Although you can spend 10 times as much on an ergonomic keyboard, the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is less expensive and easier to use than most, with a familiar layout that's tweaked to decrease hand and wrist stress. The unique curve of the keyboard encourages users to hold their hands in a more comfortable and ergonomically correct position, and the traditional key layout helps minimize the learning curve. It's also hailed as a bargain, something unusual in keyboard reviews, which typically complain about the high price of top-performing models. In addition to the ergonomic design, the 4000 also includes useful convenience features, such as a zoom option.
Scott Clark of EverythingUSB.com offers the best review of the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. Maximum PC's review is abrupt but covers most major aspects of the keyboard. Lastly, PCMag.com's Joel Durham recommends the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 as the best reasonably priced keyboard. The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 has been on the market for a relatively long time, and most professional reviews are on the old side, but even newer comparisons and fresh reviews by amateur bloggers and Amazon users find the unit to be the best value in the ergonomic marketplace.
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This reviewer's emphasis is on the ergonomic benefits of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 in this review. Accompanying photographs illustrate features such as reverse angling and wrist bend while typing. The keyboard is not rated or ranked, but he recommends it in his summary.
Review: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 Review, Editors of EverythingUSB.com, Feb. 28, 2008
Self-described "hunt-and-peck typist" William Van Winkle tests the split-design Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 and touts its padded wrist rest as a key ergonomic benefit. The Keyboard 4000 emerges as a TomsGuide.com favorite.
Review: Ergonomic Gear for a Better Life, William Van Winkle, Nov. 3, 2009
The Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 gets a short review here, with pros and cons. Will Smith resists making any definitive statements regarding the keyboard, but rates it a 9 (presumably out of 10).
Review: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, Will Smith, Feb. 24, 2006
In this guide to assembling your own PC, Joel Durham introduces the Bang for the Buck system, his approach to arming consumers with the best products for the money. Microsoft's Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 earns the keyboard spot in Durham's article. In a separate review of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 on the site, which includes the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, Jeremy Atkinson awards 4 out of 5 stars, calling it the best place to start for an ergonomic overhaul of your desk space.
Review: Get the Most PC for Your Money, Joel Durham, Sept. 12, 2007
The Microsoft keyboard receives responses from more than 1,100 owners at Amazon.com. The overall rating is just under 4 stars out of 5, with most happy with the design. However, several users dislike the stiff and noisy spacebar as well as the keyboard's large size.
Review: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, Contributors to Amazon.com