Well, This Ergonomic Keyboard Sure Proved Me Wrong

Well, This Ergonomic Keyboard Sure Proved Me Wrong
Image credit: Lifehacker Australia
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With millions of Australians either completely locked down or regularly working from home right now, there has naturally been an increased interest in home office setups of late.

If you read my write up on the Koala office furniture range you may recall that my initial approach to working from home was a little ​​¯\_(ツ)_/¯ in nature. If there was a chair nearby, I sat on it. And the same went for my hardware. I can’t say I put much thought into my home office at all. This led to me working from a flat laptop on a tiny desk, with an office chair that was average, at best.

Naturally, my body started to feel all kinds of messed up pretty quickly. One of the biggest issues I noticed early on was that my wrists were aching.

Typing directly into my laptop keyboard was leaving me with serious discomfort, and I quickly grew concerned that the pain in my wrists would cause me major issues over time. (A few years back a colleague showed me a photo of what carpal tunnel surgery looked like and my hypochondriac self has never forgotten it).

Anyway, I was offered an opportunity to review the Logitech ERGO K860 wireless keyboard as a way to show my wrists a little TLC. I was intrigued but unsure how much of a difference this would make – and the unusual curved design completely threw me.

In terms of specs, here’s what we’re looking at:

The keyboard is no petite young thing, sitting at 456 mm wide, 48mm deep and 233 mm high. It’s Bluetooth compatible, with a 10 m wireless range. The ERGO K860 is compatible with Windows 7,8,10 or later and macOS 10.13 or later.

Having been designed with a curved keyframe, the ERGO K860 is intended to place “your hands, wrists, fingers and forearms in a more natural posture” and claims to be able to “reduce muscle activity by 21% in the upper trapezius muscle” compared to regular old Logitech keyboards.

Logitech boasts that this design improves posture, and the funky split keyboard allows a more natural positioning of the hands and fingers.

The pillowed wrist rest claims to offer “54% more wrist support while reducing wrist bending by 25%”. It’s been built with three layers of memory foam, high-density foam and stain-resistant knitted fabric.

Doesn’t sound half bad, hey? Well, here’s how my experience went.

What’s good?

Logitech ERGO K860 wireless keyboard
Logitech ERGO K860 wireless keyboard. Image credit: Lifehacker Australia

I have given this keyboard a solid go, using it over a number of months, and I can say with full transparency that I’ve noticed less pain – often none at all – in my wrists. Full disclosure, I have updated my entire office set-up, but the keyboard was one of the first elements I changed and the benefits of that became apparent quite quickly.

The wrist pillow is comfortable to rest on, and although it did take me a while to get used to the new keyboard design I now find I am able to type at the same speed as I would on my regular keyboard.

When it comes to set-up, the process was quick and painless. I just had to pop the USB Receiver into an Apple adaptor and set the keyboard up as a new Bluetooth device. It always connects instantly.

What’s not so good?

Logitech ERGO K860 wireless keyboard
Logitech ERGO K860 wireless keyboard. Image credit: Lifehacker Australia

It’s kind of huge for a keyboard, so if you’re low on space this will feel like a mammoth addition to your desk set up. That was the case with me for a good few months, so I often chose not to use it for that reason.

There is also an adjustment period that comes with the keyboard’s split structure. It’s not a huge hurdle, but it is an element that will feel odd at the beginning. Your fingers will work a little harder at first.

As a Mac user as well, I often found myself stumbling over the keys trying to figure out shortcuts and all. Though, that’s going to be the case with any non-Apple keyboard Mac users work off. And it’s not a fault of the keyboard’s design either, but it’s something that came up for me while getting used to it.

The last point I’ll make is that if you’re not comfortable leaving the keyboard out on your desk permanently, packing it away is something of a mission. It does fit in my desk drawer, but it takes up a fair amount of space so it won’t pack away neatly just anywhere.

The verdict?

My love for this Logitech keyboard built slowly. At first, I saw it as a clunky space-eater that felt strange to type on, and I was sceptical of its claims. But with time I saw that it was making a big difference to my comfort.

This keyboard is a godsend for wary wrists while working from home (wow unintentional alliteration). It may be awkward to use at first, but the price of spending a little time getting used to a funky-looking keyboard is well worth the benefit of gaining all that wrist support.

You can grab the Logitech ERGO K860 wireless keyboard on Amazon at $218.90 – though stocks are limited. The keyboard is currently sold out on the Logitech website but is listed as coming soon for $229.95.

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