Hope you don't need to use the spacebar
Written: Aug 1, 2008
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Padded wrist rest, ergonomic split design
Cons:Stiff keys, unusable space bar, lack of customer support
The Bottom Line: If you really need an ergonomic keyboard, and can teach your thumb the precise spot to press the space bar then this may work out for your.
This review is for the Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard, Ive been using numerous keyboards over the last 20 years and touch typing for the last 6 of these years. My purpose in purchasing the Keyboard 400 was to reduce some of the wrist and finger pain I get from typing,
7 Degree reverse slope (with installed riser)
Customizable Hot Keys
Internet Hot Keys
"My Favorites" Hot Keys
E-mail and Internet Hot Keys
Lockable F Keys
Integrated Palm Rest
3 Year Warranty
In the box: Inside the box you will find the keyboard with the already attached plastic riser (for the 7 degree reverse slope) a driver disk and getting started manual.
Installation: The keyboard is only available in USB, so you will need a free USB port on your computer, if you do not have a free USB port on your computer you will need to purchase a USB hub (preferably a powered one) to allow the use of additional USB peripherals on your computer. If you are going to use a USB hub I would highly recommend plugging the Keyboard into your computers USB port, and your other peripherals into the hub.
Once you plug the keyboard in, it is recommended to install the IntelliType software, that will allow you to use the zoom function, as well as assign the 5 favorite buttons.
Use & Impression: Right out of the box I noticed the keys feel allot stiffer then what I would expect to find on an ergonomic keyboard. The worst offender is the massive spacebar. Where you would normally press the spacebar on the very ends on a normal keyboard you have to hunt around to find a sweet spot or else you have to assert allot of force to depress the spacebar witch in turn results in allot of thumb pain.
Aside from the spacebar, the other keys seem to take a bit of force as well. They layout works quit well, expect a few typos as you get used to the new feel.
One thing to note if youre a strict touch typist, the number 6 must be relearned. You know have to hit it with your right index finger as opposed to your left index as you would normally be used to.
Customer Support: I decided to contact Microsoft in regards to this being an ergonomic keyboard and my findings on the pressure required to depress the spacebar and keys. They placed my on hold and come back and said that there is nothing in there database so they do not know what to tell me. I inquired about a replacement and I was advised to just call another number and ask for a refund since I was not happy with the keyboard. Its not that Im unhappy with the keyboard there are lots of things I like, I just have a few concerns. I was asked if there was anything else they could help me with and the call ended there.
I decided to call the next day and speak to a different rep to see if maybe this was the disposition of the tech support rep, or if this is general response to customers. The next rep was even less helpful, I was advised immediately if I dont like it to return it.
Seems with such disregard for customer service there will be allot of unsatisfied customers and not many repeat purchasers.
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Amount Paid (US$): 30