Author Topic: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic  (Read 4544 times)

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Offline Nlight

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Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« on: Sun, 17 June 2018, 11:41:33 »
Hi,

I have been for the last ten years a Natural 4000 user. I loved it, the split design makes just so much more sense than those straight keyboards.... Anyway, it is now dead, and I decided to replace it with its baby brother : the Sculpt Ergonomic.



The keyboard is lighter, smaller, wireless. Seems great right ? Well, yes and no...

  • + The keycaps are 16.5x16mm spaced by 2mm, they feel right, a lot better than the 4000
  • +-  (edit)The switches are mechanical, they have this tactile feel, quite pronounced, the only other mechanical switches I know are the ones on the Razer OrbWeaver, so in comparison the ones on the sculpt need more strengh, the tactile feel is very pronounced, and they are not clicky type, but they do some noise. While the keys feel is improved over the 4000 as it needs less force, but if you're use to the latter, you won't be disoriented
  • + The rows are slightly curved in both XY and XZ plane, and this feels quite comfortable, the transition from 4000 to Sculpt was null as it is extremely similar, though more pronounced on the 4000. 
  • - The rows are staggered, like 90% of the keyboards out there, and while the legacy staggering is actually not that bad for right hand, for the left hand it is utterly terrible ! But this point works on every keyboard with that legacy staggering...you get used to it, but would gladly get rid of it without thinking twice 
  • +-As I mentioned, the keyboard is smaller than its big brother, first, the numpad is a separate device. The middle wheel and buttons disappeared, which is a good thing in my opinion. The media keys row disappeared to merge with the F Keys, activated via a sliding button, and as I never mix media keys and F Keys, it does not bothers me.
    So the smaller and lighter profile is a good thing. But in my specific case (my keyboard in on my lap, while I am in a bean bag chair), this is not a win, cause it also is less stable, and sits less comfortably than the 4000
  • +- It is Wireless  :thumb:, but it is wireless  :mad: . While not having to deal with a cable is really nice, the signal can be blocked, and when this happen, you know that you have to reposition yourself in a more signal friendly position...
  • +-Its negative tilt stand is magnetic, which is nice, but again, in my very specific case... meh. The negative tilt is also smaller than on the 4000, I mean less pronounced. As I only ever used it with the 4000 when the keyboard was on my lap, I can say, that smaller negative tilt is not great., I cannot speak anymore for regular use cases 
  • +- The look is pretty darn good, but he materials used while good, are marks and dust catching devices, I dare you keep it clean after only one day of use, even quart of an hour. 

All in all, a really nice keyboard superior to the 4000 in many ways for regular use, for odd cases like mine... my feelings are more mixed. Anyway, if I ended up on this forum, it is because I really want to build something that is tailored to my hand, habits and needs. Something that no commercial keyboard is able to deliver me today.
« Last Edit: Sun, 17 June 2018, 13:15:31 by Nlight »

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 17 June 2018, 12:48:22 »
No, the MS Sculpt does not have "mechanical" switches... at least not by any definition that is common around here.
But I agree that the keys are much nicer than on the MS 4000. Partly I think because the key travel is smaller, pressing a key at an angle does not feel so weird. The 4000 had the keys in differently angled sections where as the Sculpt has them in one continuous "sheet".
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Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)

Offline Nlight

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Re: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 17 June 2018, 13:20:52 »
My bad, I thought I red it somewhere... after verification, this is indeed small rubber domed with stabilizers on every key .

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 17 June 2018, 14:34:10 »
Well, by one definition any keyboard that has moving parts, i.e. is not a touchscreen is "mechanical",... But let's not indulge in that too much. Wars have been fought on this board over what is "mechanical" or what is not.  :rolleyes:

Personally, I think that keyboard is the best one Microsoft has ever made and the mouse is relatively slanted without looking slanted. I have not used one much, only a coworker's. I might pick up a used one some time.
Smoking is assault. I defend myself.
Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)

Offline Nlight

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Re: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 17 June 2018, 15:15:50 »
Well, dunno about the mouse, I only got the kbd + numpad as it was cheaper, plus I just Love my Death Adder, perfect size for my small hand claw grip.

What would you say about the mouse ? did it feel good, etc.. ? for the keyboard, I like it, typing on it is really nice, but I guess that once you have tested a better ergo, you don't look backward. I know I am happy to not have to deal with a keyboard a lot at work (the standard stuff), cause each time it's a pain in the ass to type onto.

Offline davkol

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Re: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 09:58:54 »
The wireless feature sucks. If you lose or break the receiver, the keyboard can't be paired with a new one and turns into a paperweight or e-waste. I can't recommend it for this reason.

At least the newer model (Surface Ergonomic Keyboard or something like that) is Bluetooth.

Offline Nlight

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Re: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 20:20:49 »
But attendant the samedi time, you have a slot next to your battery to store the dongle... Si it mitigates your correct assertion

Offline davkol

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Re: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 22 June 2018, 07:45:00 »
But attendant the samedi time, you have a slot next to your battery to store the dongle... Si it mitigates your correct assertion
(If I parse your post correctly.) Except it doesn't. I've had a set with a defective dongle, helped some people have their _whole_ sets replaced by Microsoft after they lost their dongles, and these are common on auction sites / classifieds.

Offline Nlight

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Re: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 22 June 2018, 20:17:19 »
(curse you damn phone autocorrection !)
I meant that you made a valid point, one thing mitigates it to a small extent : the fact that you have an slot to store the dongle next to the battery.