Best Ergonomic Keyboards for Wrist Wellness Windows Central 2021
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) can occur from prolonged PC use when the wrist is not adequately supported. It can affect some users who don't take advantage of wrist rests and solutions that create more comfortable typing experiences. Here are some options for wrist wellness, including the excellent Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard.
- Best Overall: Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard (2019)
- Runner-up: Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
- Best Value: Logitech K350
- Best Gaming: Razer Ornata Chroma
- Customizable: Kinesis Freestyle2
- Ergonomic Basics: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Best Overall: Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard (2019)
The new Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard (2019) is a natural upgrade to those rocking older models from the company. The pedigree is similar, but it's clear Microsoft has dramatically improved and updated some of the core features of this series. Typing is more comfortable, and the keyboard looks more modern with a cleaner, more straightforward design.
If you already have the Sculpt or Surface ergonomic keyboards, which are also featured in this collection, these keyboards are all a little different. This keyboard is wired and has deeper key travel than both the Sculpt and Surface ergonomic typing platforms. Microsoft nailed it with the ergonomics here, hence the name, and if you frequently find yourself hurting a little after work, this will surely be of some assistance.
For those who never tried an ergonomic keyboard, the new Microsoft Ergonomic may be worth a shot. Tthe price is one of the lowest of this series, making it quite accessible. There is a learning curve, though, and it will take at least a few days of practice to get used to the design. However, as people in comments here will attest, once you go ergonomic, it's tough to go back.
- Larger keys, more consistent travel
- Improved layout and modern design
- Great ergonomics
- Plug and play
- No backlit keys
- Learning curve
Runner-up: Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic keyboard came out in 2016 to work alongside Surface hardware (hence the branding and design). Microsoft took what made the Sculpt keyboard so good for those seeking a more comfortable typing experience and added a few new features alongside the attractive Surface look.
Ergonomic keyboards can take some time to grow accustomed to the rather strange key layout and this is present with the Surface Ergonomic keyboard. After a few weeks with this keyboard, you'll begin to understand and appreciate the benefits of these unique key layouts. So long as you can overlook the rather high price tag, lack of any key illumination and some wear of the Alcantara material.
- Superb typing experience
- Gorgeous design
- Magnesium and Alcantara
- Alcantara wear
- No key illumination
- Learning curve
Best Value: Logitech K350
When you don't fancy spending days growing used to the unique configurations of Microsoft's ergonomic keyboards, Logitech has a solution for you with the K350. It's a wireless keyboard with a more traditional layout, but designed so it does provide some resistance to RSI and other risks involved with typing thousands of words per day.
Not only do you get the keyboard at this affordable price, but Logitech also bundles a wireless mouse. The long-lasting battery life of up to three years for the keyboard (and two years for the mouse) will ensure you're typing for a long time between changes. The only downside to the K350 is the design — it's a little on the bland side.
- Ergonomic "wave" layout
- Includes wireless mouse
- Long-lasting battery life
- Plug and play
- Lackluster design
Best Gaming: Razer Ornata Chroma
Enjoy playing a few games here and there, but still need a solid keyboard for typing away? Razer's Ornata Chroma may be just what you need. You've got Razer's mecha-membrane technology, making it a little better than a simple membrane keyboard without the price of a mechanical keyboard.
There's also Chroma backlighting, which isn't included in numerous ergonomic keyboards. The included wrist rest is perfect for typing up a novel or setting off all your skills in World of Warcraft. You have fully programmable keys, perfect for gaming, as well as 10-key roll-over support and a dedicated gaming mode.
- 10-key roll-over
- Programmable keys
- Chroma lighting
- Comfortable layout
- Not mechanical
Customizable: Kinesis Freestyle2
You don't have to put up with how a manufacturer believes is the best placement of keys with the Kinesis Freestyle2. The keyboard is split down the middle and is connected by a single cable. This allows you to position the two halves exactly how you like, leading to a vastly more comfortable typing experience.
The Freestyle2 does fall a little short with some of the keys ... or rather, the location of said keys. You may find yourself scratching your head attempting to locate shortcut keys. Still, it's a fantastic solution with a budget-friendly price tag that lets you customize exactly how aggressive the split is between the two sets of keys.
- Split design
- Plug and play
- Low force key switches
- Wired performance
- Some poorly placed keys
Ergonomic Basics: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
The Microsoft Sculpt keyboard comes rocking a companion mouse, which itself sells for a decent amount, making this quite the deal. The keyboard itself is pretty good too, even if it's a little older than the other two Microsoft ergonomic keyboards included in this collection.
The Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard comes with a dongle that is required to connect the keyboard to your PC. This may mean you need a spare USB port on your PC, but you will be able to enjoy a more stable connection than Bluetooth. If you need a basic ergonomic keyboard that gets the job done and then some, this is a great choice.
- Ergonomic design
- Comes with a mouse
- Solid connection to PC
- Good value
- Requires dongle
More keyboards are available than before that offer ergonomic features or even allow you to adjust how keys are positioned. Should your wrists feel cramped or strained after a week in the office, it may be time to invest in one of the options we suggest. If we were to choose one as the best keyboard, it would be the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard.
Other keyboards are available at different price points or even allowing further customization. The Kinesis Freestyle2 is such an option, comprised of two separate halves of the keyboard, making it possible to position them exactly how you prefer on the desk.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
Daniel Rubino is executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
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