Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Review

Either I'm starting to get old or my lack of stretching before rock climbing for years finally caught up with me. I started noticing some discomfort in my hands when typing with “normal” keyboards. Not wanting to destroy my hands and a career of programming until the day I die, I bought an ergonomic keyboard to use while I'm in the office:

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

The Good

This keyboard feels great. After a few weeks of use my hands feel back to their good ol' selves. I have a feeling that using an ergonomic keyboard in the office will add a few years of usefulness to your hands.

The appearance of the keyboard itself is rather sleek. The base has a comfortable squishy padding. The keys are placed in good positions. Some ergo keyboards split and move around, which is probably even more ergonomic, but the extra cord looks goofy to me.

If you're into the whole numpad kind of thing, by all means power it on and keep it at your desk. For me personally I am used to a Tenkeyless keyboard so I tossed that thing in my filing cabinet and forgot about it.

There is an optional base to the keyboard which attaches via magnets. Personally I like the base, and use it when both sitting and standing at my transforming standing desk. Depending on the clearance of your desk you may choose to discard it.

The Bad

This keyboard comes with a dedicated USB dongle, which means one of your USB ports is now tied up. Ideally it would use Bluetooth, but c'est la vie. Luckily I use this keyboard with an office-provided computer, which is plugged into an Apple Cinema Display. This means I plug the dongle in the back of the display and forget about it; no dongle attached to my Laptop in a meeting room with someone typing buttons back at the desk.

If you're going to plug the dongle directly into a USB port on a laptop, this may annoy you.

There's also a weird switch where you sort of “enable” function keys. I suppose on a Windows machine this makes perfect sense, but for me on OS X, I went ahead and installed Karabiner to remap the function keys to their OS X media equivalents:

Download Karabiner: Remap keys in OS X

The Ugly

Turns our I learned how to type incorrectly; I'm apparently the only human (after a Twitter poll with literally dozens of people) who types the B character with my right hand! This took a few weeks to get used to.

If you're a normal human being this shouldn't be a problem.

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Thomas Hunter II Avatar

Thomas has contributed to dozens of enterprise Node.js services and has worked for a company dedicated to securing Node.js. He has spoken at several conferences on Node.js and JavaScript, is currently writing a book on Node.js services with O'Reilly, and is an organizer of NodeSchool SF.