ZSA Voyager review

In this post I try to summarize my thoughts on the ZSA Voyager, a split, low-profile, ergonomic keyboard after using it for three months.


I have had very little previous experience on mechanical keyboards. Majority of the text that I’ve written, has been typed either on laptops or a cheap, non-ergonomic keyboards. I didn’t know any better.

About 5 years ago I changed my setup by purchasing a ThinkPad Compact Keyboard with TrackPoint. It’s small, light, easy to carry around and the integrated track point means that I rarely need to reach my external mouse. As I typed more and more with the ThinkPad keyboard (both external and internal), my hands adjusted to the flat keyboard and short key travel.

Early this year I decided to switch my keyboard layout from Finnish to US. I had tried to make the switch before but failed. This time I decided to stick with it. I even changed all my physical keyboards from Finnish to US to make the switch easier.

Why switch? Because many aspects of the Unix-like operating systems have been designed with the US layout in mind. Take Vim, my editor of choice, as an example. You jump to a definition by hitting CTRL-]. With US keyboard layout you’re able to do keep the hands on the home row but on the Finnish layout you need to reach for AltGr with your thumb and the number “0”. You could remap the keys, but problem is more universal than one binding.

However, there’s a well-known problem with the US layout: special characters used in programming (and in Vim) are predominantly typed with the right pinky. Backspace, Enter and others are also typed with the same finger.

I noticed this problem in September when I started playing piano daily. After typing with a non-ergonomic keyboard at work and playing piano at home, my right hand was aching. Lack of experience in playing the piano undoubtedly contributed to this.

Since I wanted to continue playing piano and use the US keyboard layout, I decided to find a solution: an ergonomic split keyboard.

ErgoDox EZ

Before purchasing anything new, I asked around if anybody would have a split keyboard that I could test. I was able to loan ErgoDox EZ from a co-worker.

The initial typing experience was shocking: I could barely type with it. Years of accumulated bad typing habits made it difficult to write even simple text. I learned to touch type when I was 14 and after years of typing, I had developed my own style with its own problems.

Here’s a concrete example: I typed the letter “w” with my middle finger by moving my hand to left instead of keeping it in home row and typing “w” with my ring finger. I became aware of these issues by typing with the ErgoDox EZ.

It was frustrating to write text. My thoughts were hampered by slow typing. I had to pause my thinking because my fingers weren’t able to keep up.

After typing for a week, my fingers started to find their places, but I noticed a problem: I was not able to reach all keys comfortably. I also didn’t like the size of the keyboard. I decided that the ErgoDox EZ was not for me and looked for alternatives.

Deciding on Voyager

I was originally interested about the ZSA Moonlander but read reviews that keys in the thumb cluster were not easily reachable — a similar problem I had with the ErgoDox EZ.

Then I noticed that ZSA had released a new keyboard, the Voyager. It was smaller, low profile and designed to be portable. However, it had only 52 keys. After reading and watching the following reviews I was certain that I could make the 52 keys work (didn’t know exactly how) and decided to buy the Voyager.


It was clear what I wanted: black keycaps (white ones are a dirt magnet) and US layout with symbols. If I had to shuffle keys around, I thought it would be simpler to have symbols in them. Additionally, I’m not completely familiar with the US layout (especially the number row) so having symbols engraved is easier.

I ordered my Voyager on November 8th, 2023 and got message saying that I should expect the order to be shipped within 3 weeks. Since they made the keyboards to order, I doubted that will take this long — the 3-week window gives them to buffer more orders to batches.

My order shipped on November 16th, 2023, and I received the package to my home a week later.

Typing experience

Typing feels excellent on this keyboard. It feels very laptop-like: the keys are flat and they have short amount travel. The reachability of the keys is better than in the ErgoDox EZ.

The only problematic keys in the Voyager for me are the “B” and “N” keys (in QWERTY) layout. I need to twist my arm slightly to be able to hit them with my index finger.

The quality of the Voyager is noticeable when I go back typing on a non-mechanical keyboard, like my laptop: the keys feel mushy and lack feedback on being typed. As if there were something stuck under the keys that prevents them being typed properly.

I was initially concerned about the amount of keys in the keyboard. There are 52 of them, and they’re not enough to type all special characters that I need so additional layers are needed.

After spending enough time in the Oryx layout tool, I think I have a layout that works for me. Many of the special characters are in the same place as in the normal US layout. Curly and square brackets are positioned in another layer.


My layout has only minor changes to the Voyager’s default layout:

What could be improved:

Final words

I use the Voyager daily at work and at home. The keyboard is small and light enough to be carried daily. I can easily plug the keyboard to another machine and continue typing with my layout without any special setup.