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Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Review – Great Tendonitis and RSI Relief

Microsoft Sculpt Bluetooth Keyboard side view

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Release Date
‎September 12, 2013
Price
$59.99
Model:
‎5KV-00001 / ‎L5V-00002
Weight
‎2 pounds
Size
‎9 x 16 x 2.48 in
Waterproof
No

Microsoft’s Sculpt ergonomic wireless keyboard has transformed my tendonitis issues in business and at home

In my recent post about the Logitech MX Ergo Bluetooth wireless trackball mouse, I gave a lot of the backstory on the issues I’ve had with my hands over the last 20 or so years. 

I don’t know if you would diagnose it as RSI or just tendonitis, a combination of long hours at a keyboard and many hours playing guitar with a personality type that doesn’t know when to stop meant that I did damage to my tendons at quite a young age. 

Obviously, this is exacerbated when working all day typing on a keyboard and using a mouse on the computer.

Editor’s Pick

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Wireless Desktop Keyboard

For a relaxed position of wrists and forearms

5/5
Price Range: $$
Brand: Microsoft
Microsoft Sculpt Bluetooth Keyboard vs Sculpt Wireless Keyboard

TL:DR;

The Microsoft Sculpt keyboard has a lovely low profile, and excellent comfort and is excellent for those suffering from tendonitis or RSI symptoms. I have now purchased 3 of these – one for work, home, and now a Bluetooth model.

I find it such a relief from my symptoms and while it might take some practice to get used to it it, the effort is so worth it in the end.

See Price on Amazon
…and another 7,788 Reviews

The Specs

  • Item Weight:  4.28 pounds
  • Type of design:  Split
  • Product Dimensions:  8.86 x 21.06 x 1.77 in
  • Power Source:  Battery Powered
  • Sensor Technology:  Blue Track
  • Wireless Communication Standard:  2.4 GHz Radio Frequency

What’s in the Box?

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse (some models)
  • Number Pad
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • Bluetooth USB module

Stuff I like

  • Hand comfort
  • Wrist support
  • Longer battery life
  • Great accuracy and responsiveness

Stuff I like less

  • RF Wireless version didn’t like being near some USB devices. Not a major.

Comparable products to consider

DELUX GM902 Wireless Ergonomic Split Keyboard
DELUX GM902 Wireless Ergonomic Split Keyboard

A human hand-friendly curved structure keyboard with synthetic leather for comfortable touch.

I first got the Logitech M570 trackball mouse, which was my first step into buying hardware that would alleviate my symptoms. This was a real revelation, and I found that I could reduce the pain management, which included anti-inflammatories and a lot of ice.

I moved up to the Logitech MX Ergo trackball mouse after the M570 was passed on to my wife. That seemed to take care of most of my issues in regard to how my right hand fared during the day.

A touch more backstory, I also used a small Wacom tablet, which was inexpensive, where my left hand would use the pen like a mouse and my right hand would be on the Logitech ergonomic mouse, just clicking whenever the pen was in the right place.

This, too, was a great solution. While both of these workflows significantly reduced the amount of hand strain from mouse work and moving the cursor around the screen, the clear issue I still had to overcome was the keyboard.

I went to the doctor after experiencing increasing difficulties of sharp pain on the outsides of my wrists.

This was made worse when driving the car I owned at the time and doing various other outdoor activities, whether that be working in the garden or playing sports. At this point, you might be thinking that this guy is a bit of a hypochondriac and seems to have a lot of issues, but I can assure you that I’m anything but.

I went to the doctor, and he recommended me to a specialist. I was taken in for MRI scans, and the results said that there was a degradation of cartilage around certain connection points at the base of my wrist where my two smaller fingers were functioning – apparently called hamatolunate impingement. Say that after a couple of whiskeys. 🙂

This is not good news to hear for anyone because the body still hasn’t really figured out how to regrow cartilage, so this is a condition that I realized I was going to have to manage long-term.

Fortunately, I took two actions, which have now meant that that issue is far less acute these days. 

The first was to sell my beloved BMW because the sport steering tuning was too heavy and the angle of the steering was making things worse. While I already had problems typing for long periods on a keyboard, this, too, was exacerbated by that.

Then, off to Google, we go to find an ergonomic keyboard that would be the perfect solution. 

I was surprised at how difficult it was to find a good ergonomic keyboard that looked practical for me. 

I had no desire to have a split keyboard with two physically separated parts, and a lot of the other keyboards left me a little bit confused as to how I would learn to use them.

The first keyboard I bought was the Microsoft Wired Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, and this had full-size keys, not mechanical keys but large keys that required quite a lot of depressing and required me to hold my fingers quite high over the keyboard to get the right action.

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 wired to a laptop
Microsoft Wired Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 – was quite large and not portable
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic-Keyboard 4000 wired top view
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

I guess this was quite cheap, and it was a good test to see whether there was any hope of me learning to use an ergonomic split QWERTY keyboard at all.

Within about two days, I realized that this heavy keyboard action, reminding me of something from the 1990s, just wasn’t going to work. The MacBooks that I’m used to having a very low-profile keyboard,

Fortunately, I have now become very quick with typing over the years. I moved from looking at the keyboard, then to two fingers looking at the keyboard, to all my fingers in a QWERTY formation, and now I’m mostly able to touch type.

I mention this because for the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard to work it’s ideal if you know how to touch type or at least type with your fingers in the qwerty formation, or you have a willingness to learn.

The flow of the keyboard naturally lends itself to this.

So I returned to the store and bought the Microsoft Sculpt keyboard in black, which had a small RF USB dongle that you plug into your computer.

Microsoft Sculpt RF Wireless Keyboard from top
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Wireless Desktop Keyboard – needs a clean 🙁 | Make Life CLick

At first, this was an awful experience. It was almost like I was learning to type all over again.

But within a few days, I started to get much more comfortable with how the keyboard felt and where my fingers were meant to sit to hit the right keys.

Then, it only took that few days for me to realize that this was, for me, an incredible progression and move forward in terms of ergonomic benefits, a reduction in my tendonitis issues, and all-around comfort.

I also bought one for my home office, and so now I was the proud owner of three Microsoft ergonomic keyboards.

The Microsoft Sculpt wrist support was just perfectly positioned for how I type, and the other small benefit, which might sound strange, is that there’s a small gap between the two splits on the keyboard where I could hang my headphone cable between so it didn’t get in the way as I worked.

It’s the little things.

I’ve now had those two keyboards for around two years, and they’re still working incredibly well.

My keyboard at work seems to have some lag and chokes a little bit if I have other devices around it on the table.

Something I read online suggested that USB 3.0 devices may interfere with the signal, which I think is what was happening, and my Chrome browser had too many tabs open.

A little movement of the computer or the keyboard and things return to normal, and the more I type, the less the issue occurred. But it was frustrating.

If only there was a Bluetooth version.

So, I got lucky again. Recently, when walking through the local electronics store they had a Bluetooth version of the Microsoft Sculpt keyboard, which also included a keypad on the end.

Grey coloured Microsoft Sculpt Bluetooth Keyboard
The Microsoft Sculpt Bluetooth Keyboard in grey | Make Life CLick

The first Microsoft Sculpt included a keypad in the box, but it was a separate unit, almost like a little desktop calculator without a screen. And this was cool, but I couldn’t get my head around using it because I was so used to having the numeric keyboard attached to the main keyboard.

So, when going through the electronics store, there happened to be an open box unit of the Bluetooth Microsoft Sculpt, which I snatched up for a bargain, and this is the one pictured that I’m currently using.

The color is quite different, and I also assume that the wrist supports will not fade as badly as the last ones did.

Microsoft Sculpt Bluetooth Keyboard vs Sculpt Wireless Keyboard
The Microsoft Sculpt Bluetooth Keyboard vs Sculpt Wireless Keyboard | | Make Life CLick

It’s slightly bigger than the original Microsoft Sculpt, but the battery life is amazing. The keys are very similar and only take a day or two to get used to the action. The layout is exactly the same, and the accuracy and responsiveness, because this is Bluetooth, are all I needed.

So, if you are struggling with tendonitis or RSI or any kind of wrist or forearm issues where typing can inflame the issue, then, for me, personally, I would highly recommend that you at least try a Microsoft Sculpt keyboard.

The action is a really nice low profile, easy to click keys, the form factor and wrist support is great, and it pairs perfectly with my Logitech MX Ergo trackball mouse.

If I was to ask for anything on the new Bluetooth model, it would be nice to have some sort of adjustable riser height controls, even minute ones, just to angle the keyboard maybe half a centimeter here or there to make it just all the more perfect. As my standing desk goes high and low, I find myself adjusting my positioning just a little bit for those situations.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001 )
Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to fire them off in the comments below, and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

You can check out the Microsoft Sculpt keyboard at the links through this article, as well as the Logitech MX Ergo mouse.

Good luck with managing whatever it is you’re struggling with, Repetitive strain injury, tendonitis or even if you suffer from hamatolunate impingement, and just know that there are ways to make it better and easier.

Be safe. Stay strong. 

Mark

All images Make Life Click

Microsoft Sculpt RF Wireless Keyboard from top
Microsoft's Sculpt ergonomic keyboard
Build Quality
Ergonomic
Battery life
Precision
Reader Rating0 Votes
4.7

Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.

Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.

This post was last updated on 2022-11-27 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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2 thoughts on “Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Review – Great Tendonitis and RSI Relief”

    1. Avatar of Mark

      There are two models. The black one is RF only. The grey one in the photos is BlueTooth. I am having difficulty finding the BT version as I would like to buy another one but can’t seem to find it locally. Might need to buy it online.

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