Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Good compatibility, overall good utility
on May 21, 2016
Overall I'm happy with this keyboard, although there are a couple of issues.
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.