Ortholinear Keyboard Kit

Hey folks! We (OLKB) are trying to plan an ortholinear keyboard kit for the Reform laptop (and standalone keyborad), and wanted to get some feedback on the layout. The form, lots of details, and images can be seen here: Ortholinear Laptop Keyboard Layouts

I’m happy to answer any questions here as well!


looks better than the default, but the one I am typing on (https://x-bows.com/) I consider another step ahead in regards to ergonomics, so I will carry that around over buying an ortholinear keyboard.

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Hi, would love a thumb cluster . More ergodox ez like


I cannot stress enough how amazing a thumb cluster would be.

An “atreus keyboard” style would be far superior in terms of ergonomics i believe. Who wants to help create a fork for this?

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That’s already being worked on to my knowledge! Ortho Keyboard Mod: that happened already, right? - #2 by technomancy

Not really - according to Ortho Keyboard Mod: that happened already, right? - #13 by technomancy technomancy waits for your (OLKB) board. So we might have some deadlock here :smiley:

On more serious note - I hope you’ll produce ortholikear keyboard. I’m interested in buying it when ready; if you have some notifications, please share.

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Jack as someone using a Planck EZ and a Moonlander, I would be very interested in this keyboard for the Reform. Would it be using Kailh brown switches as well?

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@jackhumbert I see that you were asking for people to fill out a form to help lock down those kinds of details.

So I guess my follow up question would be:
Are you seeing sufficient demand for it? Is this something you are planning on moving forward with?


Seconding @2disbetter here. Would love to hear what the poll gave in terms of results.

Also wondering how compatible the PCBs would be: is there potential to make one PCB for both standalone and integrated keyboards? That would really increase the target audience, right?

Also I’d probably opt for “bring your own switches” in that case, and a COLEVRAK layout if at all possible. But that last one is really bonus. :stuck_out_tongue:

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the standard mnt reform keyboard pcb can be built for either internal or standalone usage, so i imagine any derivatives would have the same property (unless someone went out of their way to remove it)


@jackhumbert Any update about this awesome keyboard?

@minute Will the ortholinear keyboard will be offered as an option when purchasing the Reform?

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any news on this design for those who just can’t wait ? :slight_smile:


Hey folks! Wanted to give a quick update on things - Seb got prototypes working & shipped out to me last week, and I’ve been building out some firmware features in QMK. The keyboard uses the RP2040 chip as a controller, the same Kailh PG1350/choc switches, and has RGB LEDs for each key, so the options are endless, albeit battery-draining :slight_smile: (they can all be disabled via firmware to save on battery, though). It connects via the same connectors as the OG keyboard (UART & USB), and can use the same OLED screen.

The keycaps I use here are MBK Legend Glow by FK. This is the configuration I set up when I initially built things - the number keys at the top are F keys:

Each row allows for either a 1.5u key, or two 1u keys in the center. Both configurations are separated by a little blocker that can be screwed into the PCB - the ones we have here were 3D-printed by Seb and the clear ones allow for the light from the LEDs to be passed through pretty well. Eventually I moved things around to this (my hands were too separated in the initial layout), and swapped out some of the black blockers for the clear ones:

Interestingly, the addition of the blockers in the center allow this hand-spacing to be very similar to the traditional 19mm-spacing that you might be used to on a MX-style Planck/Preonic/other ortholinear board. It also allows us to use the center LEDs as a battery meter :smiley:

Right now, it’s green if it’s being charged & yellow otherwise, and turns red as your battery is drained. The firmware is where I’ve been having the most fun - I’ve gotten most of the LPC/system control functionality ported to QMK, and have a neat setup with the “Circle” menu, where the blockers turn blue & each key that does something also turns blue - I accidentally reset things too many times during testing, and wanted to try to make it super obvious :slight_smile:

I’m also displaying the battery percentage while the keyboard is active (I don’t have the updated packages that show it via the OS installed yet), where it inverts the background on odd numbers to avoid burn-in.

Obviously all of this will be customizable in QMK, and hopefully what I’m writing will make it easier to do so. You can enter the keyboard’s DFU/bootloader mode via Circle+Q, where it turns off the LEDs and gives you this nice little message:

Flashing the firmware on the reform itself is pretty easy via the :flash command in QMK, but the RP2040’s bootloader also accepts a file copied into a /media/*/RPI-RP2 drive, and automatically resets the keyboard once it’s completed.

There’s some basic power-saving right now - everything times out and turns off after a while, but I need to do some more research & testing on how the consumption can be reduced further.

The keyboard fits in the laptop without any modifications, but if you have an early keyboard case with these vertical supports, you’ll have to file them down, as the keyswitch nibs & pins collide with them. I believe this was adjusted in later revisions (Seb’s keyboard purchased later doesn’t have them).

We’ll have all the design files & the firmware up pretty soon, but if you would be interested in purchasing a fully assembled one, fill out this form! It collects your email & country you’d like it shipped to, as both the number of folks interested & their locations may affect our plans:


Form filled out! I would really like the battery led version with additional buttons on the sides. Excellent work! Really looking forward to being able to get one. :+1:

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As a side note, with Framework’s 16 coming out, this sort of ortholinear keyboard would be perfect there. :+1:

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@jackhumbert I know this is hard to say especially with parts shortages, etc, but any idea when these kits might be available for the Reform? I’m hoping there has been enough interest to justify it.

It wasn’t completely clear from your post, but it almost seems like you could swap the the OG keyboard with this pretty easily. What that be a true statement, or is the LPC getting altered with this and not working with the OG?

I’m not planning on swapping back and forth but just curious if such a thing would be possible.

It looks like we’ll be making an order of 25 or so pretty soon - there’s a couple things we need to finish up before that, but we’ll be emailing folks that filled out the form & going from there.

it almost seems like you could swap the the OG keyboard with this pretty easily

Yeap! It’s fully physically compatible besides those posts on the early standalone cases. The firmware has nearly the same functionality of the OG keyboard - there’s a couple things I need to finish up with it for it to have full feature parity with the LPC.


Thanks! I’ll be looking for the email! Thank you for the hardwork!

hi I was wondering if there was anything new happening with this project.


I am wondering if ortholinear layout like this is really any good.

When I put a laptop on a table, and put my hands on top of it in a relaxed position they come together at about 90 degrees, meaning that for the key columns to match direction in which my fingers point they would need to be at around 45 degree angle not 0 as is shown here.

This is, however, very theoretical observation, and I did not try to build a keyboard that would look like that, much less type on one.

It also makes the keyboard construction problematic for obvious reason: the keyboard rows no longer align with the keyboard frame.