- Keyboard make, model and price:
I have been using an ergonomic keyboard for more than 15 years now. As do our office colleagues. It takes a day or two to get used to, but most end up buying one for home use as well. The hand position is more natural, meaning we can work more hours without having to deal with cramps or other uncomfortable issues.
It costs about 100 euro if you do not shop around for a better deal.
The keyboard is split from the number pad as many users do not use it much. I do, as I use the ALT + digits codes to type special characters, mainly in Spanish, but sometimes even when I write in Dutch or even, very rarely, in English. I can now choose where to put it on my desk. I sometimes move it around to find the most comfortable place or, more often than not, to switch the required arm movement.
The domed keyboard shape makes sure you are not doomed to muscle pain (RSI and such).
The Advanced Encryption Standard technology is used to encrypt the keystrokes. The keyboard and receiver are paired at the factory. This means the key stroke information cannot be shared with other devices. In most offices this mainly means you have no interference from one keyboard to another.
The backspace button can be used when navigating the Internet to move to the previous page as long as you are not in a text box.
You can tilt the keyboard in the opposite way if that fits your needs.
The keyboard is light, it weighs just over 400 grams plus the batteries.
The keyboard is also sold as a set with a mouse that is also ergonomic and has a four-way scroll wheel (up, down, left and right).
The set requires 150 MB Hard Drive space. It requires two AAA alkaline batteries, but as opposed to the wireless keyboards of the past you do not have to replace the batteries often (actually, I can barely remember having to replace them except when I had not removed the batteries when I packed it in a suitcase).
It is a Microsoft product, thus it requires a Windows operating system.
- My last keyboard was:
A previous ergonomic model. The number pad was included and so it did not fit in a carry-on bag.
- Why I changed to the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop:
Some keys started to jam with time.
- What I like most about my keyboard:
If I go to a conference but have not been able to complete my project on hand I can take my keyboard in a carry-on bag. It does take up space but not half as much as the previous model. I do remove the batteries and put these with the number pad into a container to make sure the batteries are still working when I reach my destination.
I used to take an old keyboard along and discard it at the end of a trip to make room for souvenirs…
I connect the MS Sculpt to my laptop. I hate laptop keyboards. When will the industry make a laptop with an ergonomic keyboard?
- What I dislike about this keyboard:
Cannot think of anything… except that I should not forget to take the batteries along separately.
Wait! The only drawback is that the soft front section stains easily. It had an imprint of my right hand after having eaten something at my desk soon after I bought it. I can probably remove the stain; I have just not taken action yet.
- Other comments:
Beware, once you have used an ergonomic keyboard for one or two full days, there is no going back!
Ellen Singer is a freelance translator with nearly twenty years of experience as a full time translator and project manager and three years as a translation conference speaker. She owns a small technical translation agency with her husband that focuses on quality. She loves challenges and knowledge and enjoys cooperating with others.
Over to you
If you use the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop keyboard, like or dislike it, or have any questions about it, please leave a comment below.
Want to write about another keyboard? Check out this introductory post to the Keyboard Corner!
Update December 2016:
* Microsoft has just brought out a new version of the MS Sculpt Ergonomic keyboard. It now connects with Bluetooth and the numeric pad is back on the main board. If you have this keyboard and would like to review it here, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.