Best Keyboard to buy?

Me too, been coding >30 years, the Apple keyboard Dan and Mitchell like is the best. I have 4 of them.

Here is a quick review of my current keyboard for your consideration.

A long time ago I was having wrist pain and thought it was due to using a straight keyboard so I switched to using ergonomic keyboards. The pain ended up being from how I slept on it but once I got used to using the ergo keyboards, it is annoying to go back. I agree that the Apple keyboard mentioned above is nice. I have used one, and the extended 10-keypad version, many times and I really wish Apple would make an ergonomic model of it. I have even submitted feedback at asking [begging and pleading] for an ergonomic version.

I think I tried almost every ergo keyboard out there. For a long time, I used the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. Although I loved it, my wife wasn’t a fan. My desk was in the family room behind the couch and the loud key clicks were very annoying while she was watching TV.

When they released the Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard (for Business), I immediately ordered one. There are a few issues with it but overall it is a great keyboard. Very quiet and comfortable. The battery life is great. The keyboard uses 2 AAA and lasts 8-12 months. The 10-key pad has a button battery and is listed as lasting something like 5 years!

Some items of note

  • The “Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop” package is the keyboard, 10-key pad, and mouse. The “Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business” package does not include the mouse
  • I’ve read that the USB dongle for the Desktop package is larger, probably to hold the 2nd receiver to communicate with the mouse. The dongle in the Business package is extremely small. About 1/4" sticks out of the USB port. It is a private pair at the factory which means you can’t just use Bluetooth to pair it to a computer. It must use that dongle.
  • As with almost every [ergonomic] keyboard out there, it is for Windows. The Alt/Option and Windows/Command keys are swapped on the left side and a PC Application key replaces the right Command key. However, using the Keyboard Preference pane, you can swap the key functions back and use Karabiner to send Command for the PC Application key.
  • The F-keys are dual function (F-## or Media control) like the Apple keyboards but instead of the soft Fn key, this keyboard has a physical switch in the corner.
  • Some of the Media control keys don’t work on the Mac. Again, this is a Windows keyboard that normally needs a special driver to receive these keys to do Windows-specific functions. I tried Karabiner and ControllerMate to capture them but due to how they are seen, it was not possible. So now I just keep it in F-Key mode and use Karabiner to send the dual function I want when I press+hold the F-key.

I hope this helps.

I really like Microsoft’s keyboards. Their media keyboards work great with KM for assigning hardware keys to macros. (It lets me avoid installing MS’s keyboard app entirely.)

On other MS keyboards, yes that works well. Unfortunately on the Sculpt keyboard the non-mac media keys are not seen as a simple single key.

M1-M4 = Play/Pause, Mute, Vol-, Vol+
M5 = Shift + Opt
M6 = Cmd + Opt
M7 = Ctrl + Opt
M8 = Opt
M9 = Ctrl + Opt + Delete
M10 = Ctrl + Opt + Tab
M11 = Cmd + Opt
M12 = Ctrl + Opt
PrtScr = F13 (in both modes)
ScrLk = F14 (in both modes) which is grabbed by the OS for Screen Brightness -
Pause = F15 (in both modes) which is grabbed by the OS for Screen Brightness +
Calculator = Not seen at all

So please don’t buy the keyboard thinking you can use the Windows “Media / Charm” keys for various KM macros.