I love my keyboards. I mean, I have an unhealthy obsession with them. I spend a lot of time typing and the cramped keyboards which come with most laptops and MacBooks just don't cut it for me. Their poor ergonomics leave my wrists in pain.
For years I was a devotee of the Microsoft 4000 Keyboard.
It's a big old beast - and that's its main drawback; it's just too large to carry around. It could also do with an integrated USB hub if it's going to take up one of my precious laptop ports.
So I moved to Microsoft's wireless model - the Sculpt Desktop.
It's a delightful bit of kit. Just about small enough for me to carry around. Only two real drawbacks - it takes AAA batteries rather than being rechargeable, and it doesn't use Bluetooth.
Yup, it requires a proprietary dongle from Microsoft which is hideously insecure. Oh, and if you lose the tiny dongle, you need to buy an entirely new keyboard!
It's also too fragile for a normal laptop bag...
My Tweets may make less sense than usual today... pic.twitter.com/2GvOPjPR10
— Terence Eden (@edent) March 22, 2016
One of the keys got knocked off in my bag.
— Terence Eden (@edent) March 22, 2016
It's an ergonomic, adjustable, Bluetooth keyboard.
(Geeky lanyard via Jenny Wren Creates.)
Watch it fold!
- Bluetooth. Works perfectly with Linux and Android alike. No dongle needed. Uses a random passcode to pair.
- Has a Mac mode for those people who like their @ key in the wrong place.
- Micro-USB rechargable. Battery life seems good - and it takes the same charging cable as all my other kit.
- Ubuntu shows the battery level remaining as part of the power menu.
- The right size to rest on top of a MacBook Pro *without* interfering with the in-built keyboard.
- Adjustable. Good range of vertical and horizontal movement.
- Extra function keys work in Linux (Calculator, Home, Volume, etc)
- Excellent range of "extra" keys - Print Screen, Home, End, etc.
- Solid feel. Even when typing away with the keyboard raised, there's very little flex in it.
- Pairs with Ubuntu before the login screen - so you can type in your password using the keyboard.
- UK spec - so has the £ and € keys where you'd expect them.
- Rubber grips on the bottom - keyboard doesn't shift even when you're hammering it.
- It folds away to protect the keys!
I'm going to be really nitpicky here.
- No backlit keys. Understandable on a battery powered device - but I think I would be prepared to lose on battery life (or take a larger device) to make typing in the dark easier.
- Bit of a faff to set up and put away. Much like a Brompton bike - you have to remember which bits to pull at in which order.
You have to lift the lever to release the hinge mechanism. Pull the Unlock switch if you want to fold or unfold the keyboard. Flick the power switch. I think the pairing and power buttons could be on the other side - but that's a personal preference.
- I could stand to have a little more horizontal movement.
- I'm sure the joining cable is tough - but it looks a little exposed and fragile.
- Slightly odd key placement. Print screen is easy to hit accidentally. Just as with any new keyboard, it takes a little time to learn.
- No wrist rest. So extended periods of typing may be a little uncomfortable.
- Caps Lock light is a little dim. Yeah... I'm stretching here!
Honestly, there's not a lot to criticise here. The keys have a decent level of travel, it's quiet, easy to configure, and looks awesome!
I think it is a gorgeous bit of kit. Once you've learned how to type on it and what position works best for you, it feels great to type on. The only fly in the ointment? The price.
Youch! That's the cost of a cheap laptop or tablet.
I'm conflicted here. I'm hugely grateful to the anonymous patron who bought this for me - I had been vacillating as to whether to get it - but I can't help wondering if it provides value for money.
There is nothing like this on the market. No cheap Alibaba clones, no fast followers - this is unique.
It is the best damned ergonomic Bluetooth keyboard - if only by the virtue of being the only one!
If you take your hands' health seriously, and can't stand laptop keyboards, I highly recommend it. Goldtouch have made a great product and my fingers thank them.