The DevTerm keyboard is far too small for grownups to type on

@SakaSal : yeah, i had assumed it to be about that size judging by comparison to the 18650s they had rendered.
@Steve_Engledow : Preem job on the test print and comparison. I appreciate ya sharing your findings.


I’m not gonna cancel my order, but boy oh boy am I wondering why new-device developers seem to be so allergic to making a useful machine. I also invested early in both Astrohaus products and was disappointed in their crappy battery life and unnecessary decision to use out-of-date and sloooooooooooooow e-paper tech.

I am honestly struggling to come up with any explanation why this device had to be so small, or at a minimum why making it so tiny is better than making it usable on a human scale. Maybe it’s all price-related, but in a world where I can get a totally functional human-sized keyboard for $30, how much would it have cost to make something with a reduced number of adult-sized keys?

Much of this project looks great, which is why the ridiculously lilliputian size of the actual machine is so brutally disappointing.


That’s why I got this bad bluetooth boy

Also got a twiddler3

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Yowza meowza McSnee, certainly no one is making you purchase a Devterm under duress I would hope! Please blink twice if you’re being held hostage! I myself think a lot of us see this project as a sort of Gameboy-like retro gaming device on some major steroids. So, I feel this size and form factor is cohesive with the theme of what the device is. I can also see myself using it to run several different networking administration and management tools on this devices as long as the screen is legible. I’ll ping the shit out of you homie! The device is also marketed as being hackable and open source. You’re always more then welcome to take your system apart and perform any manner of modifications to it. That even appears to be the whole point of the device for some of our cohorts on the forum.

Finally some of us just like small cute things, maybe it’s just not for you my guy.


I honestly don’t know what to make of your post.

Were you expecting a 11-inch… no wait- 14-inch linux machine with 8 to 12 swappable 18650 li-ion batteries, has a printer at the side jutting out, modular enough to be hackable and you can build one like a model kit? If size you’re looking for, apologies my good friend but this product isn’t for you.

Perhaps… if the keyboard size is your primary main beef with the devterm, Novena should be better in your use case?

The keyboard on the devterm is already looking good, despite some compromises were made. Reducing the key count to accommodate these ‘adult’ hands will detriment the function of the keyboard even further. Last time I checked, UMPCs were a thing and now they’re coming back in recent years. All of those have miniscule keys compared to what you get on the devterm. This one’s closer to Psions or the HP Jornadas, and those are excellent, size-wise!

The devterm have game buttons too, so I don’t think they can upscale it further as that would just make it more unwieldy. Maybe an alternative keyboard with no game buttons in future? that would make those who complained about the keyboard size to be happy. Either way it’s too early to tell, so we’ll just see what’s in store for us in future.


shrug. I thought I was pretty clear.

Not sure where you got literally any of that from my post. I just wanted it to have a keyboard that would comfortably accommodate my hands. Based on the early renders, that seemed plausible. After seeing the assembled version next to a regular keyboard? Less so.

Glad you like it! No, for real–I am. I’m glad there are folks for whom this is providing exactly what they’re looking for. And hey–maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and this won’t be miserable for speed typing!

… Not for nothing, but so what? Is your point here “You should be happy because this is bigger than something even smaller than it is”?

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Also… if you don’t like it… use a full size?


I was referring to your conundrum about the product, that is all. More to come on this below.

I was going by what you went on with your earlier post regarding the keyboard not able to accomodate your hands. But since it is your hands were referred to here, I have no clue on what size fits you the most. However, we do KNOW that the devterm keyboard won’t be suitable in your hands (as mentioned by your earlier post), and that’s your primary concern. So being a good samaritan I was, I pointed you to a similar modular product, the Novena.

which brings us to the next one:

Let’s be honest here: Nobody is forcing you buying the devterm, in fact my reply (see above) was for you to find an alternative product. Also, why waste your money on something that is going to disappoint you in the future? If you are going to tinker with it (make a bigger keyboard) or use a bigger keyboard attached to it, sure!

But your earlier post never mentioned as such; it was poignant, and profoundly evident in your disappointment of the devterm. But for the sake of clarity, let us take a few steps backward and fix this before it goes downhill any further:

1 - You’re disappointed with the product. we get that. Discussions were given in this thread on the alternative keyboards, or you can just always cancel your preorder. Even the original poster of this thread acknowledged as such; keyboard is subjective, it has fans and detractors alike.

2 - If you’re still continuing with the preorder then great! Chin up and see the things we can do, as a community on how to get this device better.

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I see that this debate is still on going. I use my Nokia N900 day to day. Having used a Gemini PDA, and I would say that the Gemini PDA/GPD Win2 gets to be too big. The Nokia N900 was the right size for me. This keyboard gets a lot of things right like Ctrl/Shift on both the sides of the keyboard, Caps lock is a fn key away, etc. So, I can’t wait for this keyboard.

For reference, my index finger is a long as the N900 keyboard.

I think it really comes down to the keys and hand vs/ desk use


i was never really an LG for Nokia fan… so the sidekick was meh.
My very first cellular device was actually the Audiovox Thera and it was a birthday/graduation present.
When my wife, then GF, got the HTC Dream, I absolutely fell in love with the idea of the thumb board. I used one to interface with the raspberypi3b+ that i had hooked in my car as a carputer that fed me all my OBDII sensors readings, practically LIVE…

All this said… Once I introduced and trained myself to use chording devices… anything with more than 20 buttons but less than 100 is IDEAL for two hands…
IT IS MY OPINION, having trained myself in 20 hours to use a custom chord set…
that 20 buttons or less is IDEAL for mobility.
you can do more than 1000 chords with like 12 buttons…

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I like the N900 keys back then actually! Then again I was so used to T9 on phones, so QWERTY was truly revolutionary for my penniless self back then! I came from UMPC scene, the likes of Fujitsus and Sony Vaios in which the keys are quite serviceable to be used daily, despite their size.

In the devterm’s case, especially when you consider the game controls on the side really shows that it can accomodate thumb-typing on the go, while the keyboard is probably in the minimum size to be able to typed on while laid down on a surface.

Tbh, I really miss devices with hardware keyboards on their faces. When I see the devterm, it’s really like a dream come true! UMPC and native Linux all in one!

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I was discussing the possibility and option of remapping the layout specially to support chords. since it does have a uart interface.
this has been done on the GS already. so im pretty excited.

Did i mention my HATE for touchscreens?
gimme hardware keys
anything laser or touch or virtual?
all of a sudden my fingers dont know what to do… even membrane is better than touch.

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Okay that chorded keyboard looks really cool. I would like to try that out.

Yes, I dislike touch screen keyboards and touch screen only phones.

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@Jon - I bought a new laptop a while back, and didn’t come back to this thread till now, so only just saw the renders you made. Thank you for taking the time. It’s really useful to have some idea of how fullsize keys would actually size up. Nice work.

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I’d like to revisit the topic of alternative keyboards for the DT. We have surmised that it uses a controller like the stm, right? So designing a board to fit standard sized switches and either let ppl solder thier own switches on or make it swappable (even better). that layout @carlsmith suggested is fairly simple and easy to modify. as far as key caps go, there are a myriad of shapes, sizes, heights, textures, facings and prints and emblems to choose from. as far as im concerned they could be all black. just plain and uniform. the space bar could simply even e 2 regular key caps that both function as space.

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im curious as to how the keyboard is made/how one can mod it

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@DustinWoods (Mr. Wizard) made an ext board… so…

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Moding the keyboard is probably going to be difficult, and as far as I understand it will arrive fully assembled (minus maybe the keycap?)

The keyboard is made like the GS will be connected through USB to the main board, but not using a USB connector but here a form of pogo pins.

You definitely can make your own keyboard yeah. The issue will still be to fit in the design of the DT.


thats what i mean, considering how the keyboard we get is built uniquely for the DT it’ll be interesting to see the results of someone trying to replace it with a custom job


I’m not suggesting modding the existing kb…
Why not design a whole new board?
this looks simple enough to work.
40 keys in a 4x10 would pretty sick looking with some kailh choc switches. with all the cases i got, I’d even opt for ultra low profile keycaps or 3d print some flat round ones.

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