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Jennifer Grucza

I'm trying one of those out right now (my friend bought it but might sell it to me). Compared to the Microsoft Natural Multimedia Keyboard 1.0A (which I have), it's not terribly different, but there are a couple of things that make it slightly better. The various control keys on the outside (Shift, Tab, Enter, etc.) are a little easier to reach. And the wrist rest is more supportive and creates a better angle (at least for me). Also, the Home/End/Delete/Page Up/Page Down keys are in the "right" place.


This is a very nice ergonomic keyboard, with a soft but not cheap feeling on the keys, professional appearance, a very slightly padded wrist rest, and several fancy features such as a zoom/scroll lever and the forward and back buttons.

The only hardware drawback is that it lacks a USB hub for plugging the mouse or a USB drive right into the keyboard. My previous "Natural Elite" keyboard had that feature and it was quite convenient. But that's not a huge drawback, overall the hardware designers did a fantastic job.

Now go figure with this being a Microsoft product, but the bundled software is terrible. The keyboard comes with a cover over the USB connector that warns you to install the software before plugging in the device, and unfortunately I complied. The Intellitype Pro software steals the function keys and gives you options to map them to dozens of different actions. The only problem is, what if I want F5 to just be F5, so that applications that already know what to do with F5 will still function? There's no way to do that. So this keyboard is basically incompatible with other programs that let you use function keys - even other MS products such as Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003!

This should be Microsoft's first sign that their software is terrible: the zoom/scroll feature on the keyboard works in Word and Internet Explorer and even in FireFox, but it doesn't work within the Intellitype Pro configuration software itself! That's right, try scrolling through the list of actions with the zoom/scroll bar, and absolutely nothing happens. Needless to say this feature also doesn't work in Microsoft's own Visual Studio .NET 2003 product.

Overall: A- for the hardware, D+ for the software.


Er, I'm embarassed to have to update my review so quickly: Microsoft issued a support update at
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;894513 that points out that you have to use the "F Lock" key to revert to normal function key behavior. So with "F Lock" on, my function keys do indeed work in Visual Studio as expected. So I guess I'd update my overall grade to A for the hardware, A- for the software.


I recently bought one of these keyboards and have been using it for two days now. It is comfortable and easy to get used to. The only drawback I've encountered so far is that the key assignments get mixed up (press shift+single quote key and get a capital 'E' with an accent). This mix-up only happends in Visual Studio 2003 wich is unsupported on my OS (Vista) so I'm not sure I should complain. Works great in all other applications so far.


i have been using one of these microsoft ergonomic keyboard 4000 boards for 16 months now and i have worked my way through kane & lynch windows live game gold and i freed cuba by my self all using this key board i had a street doctor check me out for carpel tunnel he said i was fine and drink the forty i gave him as pay for that days office visit
my point is this keyboard is being used by top of the line professinal online gamers in the multi player blood baths to mass frag
it takes some getting used to but after the learning curve of using the split sided keyboard it is slick
also in closing my spelling has not inproved using this product
my tyoing is ten folds faster acter a year. i am using one and i have sold hundreds of them online for so cheap its not even funny but nether the less the point is this is an outstanding product that will go down in microsoft history as one of there crowning jewels of product development BG did good again bravo

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