Worth It: Microsoft 4000 Keyboard

Several months ago, I was on twitter and noticed a few people singing the praises of the Microsoft 4000 Natural Ergonomic Keyboard :



I was never particularly fond of ergonomic keyboards, mainly because they feel awkward at first when compared to traditional keyboards, and also because they are not well designed for computer gaming (which is perfectly fine…I believe they’re designed for typing; my priorities were much different when I was younger).

After following the conversation on twitter, someone suggested that if using a computer (and specifically typing on a keyboard) makes up a large part of your work day, you owe it to yourself to have a good mouse and keyboard.  This makes perfect sense, but I had never given much thought to the keyboards I used other than the basic fact that I needed it to use my computer.

As I’ve been trying to do more work that involves writing code, I noticed my wrists and hands starting to get sore at the end of the work day.  Since I use my computer as an essential part of my job, I decided an ergonomic keyboard might help in the long term to reduce injury to my hands and possibly even improve my typing.  When Dell had a sale on the keyboards, I decided to jump on it and buy one for work and one for the office.

While it was certainly awkward at first to position my hands angled slightly inward and tilted slightly forward at the wrist, I immediately noticed that this keyboard provides a much more natural physical position for typing than do traditional keyboards.  Using this keyboard also quickly highlighted some bad typing habits that I had acquired over years of computer use.  When you can’t use your left hand to press ‘Y’ because of a large gap in the middle of the keyboard, you quickly adjust your typing habits.

I’m very glad to say that after a month of everyday use, I’ve really come to appreciate this keyboard.  I’m certain that my typing is much faster and that I’m using better technique.  I also sometimes use the macro functionality built-in to the keyboard (though must of the other “extras” are left unused).  Overall, this keyboard has been a fantastic investment.

If you’re in a field that requires a lot of typing, you owe it to yourself to give this keyboard a try.