The Ergonomics of Keyboards, Keypads and Computer Displays

The Ergonomics of Keyboards, Keypads and Computer Displays

August 3, 2017

In Part 3 of our series, you'll see the different input devices I've experimented with and the computer displays I'm using... with eye toward ergonomics.


Ergonomics Part 3: Selecting Gaming Keypads, Keyboards, and Computer Displays

In part 1 of this series, we talked about the ergonomics of your editing or color correction desk. In part 2 of this series, we talked about wiring and presenting your desk in a neat, professional manner. I’m going to wrap up this series by talking about the ergonomics of keyboards and other peripherals. Specifically, we’ll be looking at the Logitec G13 and Razer Chroma Orbweaver gaming keypads (click their links for my overviews of those two devices, here on Mixing Light) plus several keyboards I’ve tested out over the past few months and the computer displays I’m using for my external scopes and desktop.

I’ll be talking about all of these devices in the context of trying to build as ergonomic a room as possible. For instance, when selecting a computer display you’ll see why I put lots of emphasis on the ‘swivel factor’ and why I might choose a different display, in the future. You’ll also learn why I’ve decided to ditch one keyboard that’s my all-time favorite to type with.

Links to the products I reference in this Insight:

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Homepage Forums The Ergonomics of Keyboards, Keypads and Computer Displays

  • tnx for the vertical scopebox tip. Saw it on one of year earlier movies and immediately tried it. Its freaking perfect. Why did i never think of it. Fits nice between my grading mon and my left studio monitor speaker.



    Great series. Useful explanation of your choice of the Orb … great practical decision. Think I’ll try one. I’ve also been through like 5 keyboards in the last three months. For general typing, I still need the Microsoft Wireless Sculpt for my wrists … but as you note about most full-size boards, it puts my vertical mouse in the right hand and either Wacom tab or whatever else on my left side too far out for heavy work, and my old shoulders don’t like that any more than yours.

    I’ve had to “split level” my controls with my current old-style desk, with the keyboard/mouse in the drawer with the entire DESK jacked to the right height to get the keyboard correct for sitting properly in my chair. I found the Wacom pad needed to be 1.5 inches up from the drawer height for ease on wrist, elbow, & shoulder, so there’s a flat 2×6 section under it.

    But my Elements had to sit on the very front edge of the main desktop. So I needed it angled and also wanted to be able to move it out if I wanted, and the way that ships, you have to take it all apart to move … what a pain. So I cut a piece of 1/4″ ply that fits under the back stands, and is narrow enough the near-side of the panel “falls off” so it’s basically on the desktop, and mounted the panel to the ply with zip ties through holes in the ply and over the back brackets … but this allows me to move that forward from the actual edge into a better position. I’ve found since I did that the slight tipping seems to alleviate most of the problems I had with it being a bit higher than I’d like. I get some time on that daily … but … if I were spending the hours you do, it probably wouldn’t be a usable solution.

    Will be interested in Gear-Man Robbie showing & explaining his. Oh … how close can you match the HP Envy’s to your Flanders?


  • Patrick Inhofer

    I haven’t tried to match the HP to the FSI. In fact, I keep it dimmed a bit more than I need, just so you can’t mistake the Envy for being preferable to the FSI. At some point, just for the experience, I’ll do a proper calibration and match to the FSI – but more so I can share here on Mixing Light.

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Terrific, right? A great way of running software scopes.

  • I’m so addicted to using printer light keys I could never live without the number pad.

    I think your arms would be more comfortable with a more squared up desk.
    They are much deeper and allow you rest your elbows on the desk.
    I really love mine from the company below.

  • Patrick Inhofer

    I’ve mapped Printer Lights to Layer 3 of my gaming keypad. Works great… except I have to remember to jump out of Layer 3 back to my default Layer 1.

    RE: Squared up desk – Hmmm… maybe. But it’s a problem I’ve had on all my desks for years. It’s a width thing, for me.


    Good idea actually … one way to keep clients from comparing screen to screen and going “make it like dat one!” … ?

  • Patrick thanks a lot for this series, it is unique in its genre and I found it so useful.
    Just a question: What model of webcam is that on the top of your FSI?


  • Patrick Inhofer

    It’s the Logitech C922x. Similar to the one that Robbie reviews in this Insight:

    It’s pretty good. I’m just having trouble deciding where I like to place it. I’m probably going to move it to the main GUI display, since that’s where I tend to be looking when using it. I decided to step up from the one that Robbie talked about to get the full 1080p version since I’m considering using it as a recording source in some upcoming training.

  • Robbie Carman

    The 920 I have is full 1080p. The 922 replaces the 920 in their line up. You can still get the 920 but only until it’s sold thru. There are some improvements like he 922 supports frame rates upto 60fps where he 920 is 30fps.

    Additionally they have bundled a streaming suite of software in with the 922. Other than that they are pretty much the same camera.

    Get the 922 if your buying today.


    I’ve been listening to y’all talk about having your computers in another room, Lamenting I really had no place to do so … and then realized yesterday there’s a stair-well on the other side of the wall where my computer is … and the bottom of it is a little storage area … so cords are on their way, soon my computer will be on the other side of the wall. No high-frequency hissing, and … when recording voice-overs, I won’t have to clean out the computer sound. Looking forward to joining the “group”. Now … how to get the budget for Patrick or Joey’s desks … 😉

    This has been an incredibly helpful and inspiring series … besides incredibly practical!


  • Patrick Inhofer

    Thanks Neil. I wasn’t sure if this series was going too much into the weeds. Glad to hear you found it useful!

  • Thanks Patrick, Loved the ergonomic series..!
    I had a question regarding the HP screens… Do you think text/menus in resolve (et al) is optimised for such pixel density? I find that I have to run my LG 31mu in a ‘scaled’ mode so text isn’t so minuscule. Just wondering if you’re running yours in any kind of scaled mode… and if not, how do you find menus/text in UHD on a 27″ screen?

    Also, would love an update on your new pc and how that’s been going for you..?

    As always, thanks Mixing Light..!

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Danny – I’m doing exactly the same thing, running Windows in scaled mode, since the Resolve UI is unusable at the display’s native UHD size.

    The new PC is working GREAT! I wouldn’t go back to my old MacPro – this PC is just too powerful and I barely have to use the render cache anymore. It’s so nice to be able to focus 90% of my energy on the image and not have to relegate 30% of my brain to managing real-time playback.

    And Windows 10 is actually pretty good. There are very few behaviors from the Mac that I miss on Windows. Plus, Windows allows much more granular control of the OS than Mac – so if you want to really control things, you can.

  • Jay Smith

    I fell down the mech keyboard rabbit hole, ended up with a cooler master Masterkeys M (no numpad) and some dsa keycaps. Although right after I set it up I also changed the config of my intuos med so that the keyboard is above the tablet, and now I miss the numpad! For our colour/finishing suite I have to just live with a mouse toavoid having a billion things taking up the desk space, but I’ve briefly tried a vertical mouse and it seems like a good middle ground between mouse and tablet.

    Loving the propped up Elements, I found some black rubber feet that lift it up nicely and it really helps the wrist strain.

    Any chance you want to share some of your gaming pad shortcuts?

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