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Review: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

by Parm Mann on 17 March 2017, 10:45

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qade4h

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Weird and Wonderful

The keyboard is undoubtedly the star attraction, yet I'm surprised at how much I like the detached numpad. Keeping it separate allows the mouse to live closer to the keyboard and it is satisfying being able to hold the numpad like a calculator when you need to punch-in a series of numbers.

What I haven't (yet) been able to get accustomed to is the bulbous Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse. Adopting an almost-round profile, the pointer is shorter and taller than most mice and feels peculiar to grip. Rather than supporting your palm and encouraging your fingers to stretch out, the curved profile allows your hand to envelop the device almost entirely. Bizarrely, it feels a lot like the gear stick in my car. The upside is that your wrist is raised to a more natural position, and the way in which your fingers drape over the buttons means that very little effort is required to initiate a click.

A dedicated thumb rest is well implemented (though to the dismay of lefties it's only available on one side), and the mouse uses Microsoft's BlueTrack technology to track on just about any surface. The notched scroll wheel has a good amount of resistance and also offers side-to-side scrolling and press-to-click, while the thumb area offers two additional buttons; back and Windows start. There are enough positives for me to persevere with it, but right now my palm keeps slipping down the mouse to a more traditional grip and I'm struggling to keep my hand fully on top of the device as intended.

Summary

There is a steep learning curve involved, but the reward is a high level of comfort and a typing position that your joints may one day be thankful for.

Selecting the right peripherals can have a profound impact on our computing experience. These are the devices we interact with most frequently on a day-to-day basis, so it makes implicit sense to choose a keyboard and mouse that feels right.

Microsoft's Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is a strange proposition in that it feels almost comical to begin with, yet as you adapt to the profile and readjust to the layout it begins to seem natural and, before long, you start to believe that this is how a keyboard ought to be shaped.

There is a steep learning curve involved, but the reward is a high level of comfort and a typing position that your joints may one day be thankful for. Yet, despite the benefits, my search for the perfect peripherals will likely continue. The Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop's inability to recharge is a missed opportunity, as is the lack of backlit keys, and the shallow Escape key has become a bugbear. There's room for improvement but one thing is certain: I see no reason for my next keyboard not to be ergonomic.

The Good
 
The Bad
Very comfortable once you adapt
Helps achieve a neutral wrist position
Detached numpad is a good idea
Looks modern and stylish
 
Backlit keys would have been nice
Top row is relatively shallow



Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

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The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is available to purchase from Scan Computers.

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At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop - brought to you by Salvador Dali.
“and Microsoft quotes typical battery life as 36 hours” - seriously? I thought this would be the main negative point of the review. Not really practical if you're hacking away at a keyboard for 8 hours a day - will struggle to get through a working week!

Logitech MK520 - “A battery life of up to three years for the keyboard and eighteen months for the mouse practically eliminates the need to replace batteries.”
jimbouk
“and Microsoft quotes typical battery life as 36 hours” - seriously?

Not only that, the reviewer is calling for backlit keys!!! They obviously like to consume batteries…
jimbo - thanks for pointing that out. 36 hours was a mistake on our part, the review now correctly states 36 months.
I had considered trying that keyboard, but I think the “Microsoft ergonomic keyboard 4000” it still the best, serving me well for the last ~10 years. I also play games, that mouse would be useless to me.