Microsoft is continuing its legacy of ultra-refined and unique hardware peripherals with its latest keyboard-mouse desktop combination which it calls Sculpt. This set is designed specifically for improving comfort, evading carpal tunnel, and preventing unnecessary shoulder rotation.
Notice the daring gap in the middle of the keyboard, this thing is shaped to look like a manta ray – which incidentally was the development codename for this sleek looking keyboard. The number pad is completely detached, makings its use optional so that you can bring your mouse-hand closer to the keys. The mouse is also worth a look as it stands much taller than your ordinary mouse. Here’s the gallery:
The keyboard package is available in the United States for $129.95 and in Europe for £84. The mouse is included at this price or available separately for $59.95.
Unfortunately according to the detailed specs on the Microsoft site, the keyboard and mouse require different types of batteries. The keyboard is powered by 2 AAA (triple) alkaline batteries while the mouse is powered by 2 AA (double) alkaline batteries.
Photos courtesy Microsoft.
It’s actually worse than you mention. Because of the separate NumPad that uses a button-battery, you have to deal with three different battery types.
I’d be interested to see if it really lasts the reported 3-years.
Power Requirements Battery Type and Quantity
Keyboard: 2 AAA alkaline batteries (included)
Keypad: 1 Lithium battery CR2430 (included)
Mouse: 2 AA alkaline batteries (included)
Battery Life 36 months typical
Stephen A. Weiss
My experience with various elements like the controllers for my Bose sound systems (2), Bose radios (3), XM Radio receivers (4) has been that the AAA batteries and Lithium button or ‘watch-style’ batteries has been that they have delivered extremely long spans of useful life cycles.
The AAA have had the shortest life cycles in daily, frequent usage lasting at least 2 years and as battery technology has improved that has climbed upward. I’m kind of obsessive about batteries marking either the device or installation date on all of them when installed so that I can get an idea of what may be a reasonable expectation for replacement and not stockpile batteries that may die on the shelf before being used as planned.
For me the Lithium ‘button’ or ‘watch-style’ batteries in devices like controllers or even as back up power for clocks and other programmable devices that would require reprogramming in the event of power outages (which are extremely common where I live) have even longer life cycles running as high as five years.
As full disclosure I am a retired telecommunications sales engineer and sales manager, not affiliated with Microsoft, Bose, XM Radio or any battery manufacturer in any way. On the other side of the coin I am typing this with a Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite into a computer I built myself and steadily upgrade using Windows XP. All of my computers use Microsoft OS whether ‘home-built’ or ‘manufacturer built’.
Unlike Doug above I would not have any qualms about the battery budget or labor to replace them for this product.