Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 Review

The wrist relaxation is actually built onto the keyboard and isn’t detachable, but there is nothing to complain about it. Why? Its Leatherette cushioning is friggin’ comfy, by far the very best wrist relaxation.

The USB-only Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 does away with the unattractive beige coloring of its predecessors, favoring a sleek black design with silver edges and media keys. Nearly the entire corners are now rounded, together with the edges of the six and seven keys and those keys on the leftmost and rightmost sides of the keyboard to current an aesthetically pleasing and modernized look.

Like the Natural keyboards earlier than it, this one splits the keyboard in half at a 12º angle to make straight your wrists with the alignment of the keys instead of bending your wrists at an ungainly angle and cramming them together like conventional keyboards force you to do. Additionally, if you check out your hands, all of your fingers will be of various lengths, the middle finger being the longest of the curved bunch. The rows of keys on the keyboard mimic this in what Microsoft calls a Gull Wing design, subtly curving the keys to better meet the placement of the fingers.

It should be noted that the split keyboard design will solely be just right for you if you know how to touch type. 2 finger peckists will find the layout slow, and gamers will find that keys on the opposite facet of the split are simply too far to achieve in the middle of a firefight. If you can touch type nevertheless and work in front of a keyboard all day, the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is extra likely to suit your lifestyle.

The Microsoft does extra than simply split the keyboard and curve the keys to try and provide a better typing experience. Lots of the repetition is placed on elevation. Think about this, when you simply plop your hand on a desk, it probably does not lay flat, but extra likely it sits at an extra vertical angle with the thumb raised within the air as if you were about to shake hands with someone. While the Pure keyboard does not quite match this, it does slightly conform to the handshake posture with a 14º angle elevating the vertical center of the keyboard.

What is extra, Microsoft completely rethought the idea of a raised keyboard. If something about ergonomics, it’s all the time stated that your wrists be flat and never bent upwards. Despite this, many keyboards might be raised on the back using stands and this places a strain on the tendons below the wrist. Whereas the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard will also be raised on the rear, there is a platform that connects to the front of the keyboard to create the exact opposite, a reverse 7º slope.

 

The Pure Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 ships with the IntelliType Pro 5.3 drivers to manage all the hot keys of the keyboard to unlock the potential of the keyboard. On the top of the keyboard the small blue buttons that have been present on the Natural Keyboard Pro are actually replaced with silver rounded rectangles representing various functions. Within the top center of the keyboard are 5 favorites keys labeled 1-5, not bound to something by default. Pressing the star key beneath them will open a dialog box to assign each of them the task of opening a folder, file, or website. These can be particularly helpful for quickly launching a text editor to take notes or opening a share on the network.

Within the top left are three buttons for retrieve your default browser home, search page, and to launch an e-mail client. On the far right are keys for controlling the volume and muting, pausing the current media player, and launching the calculator. The F-keys additionally double as enhanced function keys for common office commands, enabled by an F-Lock key next to the F-12 key. Each the regular hot keys and the enhanced function keys can be reprogrammed to perform one of a number of common commands, launch a program, or website. Simply know that pressing Play/Pause will inconveniently carry the media player to front.

A number of different points of interest about the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is the status indicators have been relocated from the middle of the split to make room for a zoom slider, and now lie below the space bar together with back and forward buttons that may alternatively be reprogrammed to skip through MP3s. The sleep and logoff keys that were above the number pad at the moment are changed with an additional row of keys together with the equals key, begin and close parentheses, and a backspace key. Oh, and that evil vertical 5-key arrangement above the arrow keys on some keyboards thankfully did not make its way to the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard, it’s simply the classic 6-key arrangement the way it was meant to be.

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000: Verdict

The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is a serious keyboard for comfort and safety conscious touch typists.

Pros

  • Ergonomic design leads to wrist comfort
  • Enhanced function keys for common shortcuts
  • Five programmable favorites keys
  • Edicated back/forward keys for Web surfing

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of desktop space
  • Isn’t compatible with PS/2 adapters
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