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I've been using cheap keyboards for all my life ($20 expendables), but occasionally when typing I get a bit of wrist pain (not really even a pain, just annoying sort of discomfort). I was looking at getting something like this (a split keyboard), but I've heard mixed reports on whether they actually help (and if they reduce the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome and whatever). For anyone that has used these, are they more comfortable/better? Also, slightly off topic but would these things mind if I popped the keys off and rearranged the layout?
 

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I use that exact keyboard and the difference for me was night and day from a regular straight board. Downside of this specific one is it doesn't have media keys (even though it's advertised as a media keyboard). I no longer have wrist pain and can type for hours on end with no difficulties other than the usual from sitting still for so long. As for changing up the key layout, that is a problem with boards like this. Usually the keys are molded to fit a certain way to fit the contour. Can't really change them around much or you mess up the flow of the board a bunch.
 

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It can really depend on what you end up being more comfortable with since there are many different types of ergonomic keyboards. You're on the right track though on looking into 'split' keyboards. Just practice good habits with giving your wrist/hands proper resting time over long periods. Getting a cushion/support is highly recommended in my opinion since that's the main reason for my own pain and discomfort. The only true ergonomic keyboard I know of are the ones for SafeType who manufacture those full vertical split keyboards.
 

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I don't think they are necessary, but I have to say, after typing on keyboards like this http://www.geeknaut.com/images/2012/07/Microsoft-Natural-Keyboard-Elite.jpg

I am kind of sold on them. I do too much gaming to ever use it as a full time keyboard. But i can see myself using one of those in the office. I wish I had not used it. Since I used it , I have been thinking about mechanical ergonomic keyboards and what kind of typing bliss they would be. Particularly, I want this
http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/advantage.htm

The funny thing is that for years, I have looked at them thinking they would be awkward to use. I only had to use one for about 10 minutes before I was convinced that they actually do make a lot of sense.
 

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I should add that whether it reduces stress and pain is really dependent on your particular anatomy and typing habits. In that sense, you just have to try them out to see whether it would provide any benefit to you. Luckily, there are ergonomic keyboards for as little as 20 bucks. Those may not be great, but you can at least try whether the layout works for you.

You also asked whether you could pop off keys and rearrange the keyboard. That is actually possible. There are several 3rd party software you can use (or even make manual changes in the registry) to accomplish this. I have only used keytweak in the past. But mapkeyboard and sharpkeys apparently do the same thing.
 

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This is an older thread but I just HAD to post in this lol... I just got the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 and boy oh boy it is thee most comfortable keyboard I have ever used. It is smooth and decently quiet. I have the wrist rest riser on it (which elevates the wrist wrest) and it really does feel ten times better than anything else I've used.

The only thing I am worried about is that I use it for work (8 hours a day) and that I'll love it so much that I will want to use it over my gaming keyboard at home! I don't know how good of use it would be for gaming haha. But like it is thee most relaxing thing to use ever. Maybe it's not for everyone but I do feel after using it for a day it is much easier to type with (assuming you use the right finger for the keys in the middle that are split).

Just my
2cents.gif
 
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