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  Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro 8/10. Date Posted 01/06/2002.

Microsoft have been producing these funny looking keyboards for sometime. I owned the previous model and it worked for several years before breaking. Strangely it was Apple who started the craze, and now no longer seem to make them. The keys are just right, not too clicky and not too soft. As well as the usual keys, you get numerous hotkeys, some for Internet Explorer, some for Media Player, and some general ones. Certainly having they hotkeys, is useful, just for quickly muting MP3s when the phone rings etc.

The strange shape makes it easier to type, since the sides of the keyboard are angled like your hands are, naturally. It might take a few hours to get used to it. However, once you've started using it, you'll never want to go back to an ordinary keyboard. I'm not sure whether you can type quicker, but I find it more comfortable than an ordinary keyboard.

A great bonus with this keyboard is that it is USB. Connecting it to your computer requires only one cable, and it can be connected to laptops, which rarely have PS/2 ports anymore. In addition, the keyboard acts as a two port USB hub. I think it is probably a USB 1.1 hub, so it should support USB 2 devices, but not at full speed. All devices I have tried seem to work fine with the keyboard, including a USB scanner, USB digital camera and USB scanner. Unfortunately Microsoft don't currently make a cordless version of this Natural keyboard. If you want a Natural cordless keyboard you would have to look to Logitech's version. Unfortunately with cordless keyboards you cannot have a USB hub built-in to your keyboard.