New Microsoft Keyboard Splits Space Bar, Left Side Used as Backspace Key

  • Share
  • Read Later

Try as I may, I can’t seem to not strike my spacebar with anything but my right thumb. I’ve never noticed it before, but now it’s driving me nuts. Microsoft has gotten in my head!

The company’s new Sculpt Comfort Keyboard ($60 – available “soon” but no firm date) features a split space bar, the left side of which can function as a backspace key instead. Insanity, no?

There’s a method to Microsoft’s madness. According to the company:

Research shows that 90 percent of people use only their right thumb to hit the space bar, and that the backspace key is one of the most frequently used keys on a keyboard. Knowing this, Microsoft Hardware designers built a larger, split spacebar that includes a backspace bar on the left-hand side. The new design helps improve typing speed and provide improved comfort.

Without my head exploding into a million confused pieces, I’m not convinced that I’d be able to train my left thumb to hit the left side of a spacebar and then watch whatever letter I’d just typed vanish. But Microsoft’s keyboards are programmable, so maybe this unused left thumb of mine could find some playing time after all. I’m picturing a macro that auto-types “Hoo-wee! That sure is a pickle!” when I hit the left side of the space bar so I don’t have to keep typing it into every e-mail I answer.

Other features: cushioned, detachable palm rest; wireless USB connection; takes two AAA batteries; Windows 8 shortcut keys; three-year warranty.

MORE: Confessions of a Left-Handed Technology User