I picked up the new Microsoft Ergonomic Sculpt desktop a week ago and it is definitely sexy, slick and space saving.
I’ve been using Microsoft ergonomic keyboards for over a decade now and I highly recommend them for folks who are touch typists, do a lot of typing and want to avoid repetitive strain injuries. Unfortunately most of the ergonomic keyboards eat up a lot of desk real estate and don’t fit into most keyboard trays.
The new Microsoft Sculpt combo is designed for mobile and fits into a standard keyboard tray. The space saving is gained by having a separate numeric keypad.
But the highlight is the keyboard. It comes with a very comfortable padded wrist rest. The angle of the keyboard when you use the added height clip on is extremely comfortable and I immediately noticed that my hands felt better when using this keyboard compared to my old ergonomic keyboard. The key layout is a bit different than your standard keyboard (extra long sized delete key for example) but a good touch typist will learn it in a day or two of use.
A few annoyances with the keyboard. To save space Microsoft got rid of a caps lock indicator light which is very useful. Installation requires a system reboot and 180MB of hard drive space. I found after using the sculpt for a couple of days, I had problems adjusting back to typing on normal keyboards.
Mouse is a little big for some hands. Comes with a handy back button (great for Internet research) and a Windows button which only Windows 7 users are going to really enjoy. Also the mouse is definitely right handed only, would have been nice to have an option to order for lefties.
Microsoft Online Store is selling it for $129.95 here. I was able to get it from a local distributor for around $100 but it took almost four weeks due to demand. If you want to get this for that special touch typist in your life for Christmas, order now. Batteries included.