When searching for a new keyboard, you cannot go wrong with Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboards. Eventually creating their own Comfort Curve design, Microsoft learned early on that comfort is a must for those of us who use a keyboard several hours a day.
Using a contoured design, these keyboards encourage correct wrist and forearm posture which greatly reduces stress on the hands and arms. In fact, studies have shown a reduction in carpal tunnel syndrome cases related to working with computers in users of ergonomic keyboards.
What are Ergonomic Keyboards?
A fairly new workplace term, ergonomics is the practice of providing favorable comfort and avoiding unnecessary stress or injury. Anyone who works with computers several hours a day knows how easily your hands and wrists can quickly grow tired and ache. Even after taking a break often, once you begin typing again, the stress of continued use can still wear on your hands and wrists. Keyboards that offer the ability to easily reach keys and allow you to hold a natural posture can relieve this stress. Ergonomic keyboards are specifically designed to add comfort and reduce stress on the hands, wrists, and forearms.
Why Buy Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboards?
Microsoft started using the ergonomic design several years ago. Over the years, they have engineered their own design with the same concept known as Comfort Curve. By curving the keyboard, it makes it easier to reach certain keys which can increase comfort. The palm rests are cushioned, and the keys have a softer, more comfortable feel.
Microsoft is a leader in computer electronics. Their keyboards are no exception. Even the most basic Microsoft keyboards offer more functions and ease of use than the keyboards we’ve grown accustomed to. You can purchase wired, wireless, and Bluetooth keyboards with varying function keys. Most offer customizable keys providing a single push of a button to open assigned documents, email, and web pages.
Microsoft makes it easy to incorporate comfort without eliminating the latest technology.
Who Can Benefit From Using a Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard?
Businesses can benefit from the use of Microsoft ergonomic keyboards by providing their employee’s more comfort which leads to greater productivity. The technology featured on these keyboards makes accessing certain files, web pages, and other important documents easier than ever with just the click of a button.
Available Features Of Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboards
Most of the Microsoft ergonomic keyboards have the same features, but there are a few extras on certain models. Here are some features to consider before buying.
- Connectivity-Microsoft offers ergonomic keyboards that are wire-connected, wireless, and have the latest Bluetooth technology.
- Email & Internet Hot Keys-With one press of a button, you can easily access email and open your internet browser.
- Zoom Slider-This is a button in the middle of the keyboard that allows you to zoom in on web pages, images, spreadsheets, and more. It’s much easier than trying to locate the zoom in/out icons on web pages and eliminates constant clicking to get the image to the size you need.
- Customizable Keys-Several Microsoft keyboards give you the option of customizing up to 5 keys that will automatically open important documents, web pages, or folders.
- Lockable F Key-Accidentally hitting a function key and opening up unwanted screens can be eliminated by locking the function keys while working.
- Multimedia Keys-These keys allow you to play, pause, fast-forward, and more directly from your keyboard.
- Wireless Mouse-Several Microsoft keyboards are available with a wireless mouse
- Separate Number Pad-This feature allows you to set the number pad aside when not in use, or place it in the perfect position when in use.
- Advanced Encryption Standard-A great feature for added security, AES encrypts everything entered on the keyboard.
- Split Spacebar with Backspace-An excellent feature that makes you wonder why all keyboards weren’t initially designed with this in mind, the split spacebar with backspace is much easier to use rather than having to reach up and erase mistakes.
8 Of The Best Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboards
Below, we have listed several different Microsoft keyboard models and their features. As we mentioned earlier, several of these keyboards share common features. However, each one contains a must-have feature for different individuals.
Microsoft first released the 4000 several years ago, and it has withstood the test of time. The excellent design made it difficult to improve upon. By incorporating ergonomics, Microsoft designed this keyboard with comfort and ease of use in mind. The split design and the plush integrated palm rest allows users to maintain a more relaxed posture reducing stress on the wrists and forearms.
The curved key layout makes it easier to reach all keys and continue your typing pace. A zoom slider is located directly in the middle of the keyboard allowing you to zoom in on web pages and images with a single touch. 5 ‘My Favorites’ keys can be customized to quickly access important documents, web pages, or folders. The email and internet hot keys make opening the web or checking your email faster than ever.
It also has an improved number pad with commonly used symbols located directly above it. The lockable F key helps you avoid interruption when accidentally hitting one of the F keys. Multimedia keys are also a useful feature on this keyboard. This allows you to quickly navigate videos, movies, slideshows, and more directly from your keyboard.
The connectivity is wired and it requires 100MB of space on the hard drive. It is compatible with Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP (excluding XP64).
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for businesses is extremely similar to the 4000 above. The split keyset and domed keyboard design allow users to maintain a natural and relaxed angle which reduces stress on the hands, wrists, and forearms. The natural arc key layout is designed to mimic the curved shape of fingertips.
A separate number pad increases desk space flexibility and allows users to set it aside when not in use or place it within comfortable reach when in use. Function keys can be programmed and assigned to folders or web pages that are used often.
The connectivity is wireless and batteries are included.
The only difference in the 4000 listed above and this keyboard is that this one was created specifically for business use. It contains the same great features designed to maximize comfort. The split design and plush cushioned palm rest allow users to keep a comfortable position while working.
It also includes the zoom slider which allows users to easily and quickly zoom in on web pages or images with the touch of a button. The taskbar has specific keys for Windows 7 making it easier to access programs. Convenient hot keys make checking email or going online easier than ever before. 5 ‘My Favorites’ keys can be customized to open folders, documents, or web pages easily. A device stage key makes it easy to access product information, registration, and much more for popular devices such as cameras, phones, and computers.
The number pad is also improved on this model with commonly used symbols and a backspace located directly above the number keys. Multimedia keys and a lockable F key are also helpful features on this keyboard. The connectivity is wired. This keyboard is certain to improve and add comfort to work environments.
The Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Desktop keyboard follows suit with the others with its contoured design to provide users with a more comfortable typing position. A palm rest is available for added comfort but it is detachable. The innovative split spacebar includes a backspace creating more efficient typing.
The soft-touch typing is quieter than most keyboards. It also includes a Windows 8 shortcut key and is wireless.
The added mouse has 4-way touch scrolling and a Windows touch tab for easy access. It will work on most surfaces due to Blue Track technology. It is also wireless, and batteries are included for both the mouse and keyboard.
The keyboard requires 150MB for Windows hard drives and 30MG for Mac.
Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 5000 Keyboard & Mouse
Microsoft introduced their own version of ergonomically designed keyboards with their exclusive Comfort Curve design. Along with previous ergonomic keyboards, it helps users in maintaining a comfortable and relaxed wrist posture.
Microsoft also incorporated the Quiet Touch Keys on this keyboard. The keyboard is wireless with a snap-in transceiver allowing a range up to 30 feet. The futuristic design makes it fun to use with an added ability to control media playback directly from the keyboard. Programs in the Windows taskbar can be easily accessed by customizing shortcut keys.
This keyboard is compatible with Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP (excluding XP64). It requires 100MB of hard drive and batteries are included.
The Microsoft Comfort Desktop 5050 keyboard also features the Comfort Curve design. In addition to the built-in palm rest, users will find it easier and more comfortable for long periods of use. Shortcut keys can be customized for easy access of favorite programs, web pages, and folders.
The 5050 keyboard features the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This 128-Bit encryption program protects your information unlike ever before.
The included mouse will work on most surfaces by using the Blue Track technology. The mouse and keyboard are both wireless and batteries are included.
The 5050 keyboard is compatible with Windows 10, 8, and 7 and Mac OS x V10.4-10.10. Advanced key functions may not be available on all devices. The software requires 150mb of hard drive space. This keyboard also comes with a 3-year warranty.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop keyboard has a modern design that offers comfort and the latest technology. The split keyset and domed keyboard design both enable users to correctly hold their wrists and forearms. The cushioned palm rest adds to the comfort.
The included mouse has an integrated thumb scoop for correct hand and wrist posture. It contains a Windows button to easily access the start screen and a back button for faster more effective navigation. The mouse and keyboard are both wireless and batteries are included.
Microsoft’s Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 incorporates their Comfort Curve design along with the latest Bluetooth technology. The Comfort Curve design encourages proper hand, wrist, and forearm posture. The Bluetooth feature allows connection without dealing with cords, transceivers, or USB ports. The 5000 is lightweight making it easy to transport and has a high-quality construction.
It works with Windows 7, Vista, and XP, and is compatible with Ipad, Ipad2, and many Android devices. Batteries are included.
As you can see, there are many benefits to Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboards. Not only will it create a more comfortable work and play environment, many of the latest features are available on the keyboards as well.
There are so many options, the most difficult decision may be choosing which one to try first. The zoom button, customizable keys, and the improved number pad are all excellent features. For those working with secure documents, the AES feature is a must-have.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and we hope we were able to assist you in helping decide which Microsoft ergonomic keyboard would be perfect for you.