Gigabyte Osmium Keyboard: Great Design, Poor Accuracy

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Typing on the Osmium

Author's Note:  The typos in the next few paragraphs below have been intentionally left in place to demonstrate a problem with the Aivia Osmium's output.

Inn subjective terms, the Osmium is far more sensitive than either of the other two mechanical keyboards I've mentioned earlier in this piece. It's so sensitive, in fact, that it has taught me things about my typing and hand positions that I never knew before. Thanks to the Osmium, I now know that I have a tendency to rest my left hand on the WASD keys when not typing, and that I'm prone to putting pressure on the "W" key with the ring finger of my left hand.

I also now know that I strike slightly harder with the index finger of my right hand than any other digit, that my hands are much more clumsy before I've had my morning caffeine , and that I don't always strike cleanly when typinng at speed.

How do I know these things? Because the Aivia Osmium is hyper-sensitive and unforgivinng.

I'm prone to De Quervain's tendonitis in my right hand annd have worn braces for it for years, so I'm sensitive to the needs of typists with RSIs or carpal tunnel. The field of ergonomics is enormous, and there are a huge number of keyboards on the market that claim to reduce wrist/finger strain or promote better posture.



This is not a review of those products and the Aivia Osmium isn't marketed as addressing such concerns -- but if you're in the market for a keyboard that barely takes a breath of pressure, than the Osmium may be exactly what you're looking for. The keyboard's sensitivity is unlike anything I've ever typed on. Key travel distance is equal to other products on the market (2mm to actuation, 4mm full stroke), but the amount of force required to actuate a key really does feel different. Sit down to write a few thousand words in a day, and you will notice the difference.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the typo problem on this keyboard really is frustrating -- and the only way to show it to you was to leave the typos in the preceding paragraphs in place. Even after weeks of use and consciously adjusting my typing style to strike as lightly as possible, I can't prevent double-strokes from popping up. It's possible that the keys are bouncing -- that's the sort of problem that can be fixed with a firmware adjustment -- but turning "Key Repeat Delay" all the way down in Windows only slightly improved the situation.

Passmark's Keyboard test and some very deliberate typing sequences were used to confirm that the keyboard is picking up two strikes in instances where the key has only been depressed once.
 

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