Neo Ergo Keyboard Review

keyboard by: QwertyKeys
Photos taken in House by alex

The Neo Ergo

Say hello to the newest addition in QwertyKey’s Neo lineup – the Neo Ergo keyboard. Now, if you’re not up to speed with the Neo series of keyboards, it’s the sweet spot where affordability meets accessibility, perfect for those who are just dipping their toes into the mechanical keyboard world. And the Neo Ergo? Well, it’s all about that cozy, ergonomic vibe that meets an easy-to-assemble chassis.

The Neo Ergo is a tented alice board and it aims to be the ultimate in comfort and ergonomics. In fact I am using it to type this review and it really is very comfy! Tenting, for the uninitiated, involves angling each half of the keyboard, reducing wrist strain and making for a more natural typing position. And with a lower front height towards the sides, it’s a dream combo for those long typing sessions or for anyone who’s been yearning for a custom ergo keyboard.

But hold onto your hats, because here comes the kicker – the Neo Ergo won’t just make your wrists happy, it’ll make your wallet happy too. I am so sorry, I just really needed to add this joke in here, please don’t click away. Starting at a jaw-dropping $130 USD for the plateless variant, this board is a steal. I mean, come on, that’s practically unheard of for a niche layout like this.

But enough about the price, let’s talk about what makes the Ergo tick. There’s a whole lot to unpack, so let’s jump right in and see what this bad boy has to offer.

Disclaimer: For clarity and transparency, they are letting me keep the Neo Ergo board and did sponsor my live stream impressions of the boards. This does not affect this article nor does it impact my thoughts or opinions about this board. No one had any say in how I wrote this article. All my thoughts are my own.

I also do have a few affiliate links in this page that give me a kick back and help support content like this! Thank you.

The Ergo keyboard.

All About The Board

The Neo Ergo was an absolute delight to explore. Boasting a 5-degree tent and a 7-degree typing angle, it strikes the perfect balance between ergonomic design and functionality. What’s impressive is its ability to maintain a relatively low front height on the edges, ensuring a comfortable typing experience.

There is an optional wrist rest you can pick up as well. When it comes to assembly, the Ergo pulls out all the stops. From its catch ball system to magnetic daughter boards and a robust gasket system, every detail is thoughtfully designed to make assembly a breeze. There is also a built-in force break feature, which I am finding more and more on keyboards these days which is great.

Visually speaking, the Neo Ergo is a classy board. It exudes sophistication with its sleek top frame and a subtle yet striking curve on the back. It’s the kind of board that catches your eye without being overly flashy. The best part of this is you can still visually see that piece on the back while you type on the board, so it’s not hidden away like other keyboards.

The weight on the bottom of the board adds to its premium look, and with several color options available, you’re sure to find one that suits your style. Now, I have to be honest – the badge and logo on the weight aren’t exactly my cup of tea. But hey, that’s just personal preference, and it’s easy enough to overlook since they’re not visible during use.

But let’s talk finishes. The anodized chassis and weights are top-notch. It even features a new variety of finishes with some glitter, but I haven’t seen those in person yet. It’s all about finding the perfect match for your setup, and with this board, the options are endless! There is going to be something for everyone here.

The Internals of the Ergo

There’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s start with the catch ball enclosure, a departure from the traditional screws found on other boards. This little innovation makes accessing the internals an absolute cake walk. Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the catch ball system. Some users reported that previous Neo boards had some issues with the system being too loose or too tight, but fear not – the Neo Ergo allows for user adjustment, albeit requiring a bit of disassembly. I had to make a slight tweak myself initially as it was way too tight, but it’s been smooth sailing ever since.

Now, onto the magnetic daughter board, also known as a POGO connector. This eliminates the need for the pesky JST cable often found in cases with a daughterboard. Not only does this make assembly a breeze, but it also removes a common point of frustration and potential breakage. Unlike its predecessor, the Neo80, this one is not finicky at all. It’s been rock solid throughout my time with the board, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

I did use a solderable PCB for my assembly, and if you decide to go the plateless route like I did, I strongly encourage you to go with a solderable PCB too. And speaking of the PCB, there are a few options you can pick from. Solder, hotswap, and tri-mode.

The keyboard is only gasket mounted. Which is a bit of a shift of mentality in the Neo line up. And let me tell you, I’m all for it. While I appreciate the flexibility of previous Neo keyboards in terms of build options, it often felt like there was a clear winner among the bunch, leaving the rest feeling like an afterthought.

But with the Neo Ergo, there’s only one mounting style, and it’s very well thought out. The gasket sits snugly on the PCB, and you can tell that a lot of thought went into its placement and shape. What’s really clever is how the gaskets are utilized to align the internals of the PCB, adding another layer of stability to the build. Another nice touch of the Ergo are silicone blockers found on the corners of the board. These act as a force break and help prevent damaging the board when taking it apart. Sure, these are all small details, but they go a long way to make the Ergo really stand out.

Another note is just how thoughtful the internal machining and design was down to accommodate the PCB and still maintain that front height. It’s very noteworthy and really shows you how much energy was poured into this board.

Alright, let’s talk about a couple of nitpicks I have with the board. First off, in the plateless setup, actually using the LEDs feels a bit… well, awkward. They’re undiffused, so they end up looking very harsh and they even recommend not to use them. It would’ve been great if they’d figured out a way to diffuse them, maybe tossing in some silicone stickers for us plateless enthusiasts.

Now, onto gripe number two: the diffuser for the LED indicators. It just decided to take a little stroll out of place the moment I flipped the top frame over during reassembly. Not a huge deal, but in a board that’s so meticulous about its assembly, it’s kind of weird that this piece doesn’t lock in securely. Just a couple of small hiccups in an otherwise stellar board.

Let's Wrap it Up

Let’s talk sound. In the plateless configuration, it was like music to my ears – crisp, bright, with just the right amount of bass undertone. Surprisingly, the bottom foam of the board didn’t really change the sound all that much and I didn’t feel the need for it at all. The typing experience was soft and satisfying, perfect for those who maybe feel fatigued from stiffer keyboards. I have dabled with two different switches now in the board and loved both long-pole switches and full travel. I’d recommend Cherry Nixies, any HMX switch and the switches I used on stream, Ripple switches.

Comparing the Neo Ergo to other boards in the custom world is a bit of a challenge. Sure, you’ve got the recent release of the Type-K, which is more of a premium designer board, but let’s be real – it’s like comparing apples to oranges. The Ergo stands tall as the king of value, offering a top-notch typing experience without breaking the bank.

But hey, let’s not forget that keyboards are a personal thing. What works for one person might not work for another. Some people may want to spend extra for something that looks good to them, and that’s okay. So, at the end of the day, it’s all about preference. It is a hobby after all.

Truthfully there isn’t a ton to critisize about this board, it’s very well done and I was very happy with it. This is a big win for QwertyKeys.

My verdict: In my humble opinion, the Neo Ergo stands head and shoulders above any other board Qwertykeys has produced thus far. It’s like they’ve taken all the lessons learned from their previous projects and poured them into this masterpiece of a keyboard. 

For anyone keen on tinkering with their setup, the Ergo is a dream come true. Taking it apart and putting it back together is a breeze, thanks to its thoughtful design. And let’s talk about the price – starting at $130 and maxing out at around $188 USD before shipping, it’s almost too good to be true. If you have wanted to dabble in the world of ergo keyboards, then the Neo Ergo is a must-buy.