Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft today launched its newest wireless keyboard and mouse configuration, the Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000.
The updated design references the ergonomic designs of the company’s previous wired peripherals, the Natural Ergonomic keyboard 4000 and Natural wireless laser mouse 6000.
The pair combines ergonomic design and 2.4GHz technology and has a range of 30 feet. Intelligent technology “hops” frequency when it encounters interference, making it ideal for corporate or home environments with multiple computers, according to Microsoft. The pair is plug-and-play.
The keyboard has a cushioned wrist rest and a proprietary “gull wing” design that brings the keys closer to the user’s fingers, reducing reach and unnecessary motion while encouraging a more natural position, Microsoft said. An optional palm rest provides a 7-degree reversed slope to encourage better arm and wrist alignment.
A two-color battery life indicator warns users when it is time to replace batteries. In addition, the keyboard includes easy-to-access forward and back buttons; a slider to zoom in and out when navigating large documents or images; and customizable hot keys such as mail, Web/home and search.
The newest version of Microsoft’s ergonomic mouse, the Natural wireless laser mouse 7000, is identical in design to the recently launched Natural wireless laser mouse 6000, with the addition of 2.4GHz technology. The mouse’s design was inspired by the shape of a baseball and driven by the way a hand rests in a relaxed state, with the wrist more parallel to the side of the body and the fingers maintaining their relaxed curl, according to Dan Odell, Ph.D., user researcher and ergonomist for the hardware group at Microsoft.
The mouse’s signature Natural design elements include a vertical right side, allowing the user to rest comfortably on the side of the hand, rather than on the carpal tunnel area, and an elevated thumb scoop that rotates the hand into a more vertical position, a posture that has been associated with a reduction in carpal tunnel pressure, the company said.
Software features include the Instant Viewer, which displays all open windows at once so users can easily switch between applications for added productivity, and Magnifier, which delivers real-time magnification on any section of the screen.
The Desktop 7000 is scheduled to be widely available next month for an estimated retail of $149. It is currently available for special presale on Amazon.com.