Using a Split Keyboard

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I've been using a split keyboard for quite a while--at least seven or eight years. Thinking back, prior to using split keyboards, at the end of the work day I always noticed that my wrists hurt a little--nothing serious, and not every day, but I was afraid it might turn into a serious problem. My Dad was already using a split keyboard so I tried it briefly and was sold. I bought them for home and work and the wrist strain disappeared.

Our notebook computer has a traditional straight keyboard design, but I don't really do any serious or significant amount of typing with that, so don't really have a problem with it.

A few weeks ago when I started my new job, I had a straight keyboard. At the end of the first day, I felt a little ache in my wrists and realized right away what the problem was. I wasn't comfortable with that keyboard and asked for a split-design replacement. Earlier this week I received it, and felt almost immediate relief. As the keyboards were swapped in the middle of the day, it was also very easy for me to notice that I could type much faster with the split keyboard!

I've used several makes and models in the past, but I'm currently using a two-year-old Microsoft design similar to the Natural Ergonomic 4000; at work I'm using a Belkin ErgoBoard. I definitely prefer the feel of the Microsoft board, for what it's worth. If you touch-type and want a more comfortable experience, I highly recommend a split-design keyboard. Newegg.com sells many different models--and it's well worth the $20-$30 price.

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I, too, have been using a split keyboard design for years (using one right now, in fact). When I first started here I was bringing my Microsoft Natural keyboard to work every day from home. My boss saw it and told me to order a new one to keep here. Now I have the Microsoft Multimedia Natural keyboard and although I don't use all the bells and whistles, it has some nice features. CD/Audio controls on the board. Single buttons for calculator and log-off (which I use all the time). And of course, the comfort of a natural split-design keyboard. I've suffered from Carpal-Tunel for years and using a straight keyboard is enough to send me up the wall with pain. And like you, I type faster with the split keyboard. I've actually been looking for a laptop computer with a split keyboard. Back in the mid-90's, IBM came out with the Butterfly keyboard for their ThinkPads, particularly the ones with smaller (12") screens that needed a compact keyboard solution. The keyboard was split where a split keyboard splits, but it slid together like a straight keyboard. You'd think that a manufacturer could apply the same design to an ergonomic split keyboard. But I'm not holding my breath.

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