Microsoft's latest incarnation of the natural keyboard. This one is a split ergonomic keyboard like its predecessor, but it adds an extra row of blue internet keys above the function keys and the numeric keypad. It also has a builtin usb hub which provides two usb ports.

The feel of the keys is pretty good, and it makes a good desk keyboard or lap keyboard.

My MS Natural Keyboard died after over perhaps four years of constant use. I was very fortunate in that I was able to borrow a friend's keyboard for a few hours and then another friend actually gave me the Natural Keyboard Pro.

Here is some more information from the MicroSoft site on the keyboard:

http://www.microsoft.com/products/hardware/keyboard/natkeypro.htm

Internet Hot Keys
Internet hot keys allow users with Internet access to launch a browser and surf the Web directly from the keyboard. Internet hot keys include Back, Forward, Stop, Refresh, Search, Favorites and Web/Home.

Multimedia Keys
Multimedia Hot Keys give users the power to control music CDs and PC audio and video directly from the keyboard. Multimedia Hot Keys include Mute, Volume Down, Volume Up, Play/Pause, Stop, Previous Track, Next Track and Media. Click here for a list of compatible media players.

E-Mail Hot Key
Open your e-mail program to check messages with a single keystroke — that's all it takes to access your electronic mailbox.

Custom Hot Keys
My Computer and Calculator Hot Keys give you quick access to these popular Windows features. Or, IntelliType Pro software enables you to customize these Hot Keys to launch your favorite programs, documents or Web site.

Sleep Hot Key
The Sleep Hot Key suspends your PC and lets you resume work later-without having to restart your computer.

2 USB Ports
Two USB ports on the Natural Keyboard Pro let you plug a USB device directly into your keyboard. No more searching for the USB port on the back of your PC!

Ergonomic Shape
The Natural Keyboard Pro allows you to place your hands, wrists, and forearms in a natural, comfortable position.

Control Key Shortcut Labels
Never forget shortcut key combinations again. Common CRTL key shortcut combinations for tasks such as cut, copy, and paste are clearly labeled for easy use.


Oh my. This node was voted down, perhaps because I spoke favourably of MicroSoft. But actually, I was speaking of a gift I am grateful for. My other keyboard lost its shift key and so I couldn't even ask a question without typing 'there should be a question mark here because it is a question'. (And I had to use ' instead of ( because I couldn't type (, only '. But now I can. I think that's much better.)
The original Microsoft Natural was okay, but a bit unreliable. Then they came out with the Natural 31337, which is a bitch and a half to use for anything other than websurfing (hint: websurfing only uses the mouse). Now they've got the Pro, which has now integrated the hardware with the browser as well. :P

I've found that the best keyboard is this little notebook-keyboard-sized SunRace I picked up in Hong Kong for about US$18. It's got the layout of a notebook, but its key action is much better than even a desktop keyboard - in fact, it feels like a desktop with a much shorter, yet firmer, key travel. Now normal keyboards feel like I'm moving my fingers miles on each keystroke in comparison - this one is definitely easier on my wrists, due to less finger travel, and I can also type faster to boot. It's also got a few fringe benefits... for example, due to the seemingly-unintuitive placement of the Fn key (for accessing the numeric keypad), you have to use your left thumb to hit Ctrl - which is a hell of a lot better than having to use your pinky, ergonomically.

Unfortunately, I can't find a URL or distributor within the United States. They're very easy to find in Hong Kong. I actually brought back three - one for home, one for office, and one to sell to Dr. Leung, who wants one because of the Chinese symbols on it (his son is interested in learning Chinese typing).

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