Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 Review

by Jonathan Trevisani,Computer Games Online

When wrist pain becomes a regular occurrence during typing or gaming sessions, the time has come to listen to your body and work with a natural keyboard. Whether you are trying to prevent further damage to your typing appendages or just want to take adequate provisions for a healthy desktop lifestyle, the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is the right choice. Comfortable design and customizable features make the NEK 4000 a flagship model of Natural Keyboards.

Microsoft has been quite successful with its line of ergonomic keyboards and the NEK 4000 looks to continue that success with a bevy of new features and stylish design. The primary function of an ergonomic keyboard is to reduce the strain on your wrists as you type with a split down the middle of the keyboard. This split allows your hands to rest more comfortably on the board without the need to move your wrists into extreme angles. It does take some getting used to and will require you to use proper keyboard typing by resting your fingers on the correct keys, but the overall effect is very beneficial for those worried about wrist strain and further nerve and joint damage.

The NEK 4000 takes advantage of the keyboard split by placing a nifty zoom feature in the open area. Now you can look closer at some of those precious web sites or examine the details of the latest images sent via email. The zoom function is responsive and comes in quite handy for some programs. The status indicators that used to take up that spot have been moved down onto the wrist rest area so you can keep track of your caps lock and such.

The palm rest is padded and a permanent addition to the keyboard, so don't expect to detach it once you get it out of the box. In fact, the keyboard is also equipped with a "forward elevator" that raises the bottom part of the keyboard up to a more ideal height with the proper placement. Your keyboard should be placed very low so you are able to sit upright and your arms aren't strained while reaching the keys. With this attachment, your hands can rest comfortably on the keyboard without any awkward angles. This attachment can be removed if your keyboard isn't set up in that configuration, but it is highly recommended for the best ergonomic effect.

The overall design of the NEK 4000 is very sleek with the black and silver color scheme. The keys are soft to the touch and very responsive for fast typing or gaming. There are no hard edges to the keyboard as every rounded curve seems to have a purpose built in. There are several customizable buttons located at the top of the keyboard that can be configured as your favorite program shortcuts. There is also an F-lock for you to enable the F-keys for alternate functions as well as media hotkeys to take advantage of. The design blends in with a sharp desktop (or can really stand out from a standard monitor and mouse) and most of the buttons are easy to reach with a bunch of customization options.

The keyboard has a USB connector so hopefully you haven't used up all of your open slots. Of course, you can probably find an adapter for the old ports if you feel that a keyboard belongs in that slot. It is a little disappointing that the NEK 4000 does not include any USB hard points for you to plug in extra devices. A few keys have been moved around for easier access, but seem to be an attempt to "fill out" the empty spaces on the keyboard.

The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 contains all of the qualities that matter to a healthy-minded individual. It enables you to reduce the risks inherent in everyday typing and gives you access to a few more hotkeys to increase your PC efficiency. With all of the customization options and the ergonomic design features, this should be the keyboard to consider if you want to improve your "desktop posture". At $59.99, the NEK 4000 falls into a midrange for keyboard prices, but is worth it for the knowledge of proper keyboarding. Ensure your healthy desktop future with this stylish and comfortable keyboard.

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