Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 Review

Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 quarter view

With a slightly different design than its predecessor, the Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 encourages healthy wrist positioning in a slim, space-saving package.

FEATURES/OPTIONS:

- Slim design doesn’t take up any extra room on your desk or keyboard tray

- A few “hot keys” above the number pad control media and open Calculator

- All the letter keys retain their correct proportions

REVIEW:

Ergonomic keyboards all have their own unique shape.  The Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 has a single bulge in the center (see pic) to help externally rotate the wrists a little bit and relieve stress and fatigue.

Typing on this keyboard is very quiet.  As I can’t stand super loud clicky keyboards, I didn’t mind this one bit.  The keys feel slightly “softer” or more mushy than what I’m used to, and I think a little more tactile feedback would be nice.  But if I had to pick between super clicky and super quiet, super quiet wins every time.

Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 key changes

Click for a larger view of all the key layout changes

This keyboard has quite a few changes to the key layout, all of which I dislike.  For starters, I don’t like the delete key placement.  Yes, I know, I rarely ever use the insert key, but on those rare instances when I need it, where is it?  Hint: It’s above the delete key, next to Scroll Lock, where PrtScrn used to be.

So where is PrtScrn?  It’s on the other side of Scroll Lock, where Pause/Break used to be.

So where is Pause/Break???  It’s now a shared key with Scroll Lock in the middle, and requires hitting the Function (Fn) key.

Function key?  What the heck is that?!  Standard keyboards don’t even have a function key! Well, it’s between the right CTRL and the right ALT.  There is normally a Windows key and an Application key (the one with the image of a mouse pointer on a menu) here, but this keyboard replaced them both with a Fn key.

The missing Application key is now accessed by hitting Fn+Right Shift, and the only Windows key on the keyboard is the left one.

And I forgot to mention; to make up for the missing right Windows key, the spacebar is now too long.

Seriously, what is going on here?!

The addition of a Function key represents reduced efficiency; things that used to require only one key press (such as the Application key, or hitting Pause/Break) now require two (the Fn key plus the newly assigned key).  While I tend to think this is poor planning and engineering, I’m sure the defense is “but no one ever uses those keys anyway!”  So if these changes don’t bother you (because you never use those keys anyway), then you may very well find this keyboard to be superb!

This keyboard looks awesome, but the keyboard layout has been messed with, and while the keys that were rearranged (or removed) aren’t commonly used keys, there’s still going to be a learning curve and moments of “hey, where did that key go?!”  It all seems a bit pointless to me.  This keyboard would be much better with a normal sized spacebar and the other bottom row keys present (right Windows and Application) and where they’re supposed to be (left CTRL — more on that later).

Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 side view

Slim design doesn't waste any extra space on your desk

This keyboard has some extra hot keys, and normally I don’t like them because they’re huge and take up extra space, but here they take up minimal space above the numeric keypad, and I don’t mind them at all.  And I love the Calculator shortcut key.  I seem to use the calculator all the time.

I’m not a gamer, but if you are, you probably won’t like the WASD layout on this keyboard.

The Z key is slightly misaligned.  Its left edge is even with the left edge of the left ALT key.  This means the left CTRL is further away from the letter keys than it should be, which makes the pinky+index finger stretch to hit CTRL+B, for example, longer than on a standard keyboard.

PROS:

- Slim and space saving

- Looks cool

- Letter keys are all the same size (unlike on the Comfort Curve 2000)

CONS:

- A bunch of rearranged keys (Insert, PrtScrn, Pause, Application), the addition of a Function key, and the right Windows key has been removed

- Gamers won’t like WASD layout

- Left CTRL key, while the correct size (unlike on the 2000), is further away

- Extra large delete key

VERDICT:

If the rearranged keys don’t bother you and you like the curve, this is a pretty cool keyboard.