EXT65 Reveal

EXT65

SEPTEMBER 2019

 

Earlier this year we released our flagship keyboard; Aegis. The design came from a place of looking at keyboards through the lens of aesthetics, observation of usage, and affordance. This helped define our core pillars: functional elegance, ergonomics, and experience.

Over the last couple of months we were hard at work designing on what we had learnt through the Aegis, watching the current trends, and also pushing ourselves with innovative and courageous thinking. This has led to our next board; the Extended 65.

 
EXT65 Table
 

Functional Elegance

The Aegis brought the concept of the left hand number pad to a wider audience - we had the intention of driving discussion and constructive criticism about left hand centric layouts.

The message was clear - a lot of you loved the idea of left hand number pads, but were resistant to changing mental schemas of the short left shift and left arrow keys which were inspired by the 1800 layout. We took what you wanted from a left hand number pad design and reworked the board to create a layout that should feel familiar with the benefits of the left hand number pad.

The EXT65 is a streamlined and portable left hand number pad keyboard. It weighs less than 2kg (4.4lbs) and comes with a portable sleeve so you can safely transport your keyboard around, but still has enough weight to feel sturdy on your desk.


Ergonomics

We strongly believe that the left hand number pad is better for you because of the width of your shoulder span while simultaneously typing and using a mouse. We knew there was more we could do and we wanted to drive some more discussion and innovation into our next keyboard. The EXT65 comes with a reversible base that allows for positive angled and negative angled typing experiences, something that we think will appeal to a wide range of users.

Positive Angle (+6°)

traditional and familiar

The positive angle is what you would expect from a custom keyboard. It’s familiar and comfortable for most typists as most keyboards are positive angle or has support through adjustable legs.

Our chosen positive angle is 6 degrees and and we believe that this angle affords the best typing experience with the use of cherry profile keycaps due to the soft positive nature of the caps which compliments the case angle.

If you are comfortable with your typing style and own a lot of cherry profile keycaps, then you will feel straight at home using this angle.

EXT65 Positive Angle
 
EXT65 Negative Angle

Negative Angle (-6°)

courageous and innovative

The negative angle helps support the habit for hover typing (argued to be the best long term typing form). It helps avoid strain on the median nerve in the wrist when typing with wrist rests or rested typing form, in turn helping you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.

Our chosen negative angle is -6 degrees and and we believe that this angle affords the best typing experience with the use of non-uniformed SA profile keycaps. The SA profile is known to have aggressive angles so using it with negative angle will help ease strain that comes from the nature of the profile angle.

If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or use SA profile, we recommend giving negative angle a go - we’re keen to hear feedback from you about it.


Experience

The typing experience is the core of our design. We use aluminum for the case chassis and plate. Our gasket mounting system uses several materials that you can choose from, and we offer a limited quantity of brass plates for those who want a denser plate material.

Aluminum Chassis

The EXT65 chassis is machined from grade 6063 Aluminum. Aluminum is a naturally strong and rigid material, and is a beloved material for keyboard enthusiasts. All aluminum components are bead blasted to a 120 grit surface finish for a smooth feeling and then anodized one of our signature colors.

EXT65 Back

Aluminum or Brass Plate

The plate is designed with relief cuts to provide the best sound, particularly around the big modifier keys and space key. We’ve tailored the plate to our 65% specifications to ensure a consistent feel with our board using the one layout.

All kits come with an aluminum plate anodized to your chassis color. There are also some limited sandblasted brass plates for those who want a denser and slightly heavier plate experience.

EXT65 Layout

Gaskets

Gaskets are utilised to isolate contacts from the plate to the chassis. Using different materials can slightly change and improve the overall feel, sound and flexibility of the typing experience. We will supply you with different materials so you can fine-tune the typing feel you want, starting with our firmest material in Rubber, then Silicon, then PORON® and finally foam being our softest material. All our gaskets come with an adhesive side, so it’s as easy and peeling it off and sticking it on.

Rubber

Rubber is an elastomer, a tough polymeric material that exhibit the viscoelastic behaviour also known as elasticity. It allows for you to change the dimensions of the material by applying stress, and go back to the original dimensions by relieving stress. The synthetic rubber gasket firm and hard.

Silicon

Silicon is a form of synthetic rubber, and this material has a lower tensile strength and lower tear strength than our rubber gasket. The backbone of this material uses silicon and oxygen, whereas rubber is made of carbon-carbon bonds. The silicon gasket is a medium firmness which gives a bit more give to your gasket.

PORON®

PORON® is a fine pitch open cell urethane foam used for its superior resistance in compression and the ability to absorb mechanical shock vibration making it an ideal material for sensitive handheld devices. The PORON® gasket is a soft-medium material and we recommend starting your gasket experience here as it should fit all typists.

Foam

Closed-cell foam is where the gas forms discrete pockets, each completely surrounded by the solid material. The material is a foam which has air-filled matrix structure which allows it to be have cushioning performance, impact damping and acoustic insulation. The foam gasket has the softest firmness.

EXT65 Close up
 

Specifications

EXT65 Pair

412.00mm x 118.80mm x28.85mm

~1440 grams (Alu Plate) or ~1610 grams (Brass Plate)

Grade 6063 Anodized Aluminum Chassis and Plate

Internal Serialised engraving (Chassis bottom)

Gasket System (Rubber, Silicon, PORON® and Foam)

+6 / -6 Degrees Typing Incline

17.00 mm Height at the Front

USB-C

4 Single Color Indicator Lights

Optional Sandblasted Brass Plate

Anodized in Black, Dark Gray or ‘Aegis’ Navy.

 

Layout

 

QMK + VIA

The EXT65 uses QMK and will be compatible with VIA configurator (PC) (MAC), so customizing is a breeze with it’s plug and play ability.

Left Hand Number Pad

In the blue area, you can choose between a reversed style number pad or an ortholinear macropad. Customize your macropad with VIA and tailor it to empower your workflow.

You could even set up layers to have your reversed number pad as a macropad and use the extra indicator light to show which layer it is on.

Backspace

In the pink area, you can choose between split or normal backspace. In typical split backspace layout, the pipe (| \ key) is moved to the top row, and the original pipe key is replaced by backspace allowing for your pinky finger to reach backspace quicker and easier with less strain.

Bottom Row

Our bottom row is to our specification:

1.5 / 1 / 1.5 / 6.25 / 1.25 / 1

The blocker is 0.5 with arrow keys on the right.

 

Kits

All kits come with:

  • Aluminum Chassis

  • Aluminum Plate

  • Gasket Kits (Rubber, Silicon, PORON® and Foam - 8 pieces of each)

  • PCB

  • 4 Bumpons

  • 4 Led Spacers (8mm)

  • Limited Edition Sleeve

Optional Add-ons:

  • Sandblasted Brass Plate + PCB Kit

  • Gasket Kits

Anodized Colors:

  • Black

  • Dark Gray

  • ‘Aegis’ Navy

Resources:


 
 

Purchase

You can purchase an EXT65 through our the Keyboard Treehouse. There will be limited EXT65 kits available to be purchased, beginning at $500 and there are optional kits you may want to include in your purchase. We charge shipping at the end of purchase.

Every purchase of an Ext65 includes a $20 donation to Greening Australia. We believe in sustainability of our hobby and are making steps to ensure that we can give back to communities and the environment when we can.

Every board is inspected by the team for quality control before being carefully shipped out. Please understand that these keyboards are made to order in small batches, so there may be some internal machine marks and anodized inconsistencies. Any keyboards deemed too low to our standards will be regarded as ‘B-stock’ and will be sold separately at a later date.

There will be 2 waves of sales: US timezone release, and an EU timezone release. Keep up to date for timezone releases on our Instagram account, we will publish when the EXT65 will be available to purchase.