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Sculpt Ergnmc KB for Bsnss Blk
The Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business has a uniquely modern design and an amazingly comfortable feel. It's built on advanced ergonomic principles, incorporating a split keyboard layout to help position the wrists and forearms in a natural, relaxed position, a cushioned palm rest to provide wrist support, and a domed keyboard shape to reduce wrist pronation. It's the ideal keyboard to help keep you comfortable and productive all day long.
このキーボードは、Microsoft Natural Keyboard Eliteほどではないですが、そこそこ実用的に使えそうではあります。しかし、キーストロークが浅い。もっと深くしてほしい。また、四方向の矢印キー、DEL, INSERTなどもNatural Keyboardのように余裕を持って配列して欲しい。コンパクトでなくてもいいから。
というか、Microsoft Natural Keyboard Eliteのテンキーレスを作って。
Several features are different: specifically the location of the 10 key and the wireless capabilities. I find the keyboard to be just a touch smaller than the 4000. Most of the major keys don't feel that way, but some areas--specifically around the arrows--feel much more cramped. The Delete key and its brothers being out of the rows they have been assigned for ages causes me to have to hunt for them like a beginner again. Which is a little unfortunate.I actually like the 10 key being removed it allows my mouse to be much closer and therefore more economical--that is until I need it and I wish it was attached. (I do alot of finance work, so I'm still up in the air about it being loseable).
FN switch is a nice addition, instead of a light on or off, while undoing when you meant to rename, that feature has been switched to a toggle that keeps it's setting. Most of the isolated media keys, zoom, home key, search etc. are gone.
I like the action the keys have. It is a shorter stroke that makes the keyboard a little nicer to type on. It does take some getting used to however. The keyboard 'pad' feels nicer than the 4000. More firm...but it is coated in something that absolutely loves dust, dirt, and crumbs. The piano black is an unfortunate choice it ultimately makes it look cheap while feeling very well built. I honestly think they could of left the layout alone and it would of been fine. I like this reboot, I just wish it had a full size version of it without the piano black choice.
EDIT: 8/15/16 After several months of use, I'm disappointed with the rubber that acts as a wrist pad for this keyboard. It is easily stained by your hand oils, so this keyboard looks like it is MUCH older than it actually is. I like the design of this keyboard, and I still feel that is an improved version of the 4000, but be warned, after little use, it won't look as pleasant as you would expect.
Lets get the little things out of the way:
The keyboard is wireless. Requires 2 AAA batteries
The Numpad is wireless and separate from the keyboard. It requires a CR2430 3V Lithium Coin Battery (commonly called a "watch battery")
All batteries are included with the keyboard
The keyboard and numpad require a single USB connection. The USB connector is a small dongle about the size of a quarter
The cover for the battery on the main keyboard as well as the riser for the keyboard are all magnetic, snapping into place but having no mechanical hinge. It is possible for the battery covers to fall off if you accidentally drop the hardware, but the batteries are held pretty securely inside and will stay in place even without the covers. It is also really fun to snap the covers and risers into place and I did it far too many times. The battery cover on the 10-key numpad is held on with a screw and friction brackets (it is not fun to play with).
I am a long time user of the Microsoft Natural line, ever since their first "split" keyboard back in 1994. For those who have used the Natural line before, the layout of the Sculpt is similar to the "Elite" line. The main body of the keyboard maintains the Delete/Home/End/PgUp/PgDown/Insert keys, but they are in a double-row column. The arrow keys are in the traditional "pyramid" shape, but due to space restrictions, the left arrow shares space with the right CTRL key under the right Shift. The separate numpad contains the full-sized 10-key layout as well as the NumLock, an app button (defaulting to opening the calculator), a clear button (for use in calculator), and a Backspace key.
As a keyboard "purist," the 6 key layout is annoying in a full-sized keyboard. I find myself smacking the wrong keys because they aren't where I think they should be. I haven't had to look at my keyboard layout in years, and having to hunt and peck for the Page Up key is annoying. However it's a small thing and something I'm sure I'd probably get used to over time. If you're a gamer trying to use a Natural Keyboard (bless you), the arrow keys won't seem quite as bad as other squashed six-key layouts because they decided to keep the pyramid configuration.
There are no dedicated media keys on the keyboard - any alternative functions of the keys are modified by toggling a physical button in the upper right-hand corner of the keyboard. This (along with the modified six-key layout) is probably one of the more annoying "features" of the keyboard configuration. You have to set this switch to Function or Alt-Function (White or Blue). So, if you wanted to play your video, refresh a webpage, and then pause your video, the order of operations would be thus: Set the Function keys to Alt (Blue), Press F1 (Play), Set Function keys to normal (White), hit F5 (refresh), set Function keys to Alt (Blue), Hit F1. It's a little odd. The other option is simply to no longer use the secondary functions. The annoying implementation makes you think Microsoft wants to phase these out anyway.
Keys and Buttons -
The Sculpt keyboard is a "chiclet" style keyboard, similar to those found on laptops. The keyboard is a rubber dome, membrane-style keyboard utilizing scissor switches. For those unfamiliar with scissor switches, these style switches tend to require less distance to activate and give a more solid, "bouncy" feel. If you had previously used a Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000 and did not like the "squishy" feeling of the key action, these may feel better to you. They obviously do not feel anything like Cherry switches, but I do like the action much better than my old 4000 (I favor MX blues or greens on my mechanicals). For those who are office users, the keys are pretty silent - honestly the only key that I hear is the space bar. All of the normal row keys are silent. Like most USB keyboards, the Sculpt only recognizes around four to five simultaneous keypresses.
It should be noted that when I initially installed the keyboard, Windows 7 had no problem loading drivers, but it defaulted to a generic keyboard. In order to completely configure all of the media buttons you will need to download the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center from the Microsoft.com product page.
Flow and Comfort (aka: Learning your Home Row) -
The ergonomics line is all about comfort and natural motion. In this, I have always liked the feel of the natural line. While not as truly ergonomic like the Kinesis or kits like the ErgoDox, it is probably the best, easily obtained, keyboard line in this regard.
For those who have never used a split keyboard, it forces you into using the standard Home Row style typing method. If you do a lot of typing through the day, you can expect to feel comfortable with the key layout within a week. If you only type sparingly, it'll probably take upwards of a month.
The wrist rest on the keyboard is nice - it is not super plush like a couch, but a simple thin layer of foam covered in a "pleather" type covering over plastic. For users of the old Natural 4000, the rest feels the same, maybe a tiny bit stiffer. The keyboard comes with a riser which tilts the keyboard forward - you may or may not use the riser depending on your chair-to-desk height.
Microsoft's Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is a good successor to the Natural line but in general a bit of a mixed bag.
While I wish Microsoft had opted to go with mechanical switches for their keys, the scissor switch keys a great improvement over the squishy plain rubber dome keys of the old Natural 4000 keyboard. While making the 10-key numpad separate from the main body of the keyboard probably won a few fans, the six-key layout seems like a needless change. Moving from a wired to wireless is nice when keeping desk clutter down, but two different types of batteries for the keyboard seems a bit fussy. Although, the unofficial reports from Microsoft seem to hint at battery life lasting for years, so maybe it won't be that big of a deal.
As an end note - Why is everything GLOSSY?
The frame of the keyboard is a piano black gloss. The keyboard quickly became a jumbled mess of smudges.
All-in-all, if you have an old 4000 keyboard that you need to replace, I would say this product is a good buy simply because the key action is so much nicer. For the folks who have never had a split keyboard, the Sculpt is a great representative of the Natural line and a good introduction to the split-keyboard typing method.