First a big thank you to Microsoft for providing the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 for this Review.
Recently i had the chance to look at this keyboard and i have to say I'm quite impressed with the quality of the keyboard.
As you can see in the picture above this is a split keyboard so its something you have to get used to if your not already. This keyboard also has some extra keys on it for media playback as well as a few buttons setup for Internet / Mail. Along with those buttons there are a few more buttons over the the numeric keypad that can be used when your crunching numbers.
Looking at the center of the keyboard you see your basic led lights that tell you if you have caps lock on and the like. In the same area you also have your forward and back keys which can be used for web surfing. The thing i like the most is the toggle type switch in the center of the keyboard which allows you to zoom in and out on web pages. This zoom in and out option also works with some text editors in that it will change the size of your text that your typing.
This keyboard also comes with a fitting that can be attached to the bottom of the keyboard and that will put the keyboard on a greater slope so your hands rest gently pointing downward onto the keys. The padding that you set your wrists on is also quite soft and looks like it should hold up for quite some time.
The feed back you get from the keys is also quite nice. The keys don't make a ton of noise when your typing away but you still get some feed back out of them. As for the split layout of the keyboard this is something that takes some getting used to if you haven't used one of these keyboards before. It is a comfortable way to type but a bit strange at first.
The keyboard also comes with a CD for installing the keyboard driver and you need that driver installed if you plan on using the the extra buttons on the keyboard like the media buttons or the Internet buttons. If you don't install the driver the keyboard will just function as your standard 101 key keyboard. The actual driver installation is smooth and there are no unexpected problems there at all.
Now onto the bad news , the one thing i didn't like about this keyboard was the fact it does not work with USB to PS2 adapters. The keyboard doesn't come with any USB to PS2 adapter either. What i found more puzzling was the documentation that come with the keyboard clearly shows the you can use the USB to PS2 adapter. After getting a hold of Microsoft on this issue it seems they didn't include a USB to PS2 adapter because they want to cut back costs. This goes beyond cost cutting because even when you do have your own USB to PS2 adapter the keyboard refuses to work using one. I tried several adapters and no way would the keyboard work using them. So bottom line is this keyboard is USB only which to me is a bit strange when you consider how many existing motherboards and even new ones still come with a PS2 keyboard port.
In conclusion the keyboard is a great keyboard, its well built and should last quite a while. As i mentioned above the only down side is the keyboard is USB only and does not work on PS2 ports. At the time of this Review you could buy the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 for under $60.00 U.S.
Below are some pictures of the Keyboard Enjoy!
Picture of the front with the height and angle adjustment attachment for the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.
Picture of the front without the height and angle adjustment attachment for the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.
Picture of the forward and back buttons and the lights of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.
Picture of the center of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.
Picture of the left of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.
Picture of the right of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.
Picture of the Box contents for the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.