as possible. It has a very minimalist design, with few keys and a small form factor. This makes it ideal for use in situations where space is limited, such as on a desk or in a backpack. The Planck keyboard is a special type of keyboard, invented by Jack Humbert, that uses orthogonal linear key cells (as opposed to the standard interlaced key layout found on 99% of other keyboards) and a 40% layout. Planck keyboards are usually purchased as build-your-own kits.
Despite its small size, the Planck keyboard is surprisingly versatile. It can be used for both typing and programming, making it a popular choice for coders and developers. Additionally, it has been praised for its comfortable and intuitive design, which makes it easy to use even for beginners.
Overall, the Planck keyboard is a great choice for anyone who needs a compact and versatile keyboard. Its small size makes it perfect for travel, and its intuitive design makes it easy to use for both beginners and experts.
What are the Benefits of Using a Planck Keyboard
The Planck keyboard is a small, minimalist keyboard that has been designed for use with programming and coding. Its small size and simple design make it perfect for use in cramped spaces, and its low price tag makes it a cost-effective option for those who want a high-quality keyboard without spending a lot of money.
The Planck keyboard’s low profile also makes it ideal for use with laptops. Unlike traditional keyboards, which can take up a lot of space on a laptop, the Planck keyboard can be easily attached to the side of the screen when not in use, saving you valuable desk space.
Planck EZ 40% Keyboard Review
Current price: $180 (standard), $195 (Glow)
Key switch: Cherry MX Brown/Blue, Kailh Gold/Thick gold, silver, copper
Layout: Compact, 47 key, straight line, QWERTY
Backlight: RGB per key (optional)
Keyboard keycap: Tai-Hao, Double Shot
Programmable: Yes, firmware-level programming (multiple layers of support)
Open Source: Yes
Cable :USB-C to USB-C(including Type-C to Type-A adapter), 80cm
Additional features: Built-in sound chip to make your keyboard a music keyboard
The Planck EZ 40% keyboard is a great little keyboard that is perfect for those looking for a compact, minimalist option. Its small size makes it easy to take with you on the go, and its low profile design ensures that it takes up minimal space on your desk. The Planck EZ 40% also features a built-in trackpad, which makes it a convenient all-in-one input device.
The Planck EZ 40% keyboard has a soft, responsive feel that makes typing a pleasure. The backlight is also a nice touch and ensures that you can use the keyboard even in low-light conditions. Overall, the Planck EZ 40% is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, minimalist keyboard.
The keyboard is extremely light, which may lead some to question its overall quality. Its boards are identical from top to bottom and from left to right. There is no bottom bumper, the keyboard is tilted at an Angle, and there are no keys at all, resulting in an asymmetrical board. Each keycap is a unified profile that allows you to move keys around the keyboard without worrying about irregularly shaped keys ruining your haptic workflow.
The only notable symmetry break is the USB-C port placement. Planck only connects via USB-C, with a short USB-C/USB-C cable in the box. Some people may not have an open USB-C port on their computer or prefer the Bluetooth option, so the Planck EZ will not be an option.
The keys are made of PBT plastic, include a dual-lens legend made specifically for Planck, and are located directly above the RGB lights for maximum color effect. The QMK key itself is a landscape, as is the custom raise and lower key to get your programmable layer. While the white keycap may get dirty over time, its keycap feels great and solid.
With the exception of the space bar, the stabilizers are sturdy. The space bar is stable. That’s good. But it’s oddly easy to remove the space bar — just tap up and it pops up. As for the key switch options, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a keyboard with more switch options than the Planck EZ. This keyboard doesn’t have a right shift key. There’s also an irregularly sized space bar, horizontal arrow pad layout, and misaligned Escape and Tab keys. These functions are hidden behind the up and down-layer keys next to the space bar.
OLKB Planck Keyboard Review
Every switch is fully programmable
40% size — comfortable but portable
Available as a kit or fully assembled
Foundation for custom keyboards
The OLKB Planck is a very compact board, 40% the size, that fits in your pocket but still offers functionality and quality. Planck provides a lot of customizability, including multiple layout options, 5-pin hot-swap, and many case-case options.
This board has a solid aluminum construction that will look great on your desk and travel. The disadvantage of being extremely compact also makes it difficult to get used to. Also, if you can get used to it there is no height adjustment or swing stabilizer.
The case looks and feels great, with a super clean design. Planck is made of a fairly thick aluminum shell with an aluminum top plate. This build makes the board feel very sturdy and provides confidence in the product. There is no Angle or flip of the foot case, which means you will be typing flat. This is unfortunate, and if you like to type at an Angle, you may find it uncomfortable.
The top keycap is slightly rough, compared to the regular ABS keycap which is very smooth. Keycaps are OEM profiles and are carved. This configuration file is good because if you’ve used a mechanical keyboard in the past, you’re probably used to this layout. The modified keys in this group have different fonts and interesting legends than most OEM keycaps. Unlike regular designs with legends on the left, these keycaps have a centered font.
Since the Planck is a keyboard kit, it is not equipped with switches. This means you need to get your own switch, but it also gives you a lot of flexibility. Many keyboard kits require you to solder switches, which can be very time-consuming, but OLKB makes hot-swapping PCBS easy.
Hot swap sockets allow you to replace switches in seconds. They are Kailh 5-pin sockets, which means the board will accept almost all switches. Even if your switch is only 3-pin, it will be compatible with the motherboard, but a 5-pin socket means you won’t have to modify the switch to fit this motherboard. The socket is facing north, which can cause interference problems if you are using an aftermarket Cherry configuration keycap.
The stabilizers are perhaps the most disappointing part of the plate. Planck comes with two 2u PCB-mounted stabilizers. This means they mount into the PCB, but you snap them into the PCB, but you don’t screw them like most PCB stabilizers. To make the stabilizers tolerable, it is recommended that you lubricate, clip and band-aid mod them. It won’t solve them completely, but it will improve them.
With Planck, you get a PCB that includes a hot-swap switch seat, a steel switch plate mount switch, and an aluminum housing ground from a piece of metal. Planck is solid. You can purchase a Planck, if you want to try something new, it’s easy to change the switch, and it can completely change the keyboard for about $30- $40. You can also customize the firmware the way you want.
Due to the flexibility of the plate, you have a variety of layouts that you can choose from the bottom row. Most of these layouts reflect what you want to do with the space bar if you want to have two Spaces instead of one. Because of the smaller size of the space bar, you might be more comfortable with two. This flexibility allows you to customize the board to your liking, and you can add more keycaps if needed since there is no second space bar.
Despite its size, I think it is much more powerful if you take advantage of all the features it has to offer. Of course, it will take you about two weeks to get used to this keyboard and retrain your brain and fingers to know where all the different keys are. This is frustrating in the short term, but the long-term gains are well worth it. Plus, creating new channels in your gray matter is a good thing! Keep your nerves active and your brain healthy! Learning new muscle memories is a great way to exercise your brain.
Where Can I Get One
While I know Planck isn’t for everyone, you may know by now if it’s piqued your interest. In this case, how do you get one? Well, there are a few answers depending on whether you want a fully assembled keyboard or if you prefer to do some light assembly.
Planck was designed by Jack Humbert, the boss of OLKB and founder of the QMK Firmware. Planck is always listed on OLKB’s website but is rarely in stock. Instead, if you want to buy a Planck, there are two main routes.
Dop.com: Drop usually has Planck as a group purchase kit that you can sign up for. Currently, you can purchase a Planck kit that includes everything you need except the switch. There are many, many places to buy key switches. You’ll have to spend at least $30 on the switch, so don’t forget to factor this into your overall budget.
You can choose to add attractive acute keyboard caps from Drop, or you can find your own from any number of retailers. Once the kit arrives, you simply follow the instructions to install the PCB and board in the case, with a few screws, then insert all the switches and the top with the key cap of your choice. It all costs about $160, depending on your switch and keycap selection.
Planck EZ: Definitely not a keyboard for “people curious about ortho keys,” but they sell their own version of the Planck keyboard. Although different from the Drop version, you get the same PCB and functionality in a full keyboard. When it shows up at your door, you unwrap it, plug in your keyboard, and immediately start typing.
If you’re not interested in choosing a case color, or key cover, and finding your own switch, this is an excellent choice. The Planck EZ comes in two colors, has some great on-off options, and also includes key backlights. These products start at $230, including shipping, but I highly recommend spending $15 more for LED backlights.
Planck keyboard is a great choice for people looking for a compact and customizable board. Although it can be difficult to get used to, the Planck offers many layout options, a 5-pin hot-swap, and sturdy construction. The top keycap is slightly rough compared to regular ABS keycaps, but the font is interesting and unique. If you’re looking for a board that you can customize to your liking, the Planck is definitely worth considering. I hope this article would be helpful to you.