3 Ergonomic Keyboard & Pointing Devices You Will Love
Working from home is a dream come true for many of us. However, making the transition from an employer’s office configuration(or the dreaded cube) isn’t always easy. Most home offices aren’t set up from the get go as a true working environment. Ergonomics,productivity and human factors design aren’t typically considered in the home office design.
Choosing the right desk, office chair, productivity configuration (yes, there is an efficient, productive and comfortable work station configuration), monitor, foot rest and keyboard and mouse sets can make your home office either a delight or a pain far worse than that tiny, life sucking cube you left behind. We hope to make your transition from the corporate cell to your dream home office easier with our top three picks for ergonomic keyboards and pointing devices.
1. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 (includes wireless keyboard and mouse as shown above) takes the top prize in innovative, ergonomic design. The mouse fits very comfortably and in our tests* significantly reduced fatigue associated with pointing device usage. In other words, the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Mouse 7000 helped us be more productive – specifically when engaged in mouse dependent work tasks, such as compilations of digital design sketchbooks.
The only drawback (and temporary at that) to the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 was the initial usage of the keyboard. It’s a split keyboard which created a bit of a learning curve for us – compared to using “standard” keyboards. However, after becoming familiar with the split keyboard design, we absolutely loved the keyboard. Again, wrist and hand fatigue were significantly reduced in our opinion relative to standard keyboards we tested.
Overall, Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 provided comfort and reduction in hand and wrist fatigue (and pain) and we love it for that. Price-wise, it run’s about $120 and is available via Microsoft.com and other office supply stores. We picked ours up for about $95 after discounts and rebates at Office Depot.com.
2. Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Keyboard and Mouse set is a mid-priced ergonomic option that is easy to use and comfortable. The keyboard is more intuitive to use (based on the standard keyboard design most users are familiar with) than the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 which means that you will be up and running quickly with the Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Keyboard. The Logitech Cordless mouse that comes with the set is fine for basic users, but if you do lots of mouse initiated tasks, then we recommend upgrading to a more powerful, ergonomic pointing device. As mentioned earlier, the Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave keyboard and mouse set is an excellent ergonomic choice and a very affordable price point ($79). Available at Amazon.com and other office supply stores.
3. It’s no secret that laptop and netbook integrated keyboards are ergonomic nightmares. Our fingers get cramps just thinking of typing away for any period of time on our laptops. We recently reviewed the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000, and we absolutely love this ergonomically designed and very stylish Bluetooth enabled mobile keyboard for extending your workspace beyond your home office.
According to Microsoft this new addition to their computer accessories offerings is:
Microsoft’s thinnest keyboard ever — just a few millimeters thicker than a AAA battery at the back — the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 tapers down toward the front, so the keyboard is light and easy to pick up. And to enable the small footprint to still deliver ultimate comfort, the keyboard uses a Comfort Curve design for a more ergonomic typing experience over the straight keyboard layout of notebook computers. Microsoft’s Comfort Curve design encourages natural wrist posture with a slight 6-degree curve that is easy to use with virtually no learning curve.
This fantastically thin, Bluetooth enabled mobile keyboard was a delight to use, though when we first pulled it out of the box our first thoughts were “no way” will this be comfortable – too thin and where’s the voluptuous ergonomic curves? Five minutes of using the keyboard and number pad and we were sold.
The Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 fits perfectly in our laptop case (no bulk), leaves room to spare on those tiny cafe tables and makes working away from the office comfortable and productive. We also love that there is no USB transceiver needed for this to work which means one last thing to worry about losing.
Now that we are huge fans of the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 we are hoping that a wonderful ergonomic travel mouse is in the works. We love our Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Mouse 7000 but it doesn’t travel well – kind of bulky and heavy. Hint, hint to Microsoft you’ve spoiled us with the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000; please, please consider designing and producing an equally fantastic lightweight, ergonomic mobile mouse.
Pricing for the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 is about $90. Available at Microsoft.com and other office supply stores.
*Tests based on subjective criteria and non-scientific.