Most users have at some point, used a Microsoft mouse or keyboard, or both. I am a great fan of Microsoft's Internet Keyboards and when mine broke down after heavy use, I looked for something new... Microsoft has introduced a new series of keyboards with "curves" that are supposed to provide greater ease of use and comfort. Let's meet Microsoft's Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000.
- Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000
Work with your hands in a more natural position with this compact ergonomic keyboard. Just plug it in and start typing - more comfortably.
- Spill-Resistant Design:
Enjoy a drink while you work—this keyboard is designed to withstand an accidental spill.
- Ultra-Thin Profile Keys:
The notebook-like, sleek design of these keys feels and looks great.
- Comfort Curve Keyboard Layout: The stylish, curved design of this ergonomic keyboard helps your hands and wrists rest more naturally for greater comfort.
- Internet Hot Keys: With the touch of a button you can quickly access the Internet.
- Easy Set-Up and Use:
Just plug in this keyboard and start typing—it’s that easy to use.
- Product requirements
- Windows Vista™/Windows XP Pro/Home/Media Center Edition/Tablet PC Edition/Windows 2000
- Mac OS X v10.1.5–10.3 (excluding Mac OS X v10.0)
- 233 MHz or higher
- 128 MB RAM or higher
- USB port
- Internet Hot Keys are supported for use with: Browser support (only with software installed): Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.0 or later; MSN® Explorer versions 7.0 or 8.0; Netscape Navigator versions 6.1, 6.2, 7.0; and AOL versions 7.0, 8.0, 9.0.
- Multimedia Hot Keys are supported for use with: Versions of Microsoft CD Player, Microsoft Deluxe CD, Microsoft Windows Media® Player, and certain versions of other popular media players and browsers.
- Multimedia Hot Keys are supported for use with: iTunes.
- Length 18.9 inches (480 millimeters)
- Width 8.4 inches (213 millimeters)
- Depth/Height 1.2 inches (30 millimeters)
- Cable Length 60 inches +/- 6 inches (1530 millimeters +/- 150 millimeters)
- Weight 39.4 ounces (1117 grams)
Product Feature Performance
- QWERTY Key Life: 1,000,000 actuations per key
- Hot Key Features: Mail, Web/Home, Search, and Calculator
- Hot Key Life: 500,000 actuations per key
- Media Key Features: Mute, Volume -, Volume +, and Play/Pause
- Media Key Life: 500,000 actuations per key
- Typing Speed: 1000 characters per minute
2. The Package
The Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000 was purchased at a retail price of €16 (+shipping). That's the price for DSP packages (the ones that come with new PC). I assume that the retail package could cost much more, but look for the DSP packages if they are available at your store. The price is very good, considering that you also get a Microsoft Optical Wheel Mouse. Let's unpack the contents:
The Comfort curve keyboard, as you can see, has the noticeable curves.
For a higher resolution image, click on the following photo:
Closeup of the qwerty key layout.
On the right, we find the standard numeric pad, the four arrows keys and Insert/Delete/Home/End/PageUp/Down keys.
Lastly, at the top we find several buttons for the Internet functions and sound control, up/down/mute.
Underneath is the Product ID, Part No., and various certifications.
The Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000 requires a free USB 1.1 port in order to work. There is no PS2 to USB adapter included. There are no drivers required to get the ComfortCurve keyboard working, just plug it in. Of course, if you want to program the Internet buttons at the top, you have to download IntelliType Pro 6.1 32-bit for Windows XP or a different package if you have another operating system. Note that Windows 9X is not supported by the Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000, so check before purchasing.
The setup procedure is easy, follow the wizard:
In the Keyboard control panel, a new tab has been added. From here you can change the functions for the programmable buttons across the top of the keyboard:
The programmable buttons can be assigned to start a program:
Choose the program from a list:
There are several keys that cannot be reassigned, just enabled or disabled.
Testing a keyboard is a subjective matter and depends on personal preferences.
First of all, this keyboard is very different to what I had been used to. It is thin. The design of the keys is flat and need less down pressure, making them more quiet and also probably means less strain on the hands! The inner columns of keys (TYGHBN) are wider but spaced evenly. This may not be ideal for gamers and it does take some time to get used to it.
The ergonomic design of the keyboard, the curved style is functional, even though there's no wrist support. The angles, size and feel are very close to what I had in mind before buying this keyboard.
Personally, I don't care much about the programmable buttons but the keyboard does have several Internet buttons (back, forward, home, search and mail). What's more useful are the volume controls (up, down, mute) and the play/pause buttons. On the right side is a calculator button, near the numeric keypad. Useful for quick access to the calculator.
The USB cable seems shorter, compared with other models, and could be an issue if the case is not nearby. Of course, this can be solved with an extension cable. There are two supports on the back, but they didn't seem very stable. I don't use them anyway...
After using the keyboard for several days, I am very satisfied with my purchase. I don't have any complaints. Of course, nothing is perfect but for the price tag, you cannot go wrong.
- Stylish, ergonomic design
- Comfortable and quiet typing
- Keys feel great
- Compact size
- Good price
- Works out of the box without requiring additional software
- Multimedia keys work and are programmable with Microsoft software
- Calculator button above numeric pad
- The spacebar is louder than the rest of the keys, rather annoying!
- No wrist support