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.