Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Feb 19, 2020 at 08:44 am
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Picture
7.1
Gaming
3.4
Mobile/Tablet
8.2
Office
6.5
Programming
3.5
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wireless
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
No

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is a great office keyboard designed for those who are prone to repetitive strain injuries. Its split keyboard layout and reverse incline encourage a more natural typing position to relieve pressure on the wrists. Unfortunately, it does take a bit of time to get used to typing on this keyboard, and the use of disposable batteries feels rather outdated. Nevertheless, if you tend to spend all day in front of a computer, this keyboard may be able to help prevent any future injuries.

Our Verdict

7.1 Gaming

The Microsoft Sculpt is mediocre for gaming. The scissor switches feel a bit mushy and unresponsive, and the pad-printed key legends can fade quickly if you always use the same keys. The keyboard doesn't have backlighting for dark room gaming, and it doesn't have any dedicated macro keys for MMO games.

Pros
  • Good typing experience.
  • Great ergonomics.
Cons
  • Sub-par software support.
  • Uses disposable batteries.
3.4 Mobile/Tablet

The Microsoft Sculpt can't be used with mobile devices running on Android, iOS, or iPadOS. Although it can be used with Windows tablets that have a USB port, its large size makes it difficult to carry around.

Pros
  • Good typing experience.
  • Great ergonomics.
Cons
  • Sub-par software support.
  • Uses disposable batteries.
8.2 Office

The Microsoft Sculpt is great for office use. Its ergonomic design lets you type all day and shouldn't cause any fatigue. However, the split keyboard design takes some time to get used to, and some may find the keys a bit mushy. Typing noise is very minimal and shouldn't be bothersome to your colleagues. The keyboard's overall build quality is decent, but the pad-printed key legends may fade over time.

Pros
  • Good typing experience.
  • Great ergonomics.
Cons
  • Sub-par software support.
  • Uses disposable batteries.
6.5 Programming

The Microsoft Sculpt is sub-par for programming. It provides a good typing experience and its ergonomic design is comfortable, but the keys feel a bit mushy and there are no dedicated macro keys. Some keys don't work on macOS and Linux, and its customization software is only available for Windows.

Pros
  • Good typing experience.
  • Great ergonomics.
Cons
  • Sub-par software support.
  • Uses disposable batteries.
3.5 Entertainment / HTPC

Pros
  • Good typing experience.
  • Great ergonomics.
Cons
  • Sub-par software support.
  • Uses disposable batteries.
  • 7.1 Gaming
  • 3.4 Mobile/Tablet
  • 8.2 Office
  • 6.5 Programming
  • 3.5 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Mar 30, 2021: Tried to run the keystrokes test for Test Bench 1.0, but couldn't due to connectivity issues.
  2. Updated Mar 30, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  3. Updated Dec 04, 2020: Fixed an error in Extra Features regarding macro programming.
  4. Updated Feb 19, 2020: Review published.
  5. Updated Feb 12, 2020: Early access published.

Check Price

Black Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.4" (3.6 cm)
Width 15.4" (39.2 cm)
Depth
8.2" (20.9 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.98 lbs (0.900 kg)

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is very large, as the wrist rest is built-in and isn't removable. The NumPad is a separate piece that you can place wherever you want. The keyboard also comes with an incline riser that attaches magnetically, which increases the height of the keyboard significantly. Microsoft advises users to use the incline riser for optimal ergonomic positioning, but you can use the keyboard without it.

6.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The build quality is passable. It's mainly made out of plastic; however, the overall build feels good and the keyboard doesn't flex. The wrist rest is cushioned with a dense foam-like material that started peeling off a bit at the corner on our unit, but your experience may vary. The incline riser is plastic as well, and it feels noticeably cheaper, as it can potentially crack if dropped. The keycaps have a slightly textured feel to them, and the key legends are pad-printed, which can chip or fade with regular use.

8.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Ergonomical
Minimum Incline
-8°
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
N/A
Wrist Rest Fixed

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard's ergonomics are excellent. Microsoft advises users to use the incline riser, creating a reverse incline to prevent the wrists from bending downwards, therefore putting less pressure on the wrists. The keyboard also has a 'dome' design, which helps to reduce pronation of the forearm. Unfortunately, there's only one incline setting. The wrist rest's foam-like material feels a bit hard and isn't as comfortable as the one found on the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard. If you're looking for an ergonomic keyboard with a detachable wrist rest, check out the Matias Ergo Pro. If you're interested in fully split design keyboards with multiple incline settings, check out the ZSA Moonlander.

0
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting No
Color
No Backlighting
Individually Backlit Keys
No
Color Mixing
No Backlighting
Effects
No
Programmable
No

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard doesn't have backlighting.

Design
Cable & Connector
Detachable
No
Length N/A
Connector (Keyboard side)
No Cable

This is a wireless keyboard that uses disposable batteries and doesn't come with a cable.

1.1
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
2x AAA

The Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard can only be used with its wireless USB receiver. The keyboard uses two AAA batteries and they're included in the box. This keyboard was originally designed for use with Windows 8, and we had some trouble getting it to work on one computer, while another worked fine, even though both computers have Windows 10 installed. If you don't mind having a wired keyboard, check out the Adesso Tru-Form 150.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
Dedicated only
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
No
Lock Indicator No Indicator

Update 12/04/2020: We listed 'Macro Programmable Keys' as 'Dedicated Only' because you can set macros on certain function keys.

The Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard has media control keys that are shared with the function keys. There's a physical switch at the top right corner of the keyboard that lets you choose which function you want as default. The Numpad is a separate piece that comes with the keyboard, so you can place it where it's most comfortable for you.

Design
In The Box

  • Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
  • Numeric pad
  • Wireless USB receiver
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • Incline riser attachment
  • User guide

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Scissor
Feel
Tactile
Operating Force
57 gf
Actuation Force
36 gf
Pre-Travel
1.7 mm
Total Travel
2.3 mm

Update 03/30/2021: We tried to retest the keyboard to our Test Bench 1.0, but the keyboard is damaged and we couldn't properly run the keystrokes test due to connectivity issues. The keyboard shuts down after 60 seconds of inactivity. We used the same keystrokes graph from Test Bench 0.8, and it's not representative of the test in Test Bench 1.0 because we normally use an average of eight keys; this is just one key. We also couldn't run the latency test because of this issue.

The MicrosoftSculpt Ergonomic Keyboard uses scissor switches. These switches require a bit more force to get over the tactile bump, and the low pre-travel distance may cause a few more typos if you're not used to them. They're very similar to the Logitech Ergo K860, but with slightly more travel.

7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

Typing quality on this keyboard is good. It does take some time to get used to the keyboard's layout, so you may notice a greater number of typos at first. The keys feel a bit mushy, and the key spacing feels slightly more cramped than the Logitech Ergo K860. Even though it takes a bit more force to get over the tactile bump, the overall feeling is still light and shouldn't cause any fatigue over time. If you want a better typing experience, take a look at the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Very Quiet

Typing noise on this keyboard is very quiet and shouldn't be bothersome in a quiet office setting.

N/A
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
N/A
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A
Software and Operating System
6.9
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name Mouse and Keyboard Center 11
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
Software
Ease Of Use
Easy
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No

The Sculpt Ergonomic's software support is sub-par. The Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center lets you set macros on the function keys, and profiles are saved per application. Unfortunately, there's no onboard memory or cloud sync option, so if you need to move to another computer, you will need to re-install the software.

7.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

This keyboard has decent compatibility. It works fully on Windows, but shortcuts don't work on Linux. On macOS, Scroll Lock, Pause/Break, calculator, shortcuts, and hotkeys don't work. The Mouse and Keyboard Center software is only available on Windows.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is designed to help prevent repetitive strain injuries. It isn't unique, as there are quite a few of them on the market, and even Microsoft has released a newer version called the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard. Compared to a keyboard such as the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard, the Sculpt feels rather outdated, as it lacks Bluetooth capabilities, multi-device pairing, and was optimized for Windows 8. For other options, check out our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best wireless keyboards, and the best mechanical keyboards.

Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard

The Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard is much better than the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard. The Logitech is more comfortable and provides a significantly better typing experience, and it has a much better build quality and can be paired to multiple devices simultaneously. Also, the Logitech has Bluetooth capabilities and better compatibility with other operating systems, but like the Microsoft, it uses disposable batteries.

Microsoft Surface Keyboard

The Microsoft Surface Keyboard and the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard are very different keyboards. The Sculpt has an ergonomic design with a very specific purpose, while the Surface is more of a stylish minimalistic keyboard. Build quality and typing experience are much better on the Surface, but the Sculpt Ergonomic is more comfortable and has software support, which the Surface lacks.

Kinesis Freestyle Pro

The Kinesis Freestyle Pro is significantly better than the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard. The Freestyle Pro has a much better build quality, typing experience, and better software support. It also has better compatibility with different operating systems, but the Sculpt Ergonomic is much more comfortable to type on due to its dome design and its reverse incline that relieves pressure on the wrists.

ZSA Moonlander

The ZSA Moonlander and the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard are both keyboards with ergonomic designs, but the ZSA is better overall. The ZSA has multiple rotating incline feet, so you can adjust the keyboard's angle to be negative or positive, and you can even tent the board so that your hands are more vertical. On the other hand, the Microsoft has just one incline, and it's negative only. The Microsoft is available with tactile scissor switches, whereas the ZSA is hot-swappable and also available in a variety of Cherry MX and Kailh switches. However, if having a wireless keyboard matters a lot to you, the Microsoft may be a better choice.

Adesso Tru-Form 150

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is much better than the Adesso Tru-Form 150. The two have a curved keyboard design, but the Microsoft has a significantly better typing experience, with a lower pre-travel distance, and the keycaps have a better feel. The numeric pad is detached from the keyboard, unlike the Adesso, which has all the keys attached to the keyboard.

Matias Ergo Pro

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is a slightly better keyboard than the Matias Ergo Pro. The Microsoft has a better ergonomic design, and although it's a wireless keyboard, it can only be connected through its USB receiver. The Matias has a better typing experience with tactile switches, and with a split keyboard design, you can place the two halves however you like.

Logitech K350

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is a better ergonomic keyboard than the Logitech K350. Its switches require less total travel and don't feel as heavy. Also, it has better ergonomics overall and even comes with a separate NumPad that you can move around. The typing quality is noticeably more satisfactory on the Microsoft than the Logitech. Other than price, there's no reason to get the Logitech over the Microsoft.

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