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Lifewire / Emily Isaacs
Comfortable, high-quality ergonomic design
Easy setup process
Excellent battery life
Wireless Easy to clean
Can’t wake PC in sleep mode
The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard is a high-quality Bluetooth keyboard that’s well worth the splurge, particularly for people who spend a lot of time typing on their computers.
Microsoft is no stranger to computers and their accessories, and it’s obvious with the Microsoft Surface Keyboard that they’ve put a considerable amount of thought into its design. This ergonomic keyboard is not only built with high-quality materials to ensure its longevity, but it’s comfortable and intuitive to use. We tested this keyboard over the period of a week, read on to see what we found.
The Surface is a sleek ergonomic keyboard and a welcome addition to the Microsoft family. Like many ergonomic keyboards, it’s designed to help your wrists sit at an instinctive, comfortable angle that encourages natural movement to prevent repetitive stress injuries. The keys have a slight divot in the center so fingers naturally conform to their shape, making the keys comfortable and easy to type on.
The sloped, ergonomic design is built using high-quality, tactile materials that are not only intuitive to type on, but oddly satisfying as well. As with anything new, there’s still a period of adjustment, but we didn’t find the change to be a jarring experience. The Surface has the added bonus of featuring Alcantara fabric, a proprietary Italian material that’s a combination of polyester and polyurethane with a suede-like feel to it. It uses the Alcantara fabric as part of the wrist pad making it not only and soft to the touch, but easy to clean and maintain as well.
The Surface keyboard features a split design that’s not dissimilar to the manta ray shape employed by the Microsoft Sculpt, a direct competitor to the Surface. It’s as if Microsoft lifted that product design and built upon it to create something better—and more attractive. The two halves of the keyboard swoop outward and downward, putting hands, wrists, and arms in a natural position.
It’s the Goldilocks of keyboards with a fit that feels just right.
Unlike some ergonomic keyboards that can hog space, forcing users to overreach for mice which can lead to shoulder injuries in place of wrist injuries, the Surface is wide enough that your hands sit comfortably but small enough that it’s easy to reach for your mouse when you want it. It’s the Goldilocks of keyboards with a fit that feels just right.
The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard arrives in a mid-size box containing the Surface itself as well as a small white box tucked underneath it. This contains a product information pamphlet and quick start setup guide.
To use the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard, we flipped the keyboard over and removed the paper slip from the magnetic battery compartment. Next, we pressed the Bluetooth button and flipped it over to the frontside where a white light flashed above the arrow pad to indicate that it was ready for pairing. On our PC, we navigated to the Bluetooth settings and selected the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard. It prompted us to input a numeric code and press enter in order to finalize the setup process. Then, just like that, it was ready for use and setup was complete.
The Surface has function keys for pausing multimedia, skipping forward or backward in multimedia, increasing or decreasing volume, muting volume, increasing brightness or decreasing brightness, and several others. It really feels like Microsoft thought of every way their users interact with keyboards and tried to meet their needs.
The keyboard features Bluetooth 4.0 technology, so it’s able to establish a wireless connection of up to 32 feet with Bluetooth-capable devices. It’s worth noting that it does use two AAA alkaline batteries. These offer a shelf life of up to 12 months, so you’re not likely to run out of power anytime soon. If you do need to change them, it’s easy to press the battery compartment lid down so that it pops out to replace them. One drawback to this design, however, is that the keyboard doesn’t feature backlighting. While this isn’t the end of the world by any means, it is something we definitely missed when using it.
The keyboard features Bluetooth 4.0 technology, so it’s able to establish a wireless connection of up to 32 feet with Bluetooth-capable devices.
Retailing for $129 (MSRP) or around $99 on Amazon, the Surface is a pricey little keyboard. Between the quality of the build materials, the comfort of the keyboard’s design, its wireless capabilities, and its great battery life, the Surface is a worthwhile investment for people who spend a significant amount of time in front of a PC. If you don’t spend much time on your PC, however, a cheaper, non-ergonomic model may be a better fit.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is a direct competitor to the Surface. Interestingly, the Sculpt seems to have inspired a significant portion of the Surface’s design, with the Surface feeling like a fancier version of the Sculpt thanks to its quality materials and matte finish. This difference shows in their price points as well, with the Sculpt generally retailing for around $80 whereas the Surface retails for around $129 (MSRP) or $100 on Amazon.
A second version of the Sculpt is available for this same $129 price point, the notable difference being that it includes a wireless mouse which associates to the computer through the keyboard’s encrypted dongle. If you have limited USB ports, this may be especially appealing to you.
The Sculpt is slightly smaller and made of plastic, although it also features a cushioned wrist pad. The wrist pad in the Sculpt is a bit firm, but it’s not uncomfortable. The Sculpt also comes with an optional magnetic riser that attaches to the bottom of the keyboard. It raises the wrist pad, thus altering the pitch of the keyboard itself into a more neutral position for your wrist. If you prefer to work on a raised surface or at a more neutral angle, the Sculpt is the clear winner. Another notable difference between the two is that the Sculpt offers a detached numpad. If you do a significant amount of work in spreadsheets with numbers, this feature can be a game-changer.
The Surface features a split design that’s not dissimilar to the manta ray shape employed by the Microsoft Sculpt, a direct competitor to the Surface.
While the Sculpt, like the Surface, is also wireless, it pairs to computers via an encrypted Bluetooth dongle that’s associated with the keyboard when it’s built at the factory. One drawback to this dongle, however, is that if it’s lost or damaged, it’s irreplaceable. If you’re concerned about misplacing the encrypted Bluetooth dongle the Sculpt uses, the Surface is the model for you.
An almost flawless keyboard that’s worth the price.
The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard is a quality, wireless ergonomic keyboard that’s well worth the investment if you spend a significant portion of your time typing on your computer. It’s a splurge to be sure, but it’s worth the price for the quality you receive.