Microsoft Arc keyboard

A confession. I’ve been using the same ergonomic keyboard for years.

A confession. I’ve been using the same ergonomic keyboard for years.

It happens to be a Microsoft model, but what attracts me to it is the shaping which I find kinder on the wrists than conventional keyboards. I use a trackball mouse for the same reasons, and that is a Logitech model. I’m interested in good working ergonomics and RSI-prevention.

I see an awful lot of keyboards and not a few mice, and none have persuaded me to move on from the old favourites. The Microsoft Arc keyboard won’t do that either, but it just might find a place in my travel bag in situations when I know I’ll be away from my own desk for a while and want something more comfortable than a notebook keyboard and less bulky than my own favourite.

The Arc keyboard is small – I measured it at about 310mm wide and 150mm deep. Its is curved so that its centre is raised further from the desk than its outer reaches. That makes it immediately more comfortable to use than flat notebook keyboards.

Rubber feat hold it on the desktop securely, and it comes with a protective soft case. It runs on two AAA batteries and its wireless USB dongle is magenetised and sits safely in a small indent on the underside of the casing. Clever.

But just as important, this keyboard feels superb under the fingers. The isolated keys are easy to hit at speed, there is plenty of travel, and the keys almost bounce back up when you take the pressure off, giving a surprisingly responsive feel under the fingers. 100 percent touch typing speed is a definite possibility here.

The basic range of keys is augmented by a D-pad for cursor control and three keys for mute and volume up and down control. There are 12 Fn keys, but they are doubled up on a bank of 6 actual keys. There a low battery warning light and you can conserve power by turning the keyboard off when it is not in use using a simple Fn-Esc key combination.

There isn’t a lot more to say, really. This is a comfortable keyboard that thanks to its lightweight design is very portable. Its ergonomic credentials aren’t up there with the best of them, but it is a stylish alternative to the chunky keyboards that many people opt for and possibly a good choice if you really don’t need all those shortcut keys that appear on so many replacement keyboards.

More detail here, here shop around for competitive pricing.