I love the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic keyboard and mouse (and 10-key) combination. It’s my favorite combo yet, even if the keyboard can’t live up to the insanely high bar originally set by the IBM Model M keyboard. No fault there, nothing will ever compare to the Model M.
But despite being my favorite input combo ever, it comes with a lot of problems. Including many problems that shouldn't come with a Microsoft branded device. If you're looking for a keyboard and mouse combo and considering the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic, I'll run through a brief list of pros and cons for you to consider.
- One of the few wireless ergonomic keyboards available in stores.
- Microsoft-branded and amazingly sleek design.
- Very nice typing experience from the keyboard for office settings.
- Extremely comfortable mouse for lengthy computing sessions.
- USB dongle wakes up monitors immediately upon power savings, never addressed by Microsoft.
- Low-quality mouse buttons wear out in 1-2 years of normal office usage.
- Uses AA batteries instead of having batteries built in. (Although this helps some business users avoid charging downtime.)
- The 10-key pad takes several key presses to wake up from power-saving mode.
- The 10-key pad has poor input reliability, even with a fresh battery and in close proximity to the USB dongle.
- Separate 10-key number pad which can be moved anywhere within range.
- Large, round mouse for extreme ergonomic design.
After having three models of this keyboard and mouse combo, I think I’ll temporarily move on from the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic set. While I’ll likely come back sometime for the sleek design and sheer comfort of using the set, the poor software support has left me with bad memories… and I mean that literally.
The fact that a Microsoft product interacts poorly with Windows and causes hard-to-resolve power management issues is a major detractor. I've spent countless afternoons (and nights) manually adjusting settings in the device manager, registry, and elsewhere to prevent my monitors from flicking back on as soon as they turn off for power savings. The cause is always the same… it’s the Sculpt Ergonomic’s USB dongle. Yet, Microsoft never fixes this often-reported issue. Microsoft's lack of care to correct this problem is akin to disdain for the end user.
But, the ultimate kicker for me that causes me to move on is that I've love this product enough to buy three of them. Each time it was because the left mouse button began to experience hardware failure and clicks wouldn't register or would be inconsistent. After assuring that the culprit was hardware failure, I'd immediately run out and buy another Sculpt Ergonomic combo because of my affinity for the set.
Buying a fourth keyboard and mouse combo because Microsoft uses poorly click-rated buttons in an arguably premium set of input tools for office use is where better sense starts to kick in. I'll try something else this time, even though I’ll surely miss the Sculpt Ergonomic and its ability to fade into the background and keep my long work sessions comfortable.
If you’re looking for a nice office-friendly ergonomic mouse and keyboard (with detached 10-key even!) then this set might be for you. Just know that it will only last a year or two, and then the entire set will need to be tossed or recycled. Mass production consumerism at its worst embodied in a comfortable keyboard… all due to weak hardware buttons.