Your Hands Will Thank You

Mi­crosoft Sculpt Er­gonomic Desk­top

HWM (Singapore) - - Lab Test -

Years ago I be­gan to de­velop pain in my right wrist, and us­ing a key­board for long pe­ri­ods of time made it worse. See­ing as us­ing a key­board for long pe­ri­ods of time is the way I make a liv­ing, this pre­sented a co­nun­drum. Af­ter do­ing some re­search, I bought a Mi­crosoft Nat­u­ral Er­gonomic Key­board 4000 and my wrist pain eased. I haven’t looked back since and have grown to love the key­board’s odd shape.

But the 4000 wasn’t per­fect; it had mushy keys and the num­ber-pad forced you to have your mouse way off to the right, which didn’t feel er­gonomic at all. Would you be­lieve it, it took Mi­crosoft eight years to re­lease the up­date to the 4000; the new Sculpt Er­gonomic Desk­top, with a manta-ray shape that ac­tu­ally makes er­gonomic key­boards look cool for the first time.

The Sculpt in­stantly solves the 4000’s num­ber one prob­lem by de­tach­ing the num­ber-pad. You can place it any­where else you want, in my case I left it in the box and haven’t missed it. With­out the num­ber-pad, the Sculpt takes up much less space than the clunky 4000 and lets you place your mouse closer, and more com­fort­ably, to your center.

The rea­son the num­ber-pad can be de­tached is be­cause the Sculpt is wire­less, whereas the 4000 was not, so not only does it free up more real es­tate on your desk, it makes your desk neater too. Yay, min­i­mal­ism. No­tice that I say the Sculpt is wire­less, not Blue­tooth; you will need to ded­i­cate a USB slot to con­nect the Sculpt’s wire­less don­gle.

The Sculpt also re­places the 4000’s mushy keys with lap­to­p­like scis­sor keys. They feel bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous ver­sion, but the scis­sor keys sit closer to the Sculpt’s sur­face with less travel than the 4000’s, so you don’t get that sat­is­fy­ing ‘thud’, just a clicky click, and my fin­gers tend to mush against the Sculpt’s sur­face. All in all though, I’d rate the clicky click ex­pe­ri­ence of the Sculpt’s keys an over­all im­prove­ment over the 4000’s.

Un­like ev­ery other key­board out there, the Sculpt es­chews the Func­tion key for a Func­tion switch, on the top right of the lay­out. Yes, your Func­tion keys can only serve ei­ther as Func­tion keys, or as their as­signed short­cut keys (like Play/Pause and Vol­ume Up/Down). I’ve kept mine on the Func­tion switch as I use them reg­u­larly; while I miss the short­cuts it’s just too much of a has­sle to keep push­ing the switch back and forth.

How about the mouse that comes with the Sculpt? I’m am­biva­lent about it; it does feel bet­ter for the hand, your wrist is el­e­vated higher off a desk than a tra­di­tional mouse, but it never felt com­pletely com­fort­able, and the scroll wheel is in an awk­ward place. Hon­estly, I could have done with­out the mouse, but there’s no op­tion to pur­chase the Sculpt with­out it.

If you have wrist pain like I did, I highly rec­om­mend you give the Sculpt a try. And Mi­crosoft... let’s try not to go eight years again with­out a word, okay?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.