Pros:split keyboard, separate number pad, multimedia keys
Cons:Arrow key layout useless for gamers, cost
The Bottom Line: Nice but overpriced, look for it oem to save money
A friend dumped his drink in my old favorite Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro...sigh, that was my favorite keyboard. Before it died, for a second time I might add, I had one of the microsoft 4000 keyboards, those are great when they work but they seem to have a built in die date; both died in less than 3 years. I have several older keyboards that are ten years old and more and they still work great. Unless you spend a small fortune, no one seems to use the old high quality switches that give you a satisfying click and touch feed back. They are all like this one, the same old mushy switches that all of them have these days. I suppose that is the price of technology. This keyboard has "microban" which I take it kills germs if more than one person uses the same keboard.
Recommend this product?
What's in the box:
pamphlet showing other products and talking about microban
Not much to install:
If you are using xp there are no drivers, it just plugs into a usb port and works. I have a KVM switch (allows one keyboard and monitor to support several machines simultaneously) with a usb port for the keyboard; this works flawlessly with that switch. Windows may take a few seconds to set up the keyboard but after that it should work perfectly. I suggest booting up your wordprocessor or even just note pad and testing every key to be sure they all work.
Features of this keyboard:
Split ergnonic design (supposedly better on hands when talking about carpal tunnel syndrome).
Separate multimedia control keys on top of keyboard (volume up/down and mute, keys for web browser, search, email, sleep.
Separate arrow keys (but I hate the layout more below)
Separate numeric keypad
stands on back to raise the back of the keyboard (standard)
separate numeric keypad
Mushy but adequate feel
Arrow key layout (gamers will not like it)
Cost too much retail (I'd suggest looking for this oem, dell charged nearly 70 bucks with shipping, way more than I like to pay for any keyboard.)
What I think overall:
Great keyboard other than I'm a gamer and the layout of the arrow keys makes them unusable for games for the most part. My game allows other keys to be remapped for movement but I still like my old keyboard with a more standard (box) arrow key layout. I miss my old microsoft but as with most older units, even a little splash is enough to trash them. I will be seeing if there are any instructions for fixing it but I kinda doubt it can be repaired (I was at a show years ago, they had the natural keyboard pros piled to the ceiling, I wish I'd picked up a few more than two...hindsight). The ergonomic keyboards are no longer as widely sold as they once were. I think a lot of folks just can't get used to the split design, it does take a little getting used to but especially since I was recently diagnosed with minor carpal tunnel.... I can personally vouch for the fact that they're better on your hands than a regular flat keyboard. This was one of the few ergonomic keyboards I could still find for sale, you also occasionally see them on ebay.
I think 70 bucks for this keyboard is outrageous, you can probably find them oem if you look hard enough. So far I really like it, I just hope it lasts longer than some of the other products I've had recently. More later.