At the end of August, [Marco posted his review] of Microsoft’s Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard. It actually looked like a good keyboard — so I went ahead and picked one up to try out.
I have had the keyboard for only a short time, but I am returning it. It’s not so much an issue with the split layout, but a philosophical issue with how keyboards should work.
Before I get into that I see two major issues with the Sculpt:
1. As Marco noted the F1-F12 keys are the biggest piles of shit I have seen on a keyboard before. I’d like to meet the guy who made that decision so that I can tell him I’d rather typeset my website in Comic Sans than touch one of those keys. And, as it turns out, I actually use those keys quite often — something you don’t likely notice until you so loathe touching those keys.
2. The keyboard is wireless, but still requires one of those stupid RF things to be plugged into your USB port. Honestly, if that is the route you have taken, I don’t think it is fair to call the keyboard wireless. Wireless means Bluetooth — to say otherwise is to be a liar.
Ok, so back to my philosophical problem with the keyboard.
My biggest issue with this keyboard isn’t technically the fault of the keyboard — it’s the natural layout. I’ve never used such a layout before this keyboard, but was excited to try. It doesn’t take long to get used to the layout, but — and this is the philosophical issue I have — why should I have to get used to it?
I get that every keyboard takes a bit of an adjustment to get used to, but the natural layout eschews everything I have spent the last 20 years learning so that I may type faster. Why should I have to conform to the “way you should type”, if hitting `B` with my right hand, or `Y` with my left hand is simply faster for me?
More so than any other keyboard I have ever used, the Microsoft Sculpt is constantly telling me: “You’re doing it wrong.”
That bugs me more than anything else.
Yes, I could have predicted this had I thought longer about it, and yes I just should stay away from natural keyboards. All of that is true, but what’s also true is that I despise this keyboard because it seems preachy about how I should type — I don’t think keyboards should ever be preachy — just let me type the way I type. I also hate those damned F keys.