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Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
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- Split ergonomic design encourages natural hand, wrist, and forearm positions
- Cushioned palm rest provides support and promotes a neutral wrist position
- Palm lift promotes a relaxed, natural angle for your wrist
- Media keys for music and video control
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From the manufacturer
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
Looks different, feels amazing
Type in total comfort with the split ergonomic design of the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, which encourages natural hand, wrist and forearm positioning.
Get better support with the plush palm rest and lift, which keeps your wrist in a relaxed, natural angle with the keyboard’s curved key bed, ergonomic arc, and reversed slope.
Handy hot keys
Enjoy quick, customizable way to reach files, folders, and web pages with handy hot keys. For close-in tasks, use the Zoom Slider, located in the middle of the keyboard, to zoom in and out with the touch of a finger.
Industry-leading ergonomic design
Given the time you spend with your hands on a keyboard, investing in Microsoft’s best-selling line of ergonomic keyboards can pay dividends in greater comfort. According to some studies, ergonomic keyboard designs, such as the Microsoft Natural line, have been associated with significant reduction of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
|Natural Ergonmoic Keyboard 4000||Wireless Comfort Desktop 5050||Wireless Desktop 3050||Wireless Desktop 900||Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop|
|Overview||Ergonomic design, customed palm rest||Ergonomic design, built-in palm rest||Stylish design, built-in palm rest||Modern desktop at a great value||Ergonomic design, cushioned palm rest|
|Type of design||Natural||Curved||Straight||Straight||Split|
|My Favorite Keys||✓||✓|
|Keyboard name||Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000|
|Keyboard Cable Length||60 inches +/- 6 inches (1530 millimeters +/- 152 millimeters)|
|Operating systems||Microsoft Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / RT 8.1 / RT 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows 10 Phone, Mac OS X v10.7x - 10.10, Android 3.2 - 5.0|
|Hot Key Features||Mail, Web/Home, Search, Back, Forward, My Favorites, My Favorites 1, My Favorites 2, My Favorites 3, My Favorites 4, My Favorites 5, Calculator, Equals, Open Parenthesis, Close Parenthesis, Back Arrow, and Forward Arrow|
Place your hands and arms naturally and comfortably with the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. The improved split design encourages a more natural hand, wrist, and forearm position and its new curved key layout makes keys easier to reach. The Zoom Slider lets you zoom in for close-ups of Web pages, images, and more — with just the touch of a finger. And 5 customizable "My Favorites" keys give you instant access to the folders, files, and Web pages you use most.
From the Manufacturer
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
Industry-Leading Ergonomic Design
Given the time you spend with your hands on a keyboard, investing in the newest addition to Microsoft's best-selling line of ergonomic keyboards can pay dividends in greater comfort. According to some studies, ergonomic keyboard designs, such as the Microsoft Natural line, have been associated with significant reduction of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Rest your wrists against the plush palm rest in a relaxed, natural angle with this keyboard's curved key bed, ergonomic arc, and reversed slope. Apart from comfort and support, enjoy quick, customizable way to reach files, folders, and web pages with handy hot keys. For close-in tasks, use the Zoom Slider, located in the middle of the keyboard, to zoom in and out with the touch of a finger.
Zoom - Get a closer look quickly and accurately with the intuitive Zoom Slider.
Customizable Hot Keys - Perform common tasks, like opening documents and replying to email messages, with the touch of a button.
Improved Number Pad - Quickly reach for commonly used symbols, such as equal sign, parentheses, and "Backspace." They are now located just above the number pad.
Ergonomic Design - Type in total comfort-ergonomic design encourages natural wrist and arm alignment so you can work without discomfort.
- Device Stage - Quickly and easily access common tasks, including product information, registration, settings, and more for popular devices such as cell phones, cameras, printers, and mouse, keyboard, and webcam products.
- Taskbar Favorites - Easily access programs in the taskbar with convenient keyboard hot keys. The keys automatically adapt to the new location of applications that have been rearranged by dragging.
- Email and Internet Hot Keys - Touch a button to quickly access your email application and the Internet.
- Multimedia Keys - Quickly and easily access and control all of your media from your keyboard.
- Lockable F Key - Lock your F keys to avoid engaging them unintentionally.
- Integrated Palm Rest - Get better support with this plush, integrated palm rest.
- Cutting-Edge Design - Whether you're at work or play, improve your performance with cutting-edge Microsoft design.
- Computer/Operating System
Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (excluding Windows XP 64-bit)
- Hard Drive
Top Customer Reviews
It was about 90% plug and play on my Linux system. On Windows, there's a special driver to make sure everything works, but no such thing for Linux. Still, almost all the keys worked and it was completely usable. With a few relatively easy configuration changes I was able to get 100% of the keys working as they should. That's very satisfactory. I put maybe 20 minutes into it, compared with the 5 minutes I would have spent installing a driver on Windows. So overall, Microsoft has played fair here and there are no show-stopping incompatibilities, in fact really none at all.
The keyboard has a rich set of functions and features. It takes a little getting used to if you want to get the most out of it, but you can do this "as you go." The keyboard is usable as a simple keyboard right from the get-go.
Also on the positive side is that the keyboard is relatively quiet. It's not as quiet as some super-silent keyboards that I've used, but I like the idea that there's just enough audible feedback, which, combined with excellent tactile feedback, leads to more accurate typing.
The keyboard is a little bulky but on the other hand it rests stably on the work surface and doesn't scoot around like some lightweight keyboards.
So, what about the vaunted ergo features?
First, there's a gadget provided that changes the tilt of the keyboard and supposedly provides ergo advantages. I took it off right away; I couldn't get used to the rather extreme tilt downward. Maybe I should have given it a chance but I really hated it. Your mileage may certainly vary.
The wrist rest is comfortable and provides good support. Now, the main feature; the split of the keyboard into two "sides" and the angling that goes with it, really takes some accustomization. I mean, really. Even after a couple of months there are some things I find strange and more difficult. I'm a big Emacs user and so the control key comes into play often, and I have caps lock mapped as an extra control key. The "reaches" are strange and I've had to alter finger usage to deal with this. But don't give up; after some practice, regular typing is fast and comfortable. The layout of the keys is sensible and generally works pretty well.
The biggest issue, and why I rate this four stars overall, is the spacebar. It takes a lot more force to depress it than it ought to, and it's something you use a lot, so it's a problem. There is a lot online about how to fix the spacebar, but you shouldn't have to.
To be fair, I didn't apply any of the fixes, and with usage, I learned the best way to use the spacebar (pulling my thumb to the side a little). Also, it's loosened up a little with repeated use. But this is a real design flaw.
Do I recommend this keyboard? You can get a Logitech for more money, but I think this keyboard is about right for the price, so I give it a guarded recommendation. You've got to give it time. Don't expect to be a pro with it the first few days. And you've got to learn to work with the spacebar.
To set the context, I don't touch type, just hunt and hit like most people with a speed of 40 wpm. Previously, I was content with my chiclet laptop keyboard and dont really have much complaint against it. I liked them more than my previous desktop keyboard where I had to push down the button so deep that I hardly enjoyed typing. I really like the feel of soft touch and the dampened sound. I have tried split typing, as in both hands have separate zone to cover but couldn't continue it for long. So, I'll try to provide my review from the eyes of this biased user.
So, when I received the keyboard my major concern was the size of the keyboard as I have small hands and the depth of the keys. It looked really wide. But then I tried and I can easily reach any key in the qwerty zone without moving my wrist. Actually if you look at it closely, you can see that the new revised wireless model of this called sculpt ergonomic keyboard is essentially just this main zone cut out from the rest.
Next up was the travel / depth of the key and I again felt comfortable with it. They require about the same amount of force except for the Space key which when pressed from the northern part, gives much more friction than from the southern part. Although the depth of keys is more than that of laptops, it is NOT at all uncomfortable - maybe a little more, but nowhere near my old mechanical keyboard. I still keep missing the space key sometimes when I hit it softly like the other keys.
Then I tried the special keys after installing the special driver. You can reconfigure any of them to other action, but the list of available actions is the same as the default action of all the keys included plus running any external program. So, if you want the mail key to paste from clipboard, that's not possible, but it can change the volume. The favourite key CANT be reconfigured, it opens this special key configuration page by default. You can only enable or disable it. I guess much more can be done via macros, but I am yet to give it a shot.
Only downside to me is the presence of numpad keys. Dont get me wrong, I absolutely loved them in my laptop, but they are too far away from the QWERTY zone and it is actually easier for me to press the top number keys rather than moving to that part for regular typing. But, I am pretty sure on the other hand that during numerical calculations, that dedicated zone along with the extra bracket and equals key on the top part of it will be absolutely godsend. But having them doesnt hurt anyways, right? Well, it does my hurt my hands when I have to reach for my mouse on the right. Its too far away from my body because while typing, I place the middle of the QWERTY zone right in front of me, so the keyboard is extended more to the right.
For context, I spend most of my time at a keyboard, at work and at home. I type fast, I key too hard, and I spend 4-6 hours a day typing (not sitting at a computer—actively typing). My first two MS 4000 keyboards lasted 3-4 years each under that abuse. They were my first ergonomic keyboards and I loved them. The many other reviews on this product do a good job of explaining the pros and cons. This keyboard has worked so well for me that I've replaced it with the same keyboard every time. I buy them at work so I can use them there, too. When I've been responsible for ordering keyboards for others, this is the one I get.
However, starting three or four years ago, I noticed that the keyboards weren't lasting as long. The physical action of the keys was fine, but something would go wrong with the underlying membrane, or the electronics. A key would stop working, or key mappings would get strangely scrambled—one keyboard started outputting two letters per key press, but only for half the letters and none of the numbers. This would happen within 12-18 months of purchasing the keyboard.
My last two keyboards have died within 8-12 months.
This is pretty annoying, but for the low price, it's still worth it for me to buy a new one when the old ones die. But if you're here looking for the reliable workhorse keyboard of the past, you may want to look elsewhere.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Service for MS hardware is only available 9am-5pm EST weekdays.Read more
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