The Microsoft ‘Manta Ray’ ergonomic keyboard claims to be the cure to irritating typing discomfort, including repetitive strain injury (RSI). It features the latest ergonomic design, which reduces stress and delivers a quicker and more comfortable typing experience. It could just be the best ergonomic on the market, so lets dive a little deeper.
The Manta Ray features a new sculpted design, it delivers a much more open and hand friendly design. It’s a slight re-take on the ‘natural keyboard’, a design which has been around for some time now and is most commonly identified by the split in the keyboard.
Microsoft have worked on similar devices in the past, notably their ‘sculpt comfort keyboard’. That keyboard featured a cushioned hand rest, Windows 8 keys and a slimmer than normal design. These features have been carried forward into this device, with the new one focusing on delivering an even more ergonomic design. Additionally, the Mantra Bay comes with a separate number keyboard and a mouse which has its own distinctive exaggerated curvature. The mouse is especially important, as the typical mouse has been an equal cause of RSI verses the keyboard itself. By designing this mouse to ensure that your hand doesn’t touch the desk so much, it eliminates the angle of strain which causes so many people a lot of discomfort. It’s a slightly awkward feeling device at first, but it is surprising how quick you grow into it, and after a few hours you will not want to swap back.
The mouse also benefits from the detachable number pad. When not in use, you can move the number pad out-of-the-way, allowing you to use the mouse closer to the keyboard. Not only does this reduce some strain, it simply removes a lot of time-wasting movement leading to efficiency and speed.
The speed in general is something of an acquired skill. On my first goes with it, it felt like my first ever go on a keyboard. I was slow, i missed my keys and generally thoroughly lacked the speed of my normal typing. However, a little while later (a few days really, even though Microsoft say it takes two weeks to fully acclimatise) and i’m flying along typing this. After you’re used to it, this keyboard is fluid and fast, and definitely delivers a more comfortable and enjoyable typing experience. I spend my life typing, and every little helps, but in truth this is something of a leap forward. It’s genuinely the best ergonomic keyboard that i have tried to date.
It does all come at a cost though, as $129.95 (approximately £70) is quite an outlay for a keyboard. As such, I’d suggest that its only worthwhile if you either spend a lot of time typing, or are an existing sufferer of RSI.
Would you pay £70 for this keyboard? share your thoughts below in the comments.