Microsoft Ergonomic Natural 4000 keyboard

I knew I was not the only one who thought that the Microsoft Natural 4000 keyboard keys were very hard to press down when trying to type.  Like I mentioned on this blog several times, I’ve owned this keyboard probably around four times total.  Each time I felt that the keys were just way too hard to type with and returned it.  I stuck with it on the fourth time thinking that the keys would eventually turn soft due to typing and typing and typing.  I was wrong.
However, like I said, I’m not the only one to mention this.  There are a few reviews over at Amazon.com which state the same exact thing that I’ve been saying all along.

“The keyboard’s design is beautiful; it’s lightweight, the key locations are well thought-out, and the built-in wrist rest is nicely positioned and comfortable. However, the keys themselves are much too firm! Using this keyboard actually made my wrists hurt *more*. I had to switch back to my cheap $10 standard white keyboard.”

“bought this keyboard because I have arthritis in my fingers and carpal tunnel in my wrists. I’ve been using an Adesso for years, because it used to be the only affordable ergonomic keyboard that worked with my Mac. But the Adesso was falling apart, and I decided it was time to upgrade. I did a lot of research,and based on all the customer reviews, as well as the terrific editor’s review this model got on cnet.com, I decided to go with the MS Natural Ergo 4000. It arrived in a few days (I love Amazon’s free shipping!), and was easy to set up with my iMac. I was very excited, until…

First, the lack of a USP port for my mouse was an unpleasant surprise (are Mac users the only ones who need to plug in their mice?). The real shock, though, was that the keys were too hard to press. All the keys require more pressure than I am used (or able) to apply, and the space bar is virtually impossible to push with just one thumb. After just a few minutes of use, my fingers were in PAIN! I packed it up to return to Amazon within 10 minutes of receiving it. This may be a great ergonomic keyboard for the general population, but don’t buy it if you actually *need* to use an ergonomic keyboard!!!”

“I’ve had a pretty serious case of RSI for quite some time now and have tried many keyboards. for the last 2 years, i’ve been using the microsoft natural keyboard and can definitely tell that it’s much better on my wrists than an ordinary flat keyboard. unfortunately, my natural keyboard is starting to act funny, so i bought the natural ergo keyboard 4000. i had high hopes because it looks nice, i like the reverse tilt (i often roll up a towel and put it under the front of my natural keyboard to create the same effect), and it seems to have some nice feature.

unfortunately, i’m going to return it to the store primarily because the keys are just too hard to push — especially the spacebar. it’s actually hard enough on my hands that as i started to type this review, i decided to stop, unplug the ergo 4000, and use the natural keyboard instead. maybe the keys will loosen up with time, but i can’t afford to aggrevate my RSI in the process.”

Those are just a few reviews.  Now I don’t understand how the majority of the reviews can state that the keys are so easy to press.  They must be smoking crack or are very strong and have been slamming the crap out of their keys on their previous keyboards.  I don’t understand how the hard keys are just a minority out of all of the reviews I’ve read.
If only the keys were just a tad bit softer or if there was a way to make them softer, this keyboard would be the best ergonomic keyboard available.  I hope Microsoft reads this or sees this and updates the keyboard in the future.