It's an often-overlooked fact that typing all day long can end up being pretty bad for your hands and wrists in the long term. To help alleviate this, we're on a continuous quest to find the best ergonomic keyboard and today we're comparing two from Microsoft, the Microsoft Sculpt and Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard.
While plenty of other companies make ergonomic keyboards (as you can see from our ranking of the best), Microsoft has a long-standing reputation as the maker of everything used in most workplaces, especially after recently expanding into computer hardware with the Surface lineup.
Ergonomic keyboards usually focus on having a more comfortable design that eases repetitive tasks, like typing, by putting your hands and wrists into more natural and comfortable positions. RSI is one of the most common problems faced by people in the UK and while an ergonomic keyboard won't fix all problems, they come close.
If you use a Windows computer for work, as so many of us do, going for a Microsoft-made keyboard is an excellent choice. Let's dive into our comparison between Microsoft Sculpt and Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard.
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Microsoft Sculpt vs Surface Ergonomic: features
Both the Microsoft Sculpt and Surface Ergonomic keyboards are wireless. The Sculpt uses a wireless USB dongle while the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard connects via Bluetooth.
Beyond connectivity, the two keyboards have very similar feature sets: both have full-sized keys and full QWERTY layout, use AAA batteries, and include comfortable palm rests. However, the Microsoft Sculpt features a separate number pad while the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard features a number pad as part of the main keyboard.
Otherwise, you can rest assured that the keyboards are more similar than different in every other respect, thanks to being made by the same company.
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Microsoft Sculpt vs Surface Ergonomic: design
Now this is where things get interesting.
The two keyboards have similar design ideas, including the raised middle section and wrist rest, but they different fundamentally in other respects, the most notable of which is the 'split' keyboard style on the Sculpt.
To achieve an extra level of comfort when typing, Microsoft has divided the Sculpt into two halves between the G and H keys, creating a design that curves more than the Surface Ergonomic and therefore offers a better typing experience.
The Surface Ergonomic, too, includes a split between the G and H keys but it's filled with a grey dead space, rather than a gap, and on balance we prefer the Sculpt in this regard.
Elsewhere, the Sculpt has a raised reverse-tilt position that allow for far more natural wrist angles when typing. The Surface Ergonomic has slight angling, but nothing to the degree of the Sculpt.
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Microsoft Sculpt vs Surface Ergonomic: verdict
The Microsoft Sculpt and Microsoft Surface Ergonomic are two excellent keyboards, both of which will make anyone who wants to avoid RSI and uses Windows very happy and comfortable.
Which you choose will likely come down to a few factors.
In the Sculpt's camp, we think it's the more comfortable of the two to type on and it comes with a wireless mouse and keypad as standard, two very welcome additions. The reverse-tilted design is extremely nice to use and feels like it will protect your wrists from day one.
In the Surface's camp, anyone who wants a wireless ergonomic keyboard has probably already made their choice and the overall design and typing experience are still extremely good. If you already use a Surface, the aesthetic fits much more neatly, too.
On balance, we recommend the Microsoft Sculpt but anyone choosing the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard won't be disappointed.