Microsoft’s latest desktop set is not going to be for everyone. Combining a separate keyboard, number pad, and bulbous mouse, it covers all your PC input bases, and does so with wireless elegance. It’s beautifully designed, too, as well made as it is elegant to look at, with some very well-thought-out features.
However, it is a challenge to get used to.
Keyboards and mice are always very personal things, and therefore very hard to review objectively. In this case, despite its great design, the split keyboard design of the Sculpt is a real hindrance to anyone who is a more or less self-taught typist – like yours truly. I imagine for properly trained typists, who don’t use some weird, broken method of touch-typing that sees odd overlap from the left hand onto the right-hand side of the keyboard, it would be much easier to adapt.
It’s also possible that with enough time, say several weeks, I could get used to the Sculpt – but I’d have to suffer one serious drop in productivity, as my word-rate dropped by at least half while using it. It’s also a little painful to swap between different keyboards, so if you do like the idea of going ergonomic, it’ll be worth your while to get one for every station you type at, at work and at home.
Of course, individual mileage will vary – but we just can’t justify the massive change to our typing rate.
The build of the Sculpt, though, is lovely, from the rubber-padded palm-rest to the magnetic catches on all battery covers and the optional bar that sets the keyboard at a more extreme angle. Even the choice of matte black keys with gloss housing is very attractive.
If you are at all curious about going ergonomic, we really recommend giving the unit a try in-store if you can.
Microsoft refreshes its split board ergonomic range with a superbly engineered piece of kit, but still a challenging one