When comparing CODE Keyboard vs Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard, the Slant community recommends CODE Keyboard for most people. In the question“What are the best keyboards for programming?” CODE Keyboard is ranked 2nd while Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is ranked 21st. The most important reason people chose CODE Keyboard is:
The CODE keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, regarded as top-quality switches. They have impressive levels of durability and consistently pass, with high marks, all the performance tests they are subjected to. There are 4 kinds to choose from: Blue, Brown, Green or Clear. The MX Blues are the most common kind. They are responsive, but soft, and quite noisy. The MX Browns feel similar to the Blues, but slightly less noisy. The MX Greens are often described as heavy Blue switches. They still make the click sound and offer tactile feedback, however the activation force is 80g (for the Blue switches, it's 50g). The MX Clear switches have medium stiffness and a tactile response but are non-clicky (similar to Brown switches but heavier and with a greater tactile feedback). It's characteristics make it fantastic for general typing in office environments.
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Pro Available with 4 different kinds of Cherry MX switches
The CODE keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, regarded as top-quality switches. They have impressive levels of durability and consistently pass, with high marks, all the performance tests they are subjected to.
There are 4 kinds to choose from: Blue, Brown, Green or Clear. The MX Blues are the most common kind. They are responsive, but soft, and quite noisy. The MX Browns feel similar to the Blues, but slightly less noisy. The MX Greens are often described as heavy Blue switches. They still make the click sound and offer tactile feedback, however the activation force is 80g (for the Blue switches, it's 50g). The MX Clear switches have medium stiffness and a tactile response but are non-clicky (similar to Brown switches but heavier and with a greater tactile feedback). It's characteristics make it fantastic for general typing in office environments.
Pro Full white backlighting
The CODE keyboard comes with backlighting that feels similar to the one found on Apple products. You can pick from seven brightness levels and the onboard memory saves your lighting preferences. They also have gone to a lot of trouble getting the backlighting even by painting the backplate white and positioning the key symbols just right.
Pro Solid construction
This keyboard is built solidly, using sturdy parts made of robust materials. It's mounted on a solid steel backplate, weighs over 2 pounds and has a dual layer PCB board. In this aspect, it’s comparable to other keyboards renowned for their build quality, such as those from the Ducky series.
Pro Minimalistic design
The CODE keyboard has a textured finish that resists fingerprints and scratches. It has no stickers or logos and the back-lighting is very clean and elegant.
Pro Removable/replaceable USB cable
Many keyboards come with a permanently attached cable, meaning that if it gets damaged, you need to get it fixed or replace the whole board. CODE keyboards come with removable cables, which means they're easy to replace if broken. This also has the added benefit of allowing for more customization options: braided cables, different coloured cables, or longer/shorter cables for different setups without having excess cables hanging around.
Pro Available with or without a numeric keypad
Users can choose between versions that have and don't have a numeric keypad.
Pro Highly configurable
DIP-switches on the back of the keyboard can be used to disable the Windows key, switch Caps Lock with Ctrl, swap Alt with Command (if you're on macOS), and change to QWERTY, Dvorak, or Colemak layouts.
Pro Saves time with complex key combos
Key combos can be configured, supporting combinations of up to six keys. However, Ctrl, Alt and Shift don't count to this total. As a result, using these keys actually increases the combo key limit to nine.
Pro Consistent design
FN labels are on the front of the keycaps (i.e. media labels). This improves the user experience.
A consistent design is an outstanding aspect in this keyboard.
Pro Media control
Even though there aren't any dedicated media keys, the navigation cluster has secondary media control functions. To access these functions, the keys should be pressed in combination with the Fn key.
Pro Very portable
This keyboard’s detachable cable, dimensions, and weight make it extremely easy to carry around.
Pro Ergonomically shaped
Our hands naturally rest angled when in front of us, and this keyboard has been built to conform to that, rather than having us awkwardly trying to straighten our hands on a regular flat keyboard, putting strain on our wrists. The keyboard is also curved into a dome shape, which contributes to its ergonomic shape.
Pro Low impact keys
The Sculpt's keys absorb impact quite well, avoiding injuries related to repetitive movements.
Thanks to the scissor switches used, this keyboard is very quiet.
Pro Cushioned palm rest
This keyboard has a comfortable, cushioned palm rest.
Pro Number pad can be placed where it is more convenient
Since the number pad is a separate part from the main keyboard, its position can adjusted and it can be moved out of the way when it isn't being used. This allows for a more ergonomic mouse use, since it can be placed closer to the keyboard, just like in a tenkeyless design.
Pro Clean look and flexible positioning due to wireless connection
This keyboard connects wirelessly to the computer. This offers many benefits, such as a clean, tidy look (no cable mess) or a flexible positioning (greater use range). On top of that, it doesn't occupy one of the ports.
Pro Slider witch for using special functions or media controls
Rather than the usual Fn key that needs to be pressed in combination with other keys to activate said key's secondary functions, the Sculpt has slider switch that does this. This makes it easier to default to those functions.
Compared to alternatives which offer RGB lighting, USB passthrough or other features, this keyboard is pretty expensive.
Con Lacks numpad
This is a tenkeyless keyboard which means that it doesn't have the numpad.
Con Too small for some, particularly those with big hands
This keyboard's small size may prove difficult for some people to get accustomed to.
Con Sculpted keys make switching to Dvorak difficult
Dvorak is a keyboard layout that's an alternative to the commonly used QWERTY layout. While QWERTY was designed in the early days of typing, Dvorak is a more comfortable, modern layout which is technically superior. It is designed to have more flow than QWERTY, where the left hand does most of the work. Here, keys are strategically placed to spread the typing out more evenly. This creates better flow (left hand types a letter, then the right hand, then back to left and so on). In this keyboad, the keycaps are sculpted for the QWERTY layout, which means that, when you switch the keys around, each of the keys is at a slightly different angle than the one next to it.
Con Spare parts and keycap sets can only be obtained from third parties
The manufacturer doesn’t sell spare parts or keycap sets, so if users want to change the layout, they have to get these components from a third party.
Con It's hard to source the MX Clear version
The version of the CODE keyboard that comes with the MX Clear switches is constantly out of stock.
Con No wireless connection
CODE keyboards connect via USB. No Bluetooth or any other form of wireless connection is available.
Con Functions keys are not easy to use
The function keys are too small.
Con Less durable than flat keyboards
Because of its shape and thin design, this keyboard will break more easily than the typical, flat rectangular keyboards. This makes it less portable, unless you're very careful.
Con The key switches used aren't ideal for long typing sessions
The switches used are scissor switches, which are the ones used in many laptops. They provide shallow keystrokes which don't give the same feedback as a mechanical keyboard. These keys need to be bottomed out in order to activate, which creates some strain on your finger's joints as they are constantly hitting the bottom of the stroke. Scissor switches are also known to be less accurate than other keyboards.
Con Bad separation of key clusters
The Page Up, Page Down, Home, Insert, End, Delete and Arrow keys are squeezed together, right next to Enter, right Shift and right Control, without any physical barrier/marker to separate the two key clusters. Since this is not an usual layout, it is disorienting for users.
Con Some keys aren't very reliable
Some keys (like Backspace or Enter), if not pressed perfectly perpendicularly, hit the shelf of the frame and get blocked on their way down. This means the stroke isn't registered and, on top of that, feels awkward. On the (slightly) bright side, this awkward feel acts as feedback that the key wasn't fully pressed.