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Introduction.

If you’ve chosen a career path that involves a lot of typing, then the chances are that at some point you’ll need to invest in an Ergonomic Keyboard or better still, get your boss to purchase one for you!

Every job has its risks.

Extensive typing can lead to hand and wrist injuries. These injuries can include swelling, pain and stiffness of the joints and carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the sensation of tingling and numbness in your hands caused by pinched nerves in the wrist. Injuries such as these can be avoided by getting into good habits (which we’ll touch on later) and by switching to an Ergonomically designed keyboard and Mouse.

What is an Ergonomic Keyboard?

An Ergonomic keyboard is especially designed to ease the stress that’s placed on your hands and wrists by allowing you to type in a more intuitive and comfortable ‘natural’ position. Examples of ergonomic keyboard designs include:

A split keyboard – featuring a split design down the middle, with both sides of the keyboard angling away from each other in a V-shape so your hands can sit in a more natural position.

A Contoured keyboard – with a contoured design, the keys rise to a peak at the centre of the keyboard. The function keys are also grouped in the centre of the keyboard so they can be used with your thumbs. A contoured design ensures that very little wrist movement is needed when typing.

An angle-split keyboard – This is like the above split keyboard design, but the keys slant up at an angle towards the centre of the keyboard. Typing with an angle-split keyboard takes some getting used to because your index fingers are higher than your little fingers, but it’s incredibly comfortable and intuitive once you get used to it.

The definition of ergonomic‘relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment’.

Here’s Five of the best Ergonomic Keyboards we’ve used.

Ergonomic keyboards are incredibly popular and there are hundreds on the market to choose from. Because of this, we’ve reviewed five of our favourite Ergonomic keyboards that you can buy in 2018.

Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard - Best Ergonomic Keyboard Reviews

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard.

The Microsoft Sculpt is currently one of the most popular Ergonomic keyboards on the market, and with good reason.

Design and Build quality.

As you’d expect from a Microsoft product, the build quality of the Sculpt is fantastic. The materials feel premium quality to touch and the keys themselves are soft when pressed, with minimal pressure required to type fluidly.

In terms of eye-candy.

The Sculpt is a lovely looking keyboard. Indeed, the Sculpt is aptly named because its curbs ebb and flow beautifully. This is one Ergonomic Keyboard that you won’t be embarrassed to have on your desk!

Be advised – The Sculpt is quite a large keyboard that will take up a reasonable amount of space on your desk (especially if your using the separate number pad). The glossy plastics are also fingerprint magnets, so make sure that you keep a microfibre cloth to hand!

Using the keyboard.

The Sculpt keyboard is an angle-split design that features a tear-drop divider in the centre – separating the keyboard in two. The keys angle up towards the centre, which allows you to keep your hands in a relaxed position with minimal wrist moment when typing.

The reverse tilt design of the Sculpt feels a bit odd at first because we’re used to our keyboards being angled in the opposite direction. However, once you get used to it, typing at this angle feels far more comfortable than a conventional design, so persevere with it if you can!

The integrated wrist rest is HUGE and stretches across the full width of the keyboard. It’s very comfortable though.

MIcrosoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard - top down

Where’s the number pad?

To keep the keyboard a sensible size, Microsoft has provided a separate Wireless number pad that can be put away when not in use. This is a sensible idea but may annoy those of us that have to do a lot of number crunching all day! The keyboard also features integrated shortcut keys that are very easy to use.

Any gripes?

– The keyboard doesn’t feature backlit keys, which would have been nice.

– There’s no battery-life status bar.

Click here to visit the Microsoft Sculpt webpage.

Logitech K350 Keyboard - Best Ergonomic Keyboard Reviews

Logitech K350 Wireless ‘Wave-Style’ Keyboard.

The Logitech K350 is a feature-rich keyboard with exceptional battery life at a very reasonable cost. This keyboard is perfect for those that may struggle to adapt to a split design.

Design and build quality.

Most Logitech products I’ve used are built to a high-standard, and the K350 is no exception. For the price, the K350 keyboard feels like a premium quality product – from the soft materials used on the palm rest to the softness of the keys. There’s also some nice branding touches and the silver shortcut and multimedia keys compliment the Matt and Gloss materials nicely, giving the keyboard a futuristic look.

Using the keyboard.

Although it’s considered by many as an ergonomic keyboard, the K350 isn’t marketed as one. The Logitech K350 features a signature comfort ‘wave’ design keyboard that’s more subtle than a split or split angled Ergonomic design. If you’ve not used this style keyboard before then I strongly suggest giving it a test drive at a local Computer store because if you have an existing injury or pain in your hands and wrists, then you may find this keyboard layout to be a bit too conventional.

Logitech K350 review - Best ergonomic Keyboards

Other advantages.

The cushioned palm rest on the K350 should also be singled out for praise. For me, it’s the perfect size and the contours are perfectly placed for your hands and wrists to rest comfortably.

  • The keyboard features an adjustable height stand that can be placed in three different heights (although for me, having the keyboard flat on the desk was the best position).
  • The Logitech wireless ‘Unifying’ receiver can be used with up to 6 Logitech wireless devices, which helps to free up your USB ports!
  • Unlike the Microsoft Sculpt, the keyboard features a battery life indicator.

Any gripes?

– As mentioned above, the design may be a bit too subtle/unhelpful for people with RSI.

– I noticed that quite a few Mac users left comments online about a lack of configuration support, which is mainly down to the software available for the K350. I don’t have a Mac myself, so I couldn’t test this.

Click here to visit the Logitech K350 webpage.

Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard - Best Ergonomic Keyboard Reviews

Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard.

A high-end Ergonomic Keyboard for prolonged usage that commands a very high price-tag. Considered by many as one of the best Ergonomic Keyboards on the market.

Design and build quality.

At first glance, the Kinesis Advantage2 looks like it belongs on the deck of the Starship Enterprise! This keyboard may look bizarre., but you’ll soon appreciate that a lot of thought has gone into the design, which allows to type in maximum comfort. Every element of this keyboard feels like a premium grade product. The plastics feel sturdy and the ‘low force’ mechanical keys makes typing an effortless experience.

Looks can be deceiving. The Advantage2 may look like a bit like a bit of a lump, but it’s slightly smaller than a traditional keyboard because it doesn’t require a separate numeric keyboard. Clever stuff!

Using the keyboard.

The Advantage2 takes the angle split-level keyboard design to another level. The ‘contoured’ keyboard design is split into two different sections, with each set of keys being placed within a concave keywell. This patented design makes typing an incredibly intuitive and comfortable experience that anyone with hand and wrist pain will greatly appreciate.

The keys themselves deserve an honourable mention. The Advantage2 uses low-force Cherry MX tactile switches that have been designed to reduce hard key impacts by letting you know when a switch is about to be activated.

Another major difference is the key layout. With the Advantage2, Kinesis has replaced the traditional ‘staggered’ keyboard layout with a vertical design that’s more intuitive, increasing your typing speed and accuracy. Typing with vertical keys also feels very comfortable.

Kinesis Advantage2 - front facing - Best Ergonomic Keyboard Reviews

What’s happened to the space bar?

The space bar has now been relocated alongside the other essential function keys, so they can now all be operated by your thumbs, as opposed to with your little finger.

Other advantages.

  • The Advantage2 is a fully programmable keyboard that features a Smartset programming engine. This engine allows you to fully customise the keyboard at the source.
  • You can record up to 100 Macros and save them onto the keyboards on-board memory. There’s also a handy ‘Marco disable’ keyboard shortcut that will disable your Macros so you can’t accidently trigger them.

Any gripes?

– If you’ve not used one of these keyboards before then expect a bit of a learning curb because of the keyboard layout and the unique positioning of the keys. However, we’d recommend persevering because once you get used to it, using this keyboard is a joy.

– It’s not the prettiest keyboard to have on your desk but to be honest, you’re not buying it for its aesthetics!

– It’s not wireless.

Click here to visit the Kinesis Advantage2 Webpage.

Perixx PERIBOARD-312 keyboard - Best Ergonomic Keyboard Reviews

Perixx PERIBOARD-312 Ergonomic Backlit keyboard.

A budget Ergonomic Keyboard that’s incredibly good value for money, although some users may find it a bit too noisy for prolonged use.

Before reading on, it’s worth noting that the Perixx PERIBOARD-312 is currently available on Amazon for £24.99, so please take the price into consideration when comparing this keyboard to others in this article.

Design and Build quality.

As you’d expect, the 312 is slightly larger than your average keyboard because of its ergonomic design and the fact that the number pad has been retained in the chassis. Because of this, you may wish to consider an alternative option if your desk space is restricted. In terms of build quality, the 312 lacks the ‘premium’ quality feel of the other keyboards in this article. The plastics are hard-wearing, but they do feel quite cheap. Again, the price of this keyboard should be taken into consideration.

Using the keyboard.

The 312 is an angle-split design keyboard, although the peak angle that the keys meet in the centre isn’t as high as some other split-angle keys that I’ve used. As you’d expect for the price, the keyboard lacks a soft palm rest, which is a shame, but by no means is it uncomfortable and the angled keys compliment the natural positioning of your wrists almost perfectly.

The keyboard can be raised using two fold-out feet at the rear, although most people will probably find that using keyboard with the feet folded down is the most comfortable position.

In addition, the Perixx 312 features a white backlit LED keyboard, which has four brightness levels. This makes the 312 an ideal keyboard for people that cannot touch-type and work in a room with dimmed lighting. However, if you can touch type, then this feature will probably be wasted on you!

At the time of writing, the keyboard is available in either black or white.

Perixx PERIBOARD-312 - angle design image

Warning – the keys are loud!

Although this keyboard comes recommended, we do advise that If you don’t like loud keys then it’s probably best to avoid making a purchase, even if you’re looking for a budget option. The travel on these keys is intentionally designed to be long, and as such, the key presses are considerably louder than your average keyboard – to the point where others may find it a bit annoying!

Other advantages.

  • The keyboard has 2 x USB ports at the rear.
  • It also has 7 Multimedia hot keys.

Any gripes?

– The keyboard isn’t wireless (although again, it’s cheap)

Click here to visit the Perixx PERIBOARD 312 webpage.

Microsoft 4000 keyboard - top down

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.

It may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but Microsoft’s entry-level split-angled Ergonomic Keyboard strikes a great balance between features, cost and build quality.

Design and build quality.

The 4000 natural Ergonomic Keyboard is a split-angle designed keyboard that incorporates an integrated number pad. As with the Sculpt, the keys are separated with a tear-drop divider. However, the 4000 retains a single space bar that stretches across both sides.

In terms of functionality, the 4000 is feature-rich. The keyboard features a number of hot customisable multimedia keys, in addition to ‘forward and back’ arrow keys that sit just below the space bar (which I ended up using a lot). The keyboard also has a zoom slider that sits in the tear-drop divider, within easy reach of your thumbs.

As with the Microsoft Sculpt, the materials used feel premium quality, especially when you consider this is a sub £50.00 keyboard. The two-tone silver and black design is starting to look a little dated when compared to Logitech’s KB350, but none the less, it’s still a nice-looking keyboard.

NOTE – Like the PERIBOARD-312, this keyboard takes a lot of space up on your desk, so make sure that you’ve got the room for this keyboard before ordering it!

Using the keyboard.

From our experience, the Microsoft Natural 4000 keyboard is incredibly comfortable to use during pro-longed typing sessions. Depending on your requirements, the keyboard can be used flat, or you can use the supplied palm lift to tilt the keyboard at a reverse angle – providing a typing position that keeps your wrists straight when typing. The palm lift takes a bit of getting used to, but I’d recommend persevering with this.

The cushioned integrated palm rests deserve to be singled out for praise. They provide great comfort during prolonged use and they are some of the most comfortable palm rests that I’ve used on any keyboard, especially when you consider that they are not gel rests.

The keys themselves are soft to touch and are relatively quiet for a sub £50.00 ergonomic keyboard. They are certainly nowhere near as loud as the keys on the PERIBOARD-312!

Microsoft 4000 keyboard side-on image

Any gripes?

– The keyboard isn’t wireless.

– It’s hard to fault anything else to be honest!

Click here to visit the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 webpage. 

prevent keyboard-related overuse injuries

Other things you can do to prevent keyboard-related overuse injuries.

Here’s a few small tips to help you avoid getting hand and wrist injuries:

  • Type lightly and gently – try to avoid typing aggressively and punching your keys through the bottom of the keyboard!
  • Mix up your office tasks – avoid long uninterrupted keyboard usage by taking breaks from your desk (which you should be doing anyway) and doing other tasks. There’s always phone calls to be made or documents that need shredding!
  • Relax and remove your hands from the keyboard when you are not typing – avoid having your wrists at an unnatural angle when you can.

We hope that you found this article useful.

If you suffer with hand and wrist pain and you’ve never used an Ergonomic Keyboard before then now is the time. The cost for Ergonomic Keyboards has fallen with the increase in demand for ergonomic office equipment, so there has never been a better time to take an ergonomic keyboard for a test drive.

About Ohso Technical.

Ohso Technical offers Professional IT Support Services to local Organisations across London and the surrounding Counties. We are the first IT Support Company in London to offer ‘Instant’ telephone and remote desktop support as a standard response time.

If you are looking to reduce your IT Support costs and enjoy a superior Customer Service experience, then call us on 0203 963 5533 or get in touch through the online contact form below.

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