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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on June 17, 2013
Good keyboard design, might take a little getting used to the split style keyboard. The shortcut keys are also very good, with the right drivers you can program their functionality, it's fairly flexible.

But the spacebar is the worst. It's very stiff. The sensor is in the centre, but it's a very wide key - they should have designed to have two sensors on either end, or two separate spacebar keys for either thumb. The current design is basically a workout for your thumbs, it's not natural at all.
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Recently I changed my PC and although my old keyboard (a MICROSOFT Multimedia) was still in perfect working condition, I decided to change the whole set up. I still had fond memories of my old MS NATURAL ELITE PRO keyboard I had used writing my Thesis, so I decided on the 4000 model which seemed to be its improved replacement. I have had the keyboard for about two months - here are my impressions:

- The 4000 is not just another beautiful keyboard but a REALLY comfortable one too. Not only are the curves natural and well molded but the minimally padded leather-imitation wrist-rest offers a silky sense of luxury. The keyboard comes out of the box with a negative angle attachment, which can easily be removed - it is comfortable but personally I need to see what I am typing.

- Compared to other Ergonomic keyboards, one has to note that unless the keys are physically separated into two groups any ergonomic effects will be minimal. So, if you are thinking of Logitech's WAVE, it is a good idea to actually give both of them a try at a local store before making a choice. As I said, I am no professional typist (yes, more of a 2-fingers) yet I found that my typing is much faster and my typos more rare when using Natural keyboards.

- I liked the idea of the BACK/FORWARD buttons at the wrist-rest. Although most mice now have this functions on their side buttons, it is still a big help when browsing (my mouse has a Magnifying Function where the FORWARD usually is).

- Also, this is a really quiet keyboard. You get a satisfactory feeling when pushing a button but instead of an annoying "clack" sound only a muted "tap" is heard. Ideal if your wife is in the habit of taking naps in your home-office couch.

- As an avid gamer favoring the right side of the keyboard (arrow keys instead of the WASD configuration) I enjoyed the ample room around the former.

- Finally, I liked the placement of an extra set of EQUAL, PARENTHESIS and BACKSPACE at the top right corner (especially the parenthesis, I always hated finding the opening and closing one among the numbers)

- For some reason the ENTER and RIGHT SHIFT keys are too small! I could do with regular sized "H" and "N" keys if it would mean not hunting the ENTER. And this is a large keyboard, I doubt it would make any difference if it was yet a bit longer for that.

- The SPACE bar is, well, fickle. Sometimes it works even if hit at the side. Others it refuses unless hit in the middle.

- The key letters and symbols have a tendency to rub off(!). This is totally unacceptable for a premium priced product - especially one sporting MICROSOFT's brand name. I decided to wait for the problem to become more pronounced and have this one replaced.

- The Media keys on top do not sit well in their homings and are not perfectly aligned. Especially the VOLUME UP in my keyboard seems to rest at an angle. Again, poor quality control for such an expensive and brand name product.

All in all: a mixed bag of good features but with compromises and inferior quality control. I REALLY miss my old NATURAL ELITE PRO keyboard - if it came in black I would buy one again.
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on June 1, 2016
The keyboard is pretty good, soft touch keys and is helping me to control my tennis elbow. One thing that I didn't like much, but bought it aware through to other reviews is that space bar. My unit came with some high noise, especially while typing with the right thumb. After some disappointment I removed the space bar and its neighbor keys and then applied some industrial vaseline to the small metal bar that holds it. It apparently fixed the issue, let's see how long its effect lasts.
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on August 3, 2009
I purchased this keyboard to replace my old trusty MS Natural Keyboard. I loved that old keyboard so much, that, when I saw that they stopped producing it for those travesty "Natural" keyboards with non-standard layouts, I purchased a 2nd one. Those two keyboards lasted me a good 15 years between them, but now it was finally time to change.

In my opinion, the Natural 4000 keyboard is the first worthy successor to the original MS Natural keyboard. It doesn't use any odd layout (shrunk arrow keys or two columns Ins/Home/Page keys). Of course, due to the uncompromising design, it's a bit larger than your average keyboard, although not as large as the original. I did not experience any problem that people here have been reporting, mainly the "hard to press" keys. The space bar and the other keys are comfortably easy to press.

I work as a sysadmin and I spend all day typing, so a good keyboard is very important to me. This keyboard met all my expectations. The ergonomic design makes it comfortable to type on. I recommend it to anyone wanting a true ergonomic solution.
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on July 24, 2016
As a 20 year veteran assistant, avoiding carpal tunnel is key for me. When I first started to get twinge of pain I purchased this keyboard. It has taken the leading edge off and I find that ,you hands and arms are not as tired/sore. It's easy to use though it takes some adjustment to get used to typing on one.
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on July 27, 2013
Don't get me wrong -- the ergonomics of this keyboard are great, and I have been a fan of Microsoft keyboards since the original ivory-coloured keyboards with PS/2 plugs. Nonetheless, I am on my FIFTH keyboard in 3 years. Of those 5, three of them failed in the last year.

Microsoft's quality control has gone downhill. On my last 3 keyboards that went kaputz between September 2012 and July 2013 (when this review was written), here's the chronology:
(1) on one failed model, the 'p' and 'o' keys failed suddenly without warning after less than 90 days of use
(2) on another failure, the entire keyboard quit working without warning
(3) on my third failure, a small splash of coffee rendered the 'l' and semicolon useless.

These keyboards are not spillproof at all, and even if you don't spill anything on them, they are prone to sudden failure. Be thankful that they are inexpensive; buy two, and keep the receipt, as you'll need it for the warranty claim you'll be making.
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on February 28, 2014
Ok, all you people who state that the space bar doesn't work, hopefully that doesn't happen to mine. So far so good.

The key press requires a bit of pressure, so you don't have to worry about pushing down an adjacent key by accident. But not so much that you would get fatigued while typing. There also is no annoying *click* every time you press a key.

The layout is excellent. I use the stand on the front to angle the keyboard away from me, so my wrists are in their most natural position. I can normally type about 120 - 140 words per minute. With this keyboard, I can type almost as fast as I can talk.

I can't say anything about the various "features" of this keyboard (the forward and back buttons, the scroll button, etc) because I haven't bothered to install the driver - I don't use those things, so I don't bother activating them on the keyboard.

If you are a writer, or in any occupation that requires a lot of typing, get this keyboard. Save your wrists. Be comfortable. It's honestly one of the few products that microsoft has created that I will say I really like. And I'm a Linux user.
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on January 21, 2013
The spacebar rattles and sticks in an otherwise great keyboard. I purchased it for the ergonomic design, but am seriously irritated by the cheap plastic rattling of the spacebar. The other keys are soft and silent. Feels great on the wrists, but this review might be the last thing I ever type on it. Too bad.
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on January 24, 2014
I purchased one of these keyboards on Ebay. The layout was easy to get accustomed to and all of the other keys are within natural reach and operate with a suitable level of pressure. Except the space bar, that is.
The space bar is a longish curved bar with a piston guide and switch in the middle and a couple of small guides near the ends. I know because I took it apart to try to get it to operate properly.
If you try and operate the key by pressing near the end(where your thumb falls naturally), the mechanism sticks because the piston in the centre is forced out of alignment. It sticks a lot. It needs an intentional and forceful slam.

If Microsoft made these with two separate space bar buttons, they'd have a nice keyboard.
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on November 17, 2014
It takes a little getting used to but once you do you won't want to go back. The negative slope looks a little weird but it's a lot more comfortable for me. I've never understood how people can use a keyboard tilted forward, it results in such an unnatural position. The plastic riser makes this much more comfortable and results in a more natural sitting position as well.

My only gripe is the software. It's flashy but a little inflexible You can customize a lot of the keys, but you can only choose between a few pre-defined functions. For example, the slider in the middle of the keyboard is used for zooming, but I already zoom using ctrl+mousewheel. I'd rather use it as an alternate mousewheel but there's no way to configure it to do that from the included software

Otherwise it's a very good keyboard for the price. The keys are in all the right places (no weird Insert/Home/Delete layout) and there are no unnecessary power buttons that get in the way. It also includes some bonus keys above the numeric keypad for brackets which are a big convenience. Again, it takes some getting used to but it's very comfortable.
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