Nowadays, we all spend more and more time on our keyboards. Gone are the days when we painstakingly wrote out letters in beautiful ‘copperplate’ script. In fact, we were made to practise our writing between blue and black ruled lines! Of course, the typewriter was around for official missives and reams of text…and, we discovered that the longer we spent typing, the more are wrists suffered! Those keyboards didn’t have a clue about tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome…naturally, since the first keyboard came out in the early 70s. The QUERTY keyboard was the standard for all the keyboards to come…for generations.
Even in the 21st century, conventional keyboards are still based largely on this antique design and layout. Over the years, what we have found out is that It’s almost impossible to type on standard keyboards without experiencing some degree of pain and restricted movements in the wrists. Skyrocketing cases of tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome today is direct proof of this.
While the traditional design still holds sway over computer keyboards, medical science and research have decided that the split pane design is the optimal configuration for a keyboard. This layout allows your hands and wrists to remain in a natural position while typing for hours on end. These scientifically designed keyboards significantly boost productivity, with a programmable and well-placed layout for the keys to help you type faster. Given below are our choices for traditional and ergonomically designed keyboards, that we consider the best of the best.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
This ergonomic keyboard offers most of the health benefits of more radical designs.
Typing on this keyboard is a dream come true for all those who spend hours typing. Its negative tilt and inward angled keys automatically guide the hands into the most natural downward ‘V’ shape as they rest on the keyboard. The big padded wrist pad, which measures almost the entire width of the Sculpt keyboard, cushions your wrists as you type. It works particularly well for people with existing wrist problems. A removable, magnetic riser can also be attached to the keyboard, allowing the wrists to be pushed up farther.
The domed design helps to maintain a natural positioning of the hands throughout the day, keeping the wrists at a more relaxed angle – helping to eliminate the discomforts that we suffer from other models. Apart from its split design, the natural arc keys mimic the shape of the fingertips, offering a more natural look and feel, and thus increasing overall comfort. Setting the seal on its ergonomic design is a cushioned palm rest that allows the wrists to relax and achieve a completely natural feel from the fingertips to the wrists. This keyboard offers the highest degree of comfort, a separate/detached numberpad, Windows and Mac compatibility and wireless capability using a USB Dongle and 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency.
The most Mac-friendly: Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue
The Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue wireless ergonomic keyboard is accompanied by a line-up of Apple-specific keyboard shortcuts, including cut, copy, paste and undo. It connects to your Apple device via Bluetooth 3.0, and a single battery charge on the Kinesis should last around 300 hours or six months (based on two hours of typing, per day). The negative slope design reduces the required extension of the wrist when hitting each key. With three different channels, the Bluetooth-based functionality allows for a total of three devices to be synced simultaneously (switching between devices requires just a single press of a key). Additional buttons include a shortcut for hiding (and showing) the dock, advanced controls for multimedia playback and volume.
Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard
A wonderful carpal tunnel keyboard that works wonderfully for heavy typists or people showing early signs of RSI and CTS. The contoured keyboard uses low-force mechanical switches making typing effortless and precise. Each hand gets its separate area, enabling shoulders and wrists to remain in an unbent and neutral position. Advantage 2 uses mechanical Cherry Brown switches. The smart placement of the keys means if anything gets mistyped, it can be undone by using the left thumb to hit the backspace key, while your other fingers stay in their original position. The onboard remapping and macros lets heavy users create shortcuts and customized keyboard layouts – taking efficiency to new heights.
To sum up, this keyboard offers separate key wells for each hand – reducing the risk of CTS and RSI. The multiple keys are accessible by a thumb, it’s very programmable and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.
Logitech K350 2.4Ghz Wireless Keyboard
Known for its innovative products, Logitech’s K350 ergonomic keyboard is no exception. Its Comfort Wave Design shows off a wavy-curvy design and a cushioned palm rest designed to comfortably rest your hands when you are not typing. The wave-shaped contour supports different finger lengths thus reducing the areas of discomfort without slowing you down.
Instant Media Access Keys provide one-touch control over the most often used functions including the volume control and media playback. The programmable F keys can be customized by the Logitech software, enabling customization of the keys to open applications, shortcuts, folders and more.
The Logitech Unifying Receiver assures effortless connectivity; it supports connecting up to six supported Logitech devices at the same time. A feature that is very useful for those who have notebooks with limited USB ports or already own other Logitech devices, such as mice. The small plug-and-forget dongle supports most Logitech keyboards and mice, while ensuring strong wireless connectivity.
Logitech says that the keyboard lasts for up to three years without having to change batteries, which means most people will forget that it even uses batteries!
Best for Gamers: Razer Ornata Chroma Revolutionary
Gaming users looking for a more comfortable keyboard, combined with the features and looks of a mechanical one, have found their solution in the Razer Ornata Chroma Revolutionary option.
This keyboard has gaming-centric features such as LED backlighting and in-game effects – helping you to totally immerse yourself into the gaming experience. For extended gaming sessions, the curved wrist rest is really a boon. Specifically designed for the Razer Ornata, the curved wrist rest makes up for the lack of a split keyboard. This allows long-term gaming sessions to feel more comfortable and natural than a traditional gaming keyboard would. The ergonomic value is enhanced by the mid-height keycap sizing that allows for easier keystrokes between each key stroke, reducing the impact that continuous finger movements have on the wrists.