If you have hand and wrist problems like I do or wish to stave off hand and wrist problems, then an ergonomic keyboard is an absolute must. But one of the great difficulties, or at least one of the great difficulties I have found, is that when looking for an ergonomic keyboard you are presented with literally gazillions of options. Like literally so many that it is just ridiculous.
With this in mind I thought I would do a post highlighting which keyboards I have found to be the best out of the ridiculous numbers of options out there.
Just a quick note before getting to the keyboards, when buying a keyboard make certain, and I mean absolutely certain, that you are buying a keyboard with a layout that is designed for the country in which you live, so if you’re in the UK like I am make certain that the keyboard you buy has a UK layout, if you’re in the US make certain it has a US layout, in Germany a German, et cetera et cetera.
Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard
A lot of people will find this keyboard brilliant, and it is understandable why, it has a great design and is easy-to-use. Despite this, there are probably more people who will not like this keyboard then do like it, and here is why. Firstly, its size means that it is very clumpy, if you don’t have a big desk then this keyboard is just going to be a hassle. Next, due to the fact that there is no real adjustability with this keyboard, if your hands are not the right size and shape it may not provide any real benefit, and in fact you may find it worse than a normal keyboard.
Speaking of adjustability, even though economically speaking you should not have the keyboard raised from the back, a lot of people still like having it raised from the back, the problem is if you are one of those people it has no back legs meaning that you can’t give it an upward tilt.
Another problem is that you have to press the keys a little bit too hard for my liking, for an ergonomic keyboard really you should be able to get each key to register with the lightest touch possible. With this keyboard that is not the case. Then there is the noise, it is a noisy keyboard namely because you have to press the keys hard.
So yes this keyboard is a brilliant design, and a lot of people will unquestionably find it of great use, but only people who have a big workspace in which they are able to properly accommodate the keyboard, and those whose hands are the right size and shape for the keyboard.
Here is the link to the keyboard:
Note, for any who likes this keyboard but would like something smaller, Microsoft does offer an alternative which is very similar to this one called the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard. It is very similar to the above keyboard, except the numeric pad is not connected to the keyboard meaning it takes up less space on the desk. Here is the link to the keyboard:
Kinesis Freestyle II keyboard
This keyboard has a unique design to say the least, it basically is a keyboard split into three separate parts, the main keyboard itself has been split into two, and the number pad makes the third element. That means this is pretty much the ultimate adjustable keyboard.
And that’s why this is my preferred keyboard, the sheer level of adjustability with this keyboard is simply unrivalled. You can adjust its height and angle of incline so that it best suits your workstation, and your hands. Also, because it is split into two halves, three if you include the number pad, you can position each part in the most ergonomic position possible for your height and build.
All in all that means not only is it easier to keep your hands in a natural position, but more importantly it means you are less likely to make an ulnar deviation movement while typing, which is deadly for your wrists.
Other benefits are the fact that the keys only require a light touch, which means that they are also quite quiet or at least I find them to be, but then I don’t touch type any more so keep that in mind.
All in all like said what I like about this keyboard is its adjustability, and for adjustability this keyboard is like said pretty much unrivalled, which for me makes it the best option out there. But do be aware that this is a keyboard you will have to learn how to type with because quite evidently it is not like a standard keyboard.
Also, just some notes, the number pad comes separately meaning if you want the number pad you will have to purchase it separately. If you don’t use the number pad this is a benefit because it means you can get the keyboard for cheaper. The accessories needed to fully take advantage of this keyboard also do not come as standard, mainly because a lot of people don’t use any of them and simply prefer it to rest flat on the desk. Meaning if you like the keyboard to rest flat on the desk it allows you to buy it for cheaper.
However, if you are like me and need the number pad and the accessories, it means you have to remember to buy all of them. Here is the link to the keyboard, the number pad and the accessories:
Kinesis Advantage II Keyboard
I have to say I’ve never used this keyboard, but I have done much research into it and I do have a friend who uses this keyboard and swears by this keyboard. Basically, if you type a lot and want to protect your wrists or are finding that you are struggling with RSI and want to keep using a keyboard, this keyboard is arguably the best on the market. At least that is what my friend argues, and he is a big computer user, and from what I have read online his opinion is shared by many so I am inclined to believe he knows what he’s talking about.
However, it is highly expensive and it is also not very adjustable, so really it seems like this is a brilliant keyboard if you are able to use keyboards without any problem, and just wish to potentially stave off RSI, but if you are like me and cannot really use a keyboard, but want a keyboard because there are times when you have no choice but to use one, this perhaps may not be your best option.
To explain why, for starters it will take a lot of getting used to, but also it is big and clumpy and just plain and simply lacks the adjustability that I feel that is needed for a person who has real problems with their wrists. Also, there is no guarantee that the design of this keyboard will even suit your hands and wrists, it may or it may not.
Another problem is due to its design it is impossible really to use the dabbing typing technique, which is a technique which some people with RSI and other hand and wrist problems tend to use as it is arguably one of the safest typing styles. Basically the dabbing typing technique is where you use your index fingers alone to type. So rather than touch typing you use just your index fingers, which is of course how people used to the type when using typewriters. The theory is by doing this you are more likely to keep your wrists in a solid position.
But it is indisputably a brilliant keyboard and for ergonomic design in regards to touch typing purposes arguably the best out there. Meaning if you are a heavy keyboard user, and you wish to either stave off RSI or are hoping to reverse the early signs of it, this may be a good option.
Here is the link to the keyboard:
If you are a frequent computer user and wish to stave off hand and wrist injuries like RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome and the like, or if you already have developed problems with your hands and wrists, then getting the right ergonomic keyboard, specifically the one that is right for you is imperative.
And note the very specific wording there, right for you. One of the most important factors when selecting a keyboard is making certain that it is the one that is most suited to your hands and wrists and your computer setup. In my view one of the four selected keyboards above has the power to fit the vast majority of people and their setups, and hopefully if you are looking for an ergonomic keyboard this post has helped you in your search.
That’s all from me for today, stay safe!