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:
- 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.
- 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.