Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse
For almost the last 15 years, I have been using only the Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse accessories made by Microsoft, I love them. I am a 3 finger touch typist, it is all muscle memory for me, so I am not comfortable with any other keyboard or mouse – whether in a laptop or as a separate accessory. Amongst the models from Microsoft I have used, my favourite was the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 that I got in 2007 and used for the next many years.
Disclosure: I write reviews about products that I have bought for my usage and paid in full. There were no sponsorship or advertisement, or commission of any sort involved in this post.
A few years ago (2016), I got the newer model – Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop for US$80, initially I missed the deeper key travel and the satisfying click sound of the Natural model, but I got used to it. About a year ago, I broke the USB dongle that attaches to the PC and provides the wireless connectivity. Sadly, the dongle is NOT available separately, I tried escalating within Microsoft through my contacts, but to no avail. Now, the expensive Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard and Mouse are sitting lifeless in my computers gallery as a showpiece.
Bummed that Microsoft is not selling the dongle separately and on the recommendation of a friend I bought the Logitech MK850 Performance Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo for Rs.6199 (US$ 89). My comfort with the pair was certainly not the same as with the Microsoft Sculpt combo, still, it was good. Unfortunately, I started facing phantom keys problem (where randomly keystrokes for zooming of the current window will happen) and frequent disconnections. The local support centre for Logitech in Chennai was helpful and immediately gave me a replacement. With the replacement, the phantom keys problem got solved but the frequent disconnection continued – I suppose it is due to some interference in my setup or in the 2.4 GHz band that other devices too might be using in my room. After a point it became irritating and I gave up.
Ever since Microsoft released this model a year or two back, I have been eyeing at them, but stayed away due to the cost. After the experience with using Logitech, I gave up and spend the money to get what is probably the BEST keyboard in the market today, the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard (Microsoft price of $130) and the accompanying Surface Mouse (Microsoft price of $50) from Amazon USA for $112 and $36 respectively. Through a friend travelling from there, I got them last week and I am LOVING them – I am patting myself for the decision to go with the Microsoft Surface Combo. If you are spending several hours on your PC (or Mac) typing, do yourself a favour and get this keyboard and mouse set, you will thank me.
The natural arc in any of the Microsoft Ergonomic keyboards needs a bit of time to get used but over the long run, it feels great. The “wrist” resting pad at the bottom of these keyboards and the large size of the mouse is important for your own safety and I believe they relieve the stress and prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
[Update: December 2020]
After using for a few months, I stopped using the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse. I put them away. They were comfortable & ergonomically they were great, unfortunately, the connectivity (Bluetooth) kept dropping frequently. It became irritating to switch ON & OFF Bluetooth, do the battery removal in the keyboard, so often. Initially, I thought the problem was with my laptop, but it seems it behaves the same with my desktop as well. Now I am waiting for someone from the USA to get me the Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop (Keyboard and Mouse) that is the newer avatar of my favourite Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000, which for now I have taken back from my son. Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop retails for USD 89.99, you will find it on sale often like now it is available for USD 62.
[Update May 2021]
Luckily, in March 2021 I noticed that Newegg.com had the keyboard for delivery in India. I ordered and waited – I received the keyboard in March after just 10 days. My review of Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop 2019 is here.