Microsoft Hardware has quietly updated its website with an interesting new Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop keyboard. It takes last year's Sculpt Comfort Keyboard design to the next level by physically dividing the curved keyboard in half and connecting them together with the dual space bars and an elongated, cushioned palm rest.
"Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is built on advanced ergonomic principles, with a split keyboard layout that keeps wrists and forearms in a relaxed position, and a cushioned palm rest to provide wrist support," reads the product description. "The domed keyboard shape works to reduce and correct wrist pronation that can cause pain and limited mobility."
Microsoft claims that the natural arc keyboard layout follows the curve of the user's fingertips for a more natural way of typing. Reverse tilt design supposedly positions the unique keyboard at the correct angle to provide users with a straight, neutral wrist position. It measures 15.3 inches across and 8.19 inches deep – the company doesn't provide an actual height from the bottom to its domed peak.
As with the previous Sculpt mechanical keyboard, the Sculpt Ergonomic allows users to configure the dual spacebars. Microsoft claims that 90 percent of people use only their right thumb to hit the spacebar while the backspace key is one of the most frequently used keys on a keyboard. That said, the left spacebar can be reconfigured to act as a backspace button instead. Don't like it? Simply revert it back to the spacebar function.
Microsoft's new Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop bundle also comes with a standalone number pad that for some reason Microsoft feels is better than having it connected to the keyboard. However given the way the hands are angled on the domed layout, perhaps a built-in keypad would have been awkward to access. Microsoft says the standalone design provides greater flexibility for workspace setup.
The new bundle even throws in an unusual mouse that only right-handed customers will love. It sports a shallow egg-like top and an actual thumb rest (aka thumb scoop) on the left so that users can easily touch the Windows 8 Start screen button without much effort. The two main buttons are shifted over to the right along with the 4-way scroll wheel mounted between them. It's definitely not a mouse designed for lefties.
"Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is designed for productivity, with an eye on ergonomic excellence," the company states. "By providing a relaxed, comfortable computing experience, it enables you to work without the stress, strain, and discomfort of other keyboards and mice you may have used in the past."
For more information about Microsoft's new Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop bundle, head here. The whole package costs $129.95 USD.
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Weird. But cool. These ergo keyboards are nice as long as you don't look at them, and hide them under your desk.Reply
I'd take one (just the keyboard), with a trackball mouse and mechanical num pad. Just hide it from sight.
1. This is a mechanical switch-key keyboard, right?Reply
2. Funny that it costs the same as the Touch/Type covers.
First 2 questions? LED backlit Yes or No? If no, fail. Second.... Bluetooth 4.x wireless? Yes or No, no Fail #2. end program.Reply
If both are yes, it will be in the shopping cart today.
@jn77: I have never seen a single backlit ergomic keyboard. These are mostly meant for use in an office, which are usually well lit enough that one wouldn't need it to be backlit. They can keep their LEDs and I'll keep my $20 they would have charged for the feature. Second, I'm not sure if it is 4.0 or not, but this does work with either bluetooth or the included dongle (for machines that don't have bluetooth). I too hope it is 4.0, because that would great increase the battery life.Reply
@ojas: Why is that funny?
I don't think it is mechanical. But if it is, cool. If it ain't, I really don't care.Reply
People file the letters off these keyboards, so I don't think LEDs will be popular... Look at that Das Keyboard thing.
The whole ergonomic keyboard thing is for suckers. They make a strangely shaped keyboard and convince people its healthier.Reply
Just my 2cents
11351038 said:The whole ergonomic keyboard thing is for suckers. They make a strangely shaped keyboard and convince people its healthier.
Just my 2cents
I like ergonomic keyboards. Whether or not they are "better" health wise is irrelevant to me, I find them more comfortable. I don't like split designs like this though because I like to use my left hand for b.
I had a similar keyboard way back when I was in college. I LOVE the split space bar and want the left one as a backspace. Makes fixing mistakes a lot easier. Sadly though I won't even consider getting this. It was great for typing all those papers, but I know it wasn't good for gaming. The arc makes things in the wrong spot, and when you need to press 4 to change a weapon FAST, this doesn't help. I dumped that keyboard I had when I found I couldn't game as well on it. Maybe if I gave it more time it would have been better, but I didn't want to. For anyone who does a lot of typing though, this will be a great keyboard.Reply
It appears the "b" is on the left side of the keyboard. There are 5 keys to the right of the shift, and that is where the "b" goes. It shouldn't be a problem if you type the "b" with the left hand as we are usually taught when typing.
i want one with mechanical keys and media buttons like the ones on the original microsoft natural keyboard with the ps2 port as they didn't all look the same. I hate that most keyboards the media keys all look the same and you have to read them to know what each does.Reply