Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Review
The average American spends at least three hours a day on a keyboard while researching, working, and writing emails. This number drastically increases with data entry specialists, transcriptionists, secretaries, journalists, and even gamers.
Being on a keyboard for prolonged periods may cause tendonitis — tendon inflammation usually caused by overuse. If left untreated, this condition may have long-term effects on an individual.
To avoid unnecessary stress on the tendons, we recommend using an ergonomic keyboard. The innovative technology behind these products prevents repetitive stress injuries.
What’s the Big Deal with Ergonomic Keyboards?
If you’ve ever come across sleek, oddly-shaped keyboards at a gadget shop, you’ve most likely seen an ergonomic keyboard. Manufacturers developed such products to guide consumers into using the human body’s natural posture. They reduce the stress on overused body parts during long hours of work.
A typical workplace setup causes stiffness, poor posture, and limited mobility, causing work-related injuries like a computer back, mouse shoulder, and tennis elbow. Ergonomic solutions provide a more comfortable environment that increases productivity and minimizes injuries.
Our clients agree that there is a big difference between ergonomic keyboards and traditional ones. Ergonomic keyboards encourage using the natural wrist position, and traditional ones increase carpal tunnel syndrome development. A high-quality ergonomic keyboard minimizes pressure on the wrists, promotes proper posture, and increases typing speed.
The Difference Between Ergonomic Keyboard Layouts
Investing in ergonomic keyboards can do wonders for any computer setup, but it’s not enough to know its benefits. We recommend researching the different ergonomic keyboard layouts to learn which one would suit your needs best.
By reading the name, you’ve probably predicted that a split keyboard has several parts. Most split keyboards have two halves connected wirelessly or through a cable. The part connected to the computer is called a master, and the one connected to the master is called a slave.
Split keyboards often have different layouts, addressing varying consumer pain points. Whatever configuration you choose, make sure you position the parts to create a comfortable environment for you.
Manufacturers developed contoured keyboards by further enhancing the features of split ones. These upgraded products place keys into two distinct parts in one keyboard, setting them at shoulder width with the function keys easily accessible to the thumbs.
Contoured keyboards require minimal forearm and wrist movement, preventing consumers from developing repetitive stress injuries. We recommend this keyboard type for prolonged daily use.
Angle Split Keyboards
Angle split keyboards — also called Klockenberg keyboards — are similar to split-type ones but with a tented-up center. This feature puts the index fingers a little higher than the smaller fingers when typing.
These keyboards prevent consumers from taking the forearm pronation position — a flat, palm-down stance that places the wrist in an awkward angle. They avoid uncomfortable and exhausting hand placement on the keyboard.
Handheld keyboards look similar to gaming consoles and may function as such. These keyboard types allow users to move around the room while typing.
Some handheld keyboards now have an integrated trackball mouse, minimizing hand movement while working. Because there are now compact variations in the market, we recommend these products for consumers who travel a lot with their gadgets.
Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard Pros & Cons
Microsoft used advanced ergonomic principles to develop the Sculpt Keyboard. The product provides maximum comfort for the palms and wrists with its split keyboard layout and cushioned rest.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop aims to maximize productivity in a comfortable work setting. It effectively reduces the stress and discomfort typically associated with the workplace.
The Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard is ideal for any work or game setting. Its ergonomic design lets users comfortably type all day while minimizing fatigue and unnecessary strain on the tendons. Its reverse tilt design and separate number pad encourage a natural typing stance and relieve pressure on the wrists.
If you spend all day typing away on a keyboard, this product may help prevent potential arm and hand injuries. It has a foam-like material that serves as a cushion, providing maximum comfort when typing. Additionally, the product does not produce loud typing noises and will not bother colleagues nearby.
We would recommend the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard to any work or game setting, but it has its weak points. For one, typing on the keyboard requires a learning curve. Because of its unique design, it might take a week to get the hang of typing on it.
Secondly, it needs more tweaking in the gaming department. There are no dedicated macro keys for MMO games or any backlight for playing in the dark.
Lastly, it requires two AAA disposable batteries to work, which feels outdated compared to the rechargeable features of other keyboards. If you choose the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard for your ergonomic requirements, we recommend keeping spare batteries nearby.
Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard Features
The Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard’s domed split keyboard design with a cushioned rest helps correct excessive wrist pronation that causes pain and restricted mobility. This product’s natural arc layout follows the curve of your fingertips to promote a natural typing stance that doesn’t strain fingers. You may also partner it with a Microsoft mouse for enhanced wrist comfort.
Its 104 keys are specially designed to help improve typing speed and accuracy and the keyboards include a Windows button that enables fast and convenient one-touch access to the start menu.
Using 2.4 GHz radiofrequency for its wireless connectivity via USB dongle, the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard eliminates the need for cords without sacrificing connection stability. Its wireless technology produces no noticeable lagging or interference.
Typing on a Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Given its pros and cons, we would highly recommend the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for any workplace and moderate gaming. Before deciding to purchase one, read up on its learning curve requirements and remapping and thumb scoop features.
The Learning Curve
Microsoft was crystal clear on its goal with the Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard — to reduce the effects of repetitive strain injuries by redesigning the shape of injury-inducing computer peripherals. Shaped like a manta ray, it offers a full range of alphanumeric and function keys.
Like most keyboard replacements, it offers a separate number pad to give users the option to move it farther away from the keyboard. A user can opt to store the number pad and the USB dongle that comes with the mouse.
The product requires some getting used to because of its ergonomic split-type design. While the attachable riser helps a bit, only time can help you achieve your usual typing speed and even beat it later.
Keyboard remapping enables consumers to change key functions and set them based on preferences. The Microsoft software lets users reassign specific keys to enhance productivity and comfort.
The Microsoft support page suggests installing the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center to remap keys. Afterward, connect the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and open the downloaded software. Then, match the keys you want to remap to their corresponding commands.
When to Use Your Thumbs
When typing, the thumbs are the most used fingers because we use them to hit the space button. Because of this, the thumbs experience the most stress when we type for long periods.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard’s thumb scoop feature supports the thumbs, reducing their stress and allowing them to correct the hand and wrist stance. The split-type design helps position the wrists and forearms as comfortably and naturally as possible.
The Surprising Comfort The Microsoft Sculpt Offers
Our favorite thing about the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is the surprising comfort that it offers. Yes, the product takes some getting used to despite its remapping features. However, if you’re after comfort, this is the ideal keyboard for you.
It provides maximum comfort for the wrists, palms, and fingers, with its built-in foam-like wrist rest, preventing unnecessary strain on the tendons. It comes with a magnetic riser that enhances the product’s comfort. Microsoft recommends using it to stop wrists from bending backward, but you can opt not to use it.
Additionally, the keyboard has a dome design that minimizes forearm and wrist movement, minimizing the risk for repetitive stress injuries. Even after prolonged use, you will not feel the usual hand fatigue associated with hours of typing or gaming.
It offers a separate number pad, a detachable riser, and a removable USB dongle to address varying preferences. Consumers have different perceptions of what comfort means, and this versatile product allows them to change the setup to match their inclinations.
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
The increasing awareness about the conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders and repetitive strain injuries gave rise to a growing ergonomic market. You can find a broad assortment of ergonomic keyboards in the market, each with different sets of strengths and weaknesses.
There are many ergonomic keyboards with add-ons like multiple incline settings, rechargeable batteries, and backlights — features not available in the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard. For us, the exceptional feature of this product is its comfort.
Its innovative design completely transformed the traditional keyboard into a revolutionary product. It protects the wrists, palms, and fingers from the excessive strain that may lead to future complications. We strongly recommend this product for any employee or gamer who spends over three hours daily on the keyboard.
If you’re looking for a comfortable keyboard to maximize productivity and minimize injuries, the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is ideal for you. For more information, call us at (877) 216-8263.