HHKB Studio Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for HHKB Studio

General HHKB Studio FAQ

Will there no longer be HHKB Professional series? Are Topre switches no longer part of HHKB?

HHKB Studio and HHKB Professional series are two different product lines, and our plan is to develop and support both series. Professional series will continue to use Topre switches.

Who manufactured the new HHKB original key switch?

Our new HHKB original key switch is a linear mechanical switch designed by our engineers specifically for use on HHKB Studio, and manufactured by Kailh.

Do you sell a blank model of the keyboard or a blank full key top set?

At this time, we only sell the stamped keyboard model and stamped key top set accessory. However, HHKB Studio has adopted Cherry MX compatible key switches with a cross-stem, meaning you can easily customize key tops to your preference with third party options.

Note: You are responsible for the use and installation of the compatible switches and key tops.

How can I use the B/G/H key cutouts if I want to use a custom key top for those keys in HHKB Studio?

In the future, we may plan to release 3D data of the HHKB Studio keytop to enable easy creation of custom key tops for these three keys.

Note: You are responsible for the use and installation of compatible switches and key tops.

Can I use a commercially available pointing stick cap?

HHKB Studio's pointing stick is an original (exclusive) product, so we cannot verify its compatibility with other third party products and parts at this time.

Note: The replacement pointing stick can be requested from HHKB support as a repair part.

Do you have commercially available mouse key caps?

We cannot verify the compatibility of any commercially available mouse key caps at this time. If replacement parts are needed, please contact HHKB Support.

Who does this product work best for?

HHKB is a legacy product designed by and for programmers. However, as exemplified with application such as "Visual Studio Code", the style of coding has expanded to need both a GUI such as a pointing device and text input device. HHKB Studio bridges these two technologies together to optimize the programming experience for users of these coding environments.

Likewise, with these advanced input features such as our Gesture Pads and mouse functionality, creators of any kind can greatly benefit from HHKB Studio. This includes film and graphic editors, sound designers, etc.

Furthermore, if you are a person looking for an overall optimal typing experience, this keyboard may be perfect for you.

Why does HHKB Studio not use Topre capacitive switches?

There are two points: Immersion and Customizability.

  1. Sense of immersion - Today's front-end engineers have more opportunities to edit and distribute video and audio as well as pure programming, and the value of silence in creative work is growing. In order for these front-end engineers to be able to "immerse" themselves in creative work, a linear type switch with minimal noise was the optimal solution. The answer is the adoption of the Cherry MX compatible key switch "HHKB Studio Original Kailh Linear 45 G."
  2. Customizability - Continuing the tradition of 27 years, the Professional series works as a great "out-of-the-box" solution, not requiring any modifications to output incredible performance and satisfaction. At the same time, the switch adopted is a Topre capacitive switch with little room for customizability.

This time, HHKB Studio has proposed a new concept as a completely different product line for the Professional series.

One of its core concepts is customizability. As for the key switches, we actively adopted the Cherry MX-compatible key switch, which is one of the most versatile key switch in the world, and made the keyboard hot-swappable, while ensuring high quality and high performance.

This makes it possible for each user to create their own perfect keyboard, personalized to their specific preferences and needs.

The Professional series will continue to use Topre capacitive switches and continue to be sold at the same time.

Will the Professional series also become mechanical switches in the future?

The HHKB Professional Series will continue to use Topre capacitive switches. Both Professional and Studio series are regarded as high-quality products and cherished by the HHKB family.

What key switches are compatible with HHKB Studio?

HHKB Studio is compatible with switches with MX-style 3- and 5-pin mechanical switches (for example, made by Cherry, Gateron, Kailh, etc.) in normal profiles.

How should I remove the key switch?

Please prepare the key puller for the key top and the key puller for the key switch.

Note: A key puller is provided with an optional key top set. (Integrated for Key Top and Key Switch) You can also use commercially available products.

  1. Please remove the key top first.
  2. Then remove the switch. Please refer to the following for how to use the pincer.
  • Main key (except mouse button): Pull out across the top and bottom of the key switch.
  • Mouse button switch: Hold the left and right sides of the key switch and pull it out.

How do I update the firmware?

Updates to the firmware can be made through the Keymap Tool Software. You can download the Keymap Tool from here: https://happyhackingkb.com/us/download/

Note: There are two different Keymap Tools, one for HHKB Professional Series and one for HHKB Studio series. Make sure to pick the proper one designated for your keyboard.

Can I transfer my keymap from the Keymap Tool for HHKB Professional series to HHKB Studio?

No. HHKB Studio utilizes a different application than HHKB Professional, so to change HHKB Studio keymap, you will need to download the HHKB Studio Keymap Tool software application.

Is there any color variation?

Currently, charcoal is the only color of HHKB Studio.

Where is the Caps Lock key?

HHKB utilizes a unique, 60% key layout. In this layout, where Caps Lock normally is (next to the "A" key), Control is placed to maximize typing efficiency and comfort. So, to access Caps Lock, you will need to press Fn + Tab. If you would rather Caps Lock somewhere else, you can utilize the HHKB Studio Keymap Tool to designate Caps Lock to your personal preference.

How does the warranty apply if damage is caused during or after hot-swapping the keyboard?

The user is responsible for any damage or loss caused by the user during the assembly/re-assembly of the product, or damage or loss caused by the use of third party or non-OEM parts.

How would you summarize the keyboard in a few words?

The ultimate all-in-one input device. Minimal movement, endless creativity.

What process is used for printing the legends on the key tops?

Same as HHKB Professional, sublimation process is used.

How long does the battery last when using Bluetooth connection?

1.5 months or more* (4 alkaline AA batteries used)

* (Test value in our company environment, not guaranteed value)

Are you able to use the gesture pads and mouse operations on smart devices like an iPad/iPhone?

If the operating system supports mouse functionality, then the mouse functions will work. For iPhone, since it does not currently support mouse functions, the pointer stick and mouse buttons will not work.

For gesture pads, this requires changing the profile depending on the operating system of the smart device.

For example:

Profile 1 = Win/Android

Profile 2 = MacOS/iOS/iPadIOS

How long is the key switch life?

6 million key strokes.

Support HHKB Studio FAQ

What happens if something goes wrong with my HHKB Studio?

If you’re having trouble with your HHKB, please contact our Technical Support at (800) 626-4686, Mon - Fri, 5am - 5pm (PST).

What kind of warranty does the HHKB Studio come with?

The HHKB comes with a 2-year limited manufacturer’s warranty in the U.S. You can register your keyboard here.

Who manufactures the HHKB Studio?

HHKB Studio is a PFU Limited brand manufactured by IONE INNOVATION INC. PFU Limited is the parent company of PFU America, Inc. (“PAI”). PAI is the sole authorized distributor of the HHKB Studio in the U.S.

What do I do if I need a replacement part?

If you need to replace a part for your HHKB Studio, such as a mouse key switch, please contact our Technical Support at (800) 626-4686, Mon - Fri, 5am - 5pm (PST).