Top 5 ergonomic keyboards for 2017
A question we are asked time after time is “what’s the best ergonomic keyboard?”
This is a difficult one to answer because it very much depends on the user and the nature of the ergonomic problem that they may be experiencing. If you’re wondering how an ergonomic keyboard can help you, keep reading. If not, click here to skip straight to our list of the top 5 ergonomic keyboards for 2017!
Why an ergonomic keyboard?
When using a standard keyboard, your hands aren’t lying in the most comfortable position. They are being forced to bend in an unnatural way and that can lead to wrist problems. The main purpose of an ergonomic keyboard is to allow you to maintain a more natural typing position, minimising the amount of strain on your muscles in the process.
Our Top 5 (in no particular order)
There are many reasons why the Goldtouch V2 Adjustable Split Keyboard is our most popular ergonomic keyboard. Firstly, split keyboards help users avoid twisting of the forearm by allowing you to work in a more natural (ie vertical) position. We only really recommend split keyboards to users who can touch type as non-touch typists may experience difficulties when locating specific keys as the keyboard is split in half. If you aren’t already a touch typist, why not learn for free here?
The main difference between a Goldtouch V2 and a standard keyboard is the adjustment features. The keyboard can not only be split horizontally but also vertically (sometimes called ‘tenting’). This means that you can adjust the position of the keyboard to suit your individual needs, as every user will have different preferences.
This keyboard includes Function keys and an embedded numeric keypad to allow you to work more efficiently. It is also more compact than a standard keyboard, leaving you with less distance to stretch in order to reach the mouse, effectively reducing the chances of shoulder related problems. There is also a Mac compatible version which you can find by clicking here. (Unfortunately this model is only available with the US keyboard layout.)
Now your first thought may be “this keyboard doesn’t look very ergonomic” but as we mentioned earlier, every ergonomic problem requires a different solution. The Accuratus 500 K82A Mini Soft Touch Keyboard is a mini keyboard (in case you didn’t realise!) which can reduce shoulder/upper arm issues. The keys are all full size but there is no separate numeric or cursor control keypads. So there is less stretching for the mouse at the side.
Being one of the smallest of our range at only 280mm (less than a 30cm ruler!) it can easily fit on your desk, leaving plenty of space for your other items such as your mouse (we would personally recommend a vertical one) and your paperwork. To ensure that this mini keyboard is even more comfortable to use, it has soft touch keys (using scissor key technology) and very little vertical motion, much like a laptop keyboard. It is also one of our lower priced keyboards.
The Kinesis Freestyle 2 Adjustable Split Keyboard is similar to the Goldtouch keyboard and splits in half but just not in the same manner. Before we go into the description we would like to reinforce that we only really recommend split keyboards to users who can touch type as non-touch typists may experience difficulties when locating specific keys as the keyboard is split in half.
Instead of the two halves being attached like the Goldtouch V2, the Kinesis 2 comes as two separate halves which are connected by a wire. This gives you the freedom to move them further apart (along with back and forward) than you would be able to do with the Goldtouch V2. For example you may prefer having the left half of the keyboard slightly more in front than the right side, which can be easily done with this keyboard!
But unfortunately for vertical tenting, accessory kits are required. The most popular accessory kits you can purchase are the V3 Accessory Kit (which provides a 10 degree incline) and the VIP3 Accessory Kit (which provides padded palm supports and a 15 degree incline).
The Kinesis keyboard has low force keys, and it has an embedded number pad and hot keys such as ‘Cut’, ‘Copy’ and ‘Paste’ to allow you to work efficiently. This keyboard is actually semi-Mac compatible, although several keys such as its hotkeys and Windows key do lose their ability to function when working with a Mac.
The words comfort and control come to mind when thinking of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Split Keyboard 4000. But unlike the other split keyboards above, this keyboard is a single unit and not adjustable. Its sculpted design raises it up in the middle to allow the hands to work in a more natural (ie vertical) position, the Microsoft 4000 combines ergonomic design with the familiar keyboard layout.
Multimedia keys are always beneficial when it comes to making your computing experience a lot easier, allowing you to do things such as access the Internet at the push of a button, but many ergonomic keyboards tend to compromise by removing them in order to improve the ergonomics of the device. However the Microsoft 4000 almost goes overboard with the amount of control you can have, possessing all of the standard multimedia keys along with 5 additional programmable ‘My Favourites’ keys and its own Zoom key.
Add on some extra comfort with its built-in palm/wrist rests help maintain good posture and we have one of the cheapest and extremely functional ergonomic keyboards available!
We have already discussed the Goldtouch V2 but now it’s time for the Goldtouch Go! 2 Adjustable Split Keyboard! Much like its Goldtouch big brother in the way it splits in half and its ability to adjust 30 degrees both horizontally and vertically, this is the mini version. With no compromise in functionality, its smaller size (it even folds in half) and weight make it the ideal ergonomic companion to your laptop and will fit easily into your laptop case.
If you are looking for a portable ergonomic solution to your repetitive strain injury, this member of the Goldtouch family is your Go!2 keyboard (if you would pardon the pun)! And if you are wondering, it is compatible with Mac and PC too.
We hope that you have found this useful and please feel free to let us know what you think in the comments!