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There are 2 good aspects of this keyboard: 1) The key mechanism for most of the keys are excellent, and 2) the sleek shape and the notch at the middle is handy for moving it around. And then everything else is bad, making it a lousy keyboard worse than a modest inexpensive flat keyboard.
Worst bits: 1) The tennis-ball mouse comes with this keyboard was supposed to allow the user to operate it with less rolling/twisting of one's wrist. For that idea to work, the mouse needs to be much taller. The current design actually made it worse for the user -- one has to pitch(bend) one's wrist even more to reach the buttons, or operate the mouse with the arm held in mid-air. All in all, a much flatter and smaller mouse would do far better but this one went the opposite way and it really hurts my wrist -- I am getting tinges and numbness I've never had before. Call itself an Ergonomic design, give me a break!!
2) The Esc key and the function keys use popping/buckling key mechanisms. They are awful to press, short-lived and unreliable. The Esc key in particular is so important for developers that it was insane to resort to such lousy key-mechanisms just to save a 5mm strip of real-estate. I ended up rebinding the "Caps Lock" key into an Esc key and have to re-learn its position to get going.
3) The arbitrary layout of the Del, Home, End, PgUp, PgDn keys on the main keyboard is so annoying. They really slow me down and have caused countless typing errors. Users are not supposed to re-learn how to type to make the designer's life easier. It should be the other way round!!! To help getting around this, I've stuck little shaped markers on those keys to give me tactile feedback for identifying them.
4) The separate keypad is almost completely useless. It gets into the way of the mouse. Also, as so many reviewers have pointed out, the lack of an on-off switch, the difficult to open battery compartment and the unusual battery are all dumb ideas.
5) Super strong magnets at the bottom just to hold the battery compartment cover and the stand? This is such an abuse... Why do you need them to be so detachable? I personally left the cover opened all the time, so that I can disconnect a battery after a day's work. It would be so much better if they've provided an on/off switch instead.
Unless you are not a very good typist, and have not got used to any more sensible and familiar layouts, this keyboard could be ok for you (you still need to use a different mouse). O.w. stay away from this one.
I absolutely love the style of the keyboard, it is incredibly light-weight and thin, I really like the separate numeric keypad but oh my, the mouse is awful. It is so huge, like holding a giant tennis ball in your palm, I could not maneuver properly, it would not work on my mouse pad, and the scroll wheel is in an awkward position.
Unfortunately, my keyboard was defective as the right space bar didn't work (I had to use the left which I am not comfortable with). I was going to get it replaced with the keyboard only but unfortunately it was $40 more than the combo, so I am returning everything.
Get it, you'll like it. From a look and feel perspective I love this keyboard. Ergonomic, but has key mechanics similar enough to my laptop (macbook) keyboard that it's not awkward to switch between them. Very comfortable to use — I don't use it with the wrist bar raiser (not official term obviously) and find the wide wrist pad very easy on the wrists. I've used probably every Microsoft ergonomic keyboard through the years and this is the best so far.
Note: I'm a trackball fan so I don't use the mouse but it looks and feels great with rubberized coating.
Some minor (ish) complaints for objectivity:
1) The separate keypad is nice I guess but I keep losing it on my desk. That's more likely my fault :)
2) The main keyboard has an incredibly easy to access battery (and receiver storage) cover. Just pops on and off with a solid magnet — I can't believe it took this long to figure this out. And takes AAAs for easy replacement. HOWEVER, the numerical keypad for some reason, has a panel you need a screwdriver/small coin etc to unscrew and then takes coincell batteries. I understand that it doesn't have the depth of the main unit, and likely will need relatively fewer battery replacements, but this seems weird to me. But I can't imagine this would be enough to dissuade your purchase.
3) I find the system very sensitive to wireless interference. At home it behaves pretty well, but at work I guess we have a lot of wireless networks and every so often it starts cutting out which is insanely infuriating. I'm hoping that's just an environment thing as again, my home unit works fine, but this behaviour is experienced with multiple units at my desk at work.
Ergonomics are good, but everything else is not great. I got this out of the box, figured out how to get the batteries installed, dug through all the documentation and read a confusing page on Microsoft's website, but still couldn't get this to connect to my computer. It turns out the vital instructions you need are PRINTED ON THE INSIDE OF THE LID OF THE BOX! I like a treasure hunt as much as the next guy, but why on earth make this vital information so hard to find?
Why on earth is this not a Bluetooth keyboard? I'm using a laptop and it's a pain to keep track of a USB dongle like it was 2003. And it takes up a USB port obviously.
It's a lot better than a flat keyboard for ergonomics. I have large hands and the palm rest is too small. I hang off the back of it. Also the scroll wheel for the mouse is positioned for someone with very small hands, so I have to hold it in a very non-ergonomic way to reach the scroll wheel.
Almost a great product. Make it bluetooth, move the scroll wheel, and I'm in.
Update 3 years later: I lost the USB dongle. Microsoft won't sell you a replacement. So now I have a large expensive, wasteful piece of junk that has to go to landfill.
I have been using this keyboard for about two weeks now and here are my thoughts on the keyboard. As far as being ergonomic, it is a good keyboard, but the fact that is doesn't have an on/off switch makes it so it burns out batteries like crazy when travelling with it. The only way to shut it off is to remove the batteries every time from the keyboard. I would also add that removing the door to access the batteries is very hard. I now have to carry a butter knife with me at all times in my briefcase, just to access the panel because a pen, a paper clip, key, coin are all too thick to get this latch open. Just not a good setup for my needs where I travel with my keyboard.
2020-07-09 I bought this keyboard in October 2019. They keyboard stopped working in January and had them replace the keyboard which they did promptly, but now, I am having the same issues as before. They keyboard is not longer responding to my commands. The mouse and touchpad work, but not the keyboard. Badly designed and constructed.
I have double tendinitis and CECS in my right arm, as a result I have been spending a LOT of money buying ergonomic equipment for all around the house daily use. One of the most important was a keyboard and mouse, I was skeptical mostly about the mouse since it looks strange, but after using it for the first few hours it seemed to do a good job at not aggravating my elbow or forearm. Then I switched back to a Logitech G305 after getting used to this sculpt kit and INSTANTLY felt my relaxed muscles and other parts of my arm tense up in that position, I am sold on this truly ergonomic setup and will be buying another for the living room pc. I also really like how the keyboard forces you to stay in the proper typing position, keeps you from lifting your wrists all the time if you're an index finger typer like me lol
PS: Garbage for fps gaming, this should be obvious but amazon actually asks me to rate it's gaming feature :/
I use this product for my home office. I love it's curvature, however the placement of some of the non-letter keys throw me off (considering that I've used MS keyboards for years. Oh well, I can live with that) However, what I find particularly annoying is the method to switch from a regular F-key to Special function key. MS chose to use a slide switch of all things! If speed is of the essence then that was a poor design. A push switch would have been a better choice.
The mouse is absolutely lovely! Nice fit. A stress reducer compared to other models.
This was purchased by my manager at work for a second time BECAUSE the first set she bought, the dongle piece broke in transit when she travelled for work. The dongle can only be paired with the original set it's sold with. Microsoft does not make other dongles that can be paired with the keyboard and mouse. So she literally had to just trash the first set she bought. The reason why I even give it one star is because she really liked the keyboard and mouse. It's ergonomically great. If I could have found one that was comparable and wireless like this that didn't have the dongle issue, I would most definitely have bought it instead of this one. Microsoft needs to give their head a shake. This is not a sustainable product and how terrible for the environment.
I've been studying and working from home since March, and was really struggling with wrist pain. I'm usually on my computer for majority of the day and this has helped immensely in making my work life easier. My wrist pain is mostly gone now, and love the fact that number pad is separate, as other ergo-keyboards tend to be bigger due to the number pad being attached. I don't need to use the number pad personally, and like that I can move it around. The keyboard doesn't take up too much space on my desk, which is what I wanted, and the mouse seems to have no issues either (the windows button and the programmable back button on the mouse is also very useful). I haven't had it long enough to rate the battery-life fairly, but so far everything seems perfectly fine!
having used 2 weeks. what should I say. i need to adjust lots of customs to adapt for this ergonomic keyboard and mouse. first this keyboard has kind of two sections which your left hand fingers does not overlap your right hand fingers on any key at all. The curve is the best in all keyboard i have used, and all the keys on left hand side are designed perfectly on position and size, but the right hand side is not so much. especially keys of '7', 'y' and 'n' feel too wide and make the other keys like 'backspace', 'delete' too far. the depth of each key is good, and the keyboard is not loud. for the mouse, i definitely need to change the position of how i hold mouse before. i think it is the goal of ergonomic design. however, the little boulder shape is not the perfect design, even i followed the picture instruction on manual. i had tried another logitech starwar spaceship shaped mouse which feels better. i would say this is the first generation of Microsoft ergonomic design, a good start but still way to goal. Last, i paid $105 and received a definitely refurbished model which was not said on the listing. I can tell from the blemish of bottom and palm rest. finally, the '-' key does not respond equally fast as other keys. I did not try battery life in the first two weeks.