Seeking original Microsoft Natural Keyboard (the first ever)
January 28, 2008 11:53 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find an original Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard?

I use the original, PS/2 model, beige color. To me, the original is the best and most natural to use.

Anything else (Pro, Elite, 4000, Multimedia) has some annoying aspects, like tiny arrow keys, or weird spacing of certain letters).

I've tried ebay, google, amazon, craigslist, etc. No luck.

While I'd prefer a working model, for this project I would consider a busted one too.
posted by 4midori to Technology (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They're very rare. They were, the lore goes, patent infringing, which is why subsequent ones were never as good. If you're in Seattle, you may be able to find some at the PC Recycle near MSFT in Redmond.

I used to have a collection, but recent moves prompted me to divest myself of them. :(
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:26 AM on January 29, 2008

Best answer: Search for the 58221.
posted by aubilenon at 1:01 AM on January 29, 2008

IIRC, the original Natural keyboard had the tiny arrow keys and the odd page down/up cluster.

I believe you were thinking of the Natural Keyboard Pro. Either way, what you want is the Natural Ergonomic 4000.

And yes we do have tons of tossed Natural Keyboard Pros at MSFT, but I don't think you'd want to touch them as they are absolutely filthy.
posted by mphuie at 1:05 AM on January 29, 2008

Oops, I was wrong, I was thinking of the elite. I have both the pro and the 4000, what irks you about those two? (They have standard arrow pad and page up/down clusters).
posted by mphuie at 1:08 AM on January 29, 2008

I obviously can't speak for the OP, but the two halves are closer on the pro together than on the original 58221. Also it looks like the f-keys are a little different. I can't see any other differences to the standard keys.

And of course there's the MM keys, which I personally use all the time, but I can imagine how you might think they're BS.
posted by aubilenon at 1:31 AM on January 29, 2008

I picked up mine at a swap meet (car boot sale / flea market) and almost picked up a spare at another swap meet recently. You might want to try your local markets for a few weeks.
posted by krisjohn at 2:12 AM on January 29, 2008

Holy moly, I had no idea they had value. Post it in wanted on craigslist, and get friends to ask their IT friends.
posted by theora55 at 6:14 AM on January 29, 2008

Response by poster: Cheers to ask.metafilter! I posted this at two a.m., went to bed, woke up waaaay too early (couldn't sleep), and my answer awaits! Wouldn't it be cool if we could similarly post questions about crises in foreign affairs, and have good solutions later that the morning?

(Narrator voice)

While you sleep, Metafilter experts from around the globe process your request, searching their basal ganglia, left and right brains for a suitable answer. When you wake up, you'll see a variety of replies on the topic you posted

Hey hey--58221! That brings it up.

Funny that an old, faded, used kbd should cost more than the nice new ones with multimedia buttons and a built-in toaster.

I bought what I think is the model 4000, but the N key is decidedly non-ergonomically positioned, and I don't like the key clicks, too soft. This may seem like nitpicking, as most people happily use a stock $5 Dell model without complaint. That is, until they get carpal tunnel or tendinitis.

I've been happily using the 58221 for nearly ten years, and I type all day. I'll probably be using one when we've all gone to Bluetooth-USB-Microwave Express 5.1.
posted by 4midori at 6:20 AM on January 29, 2008

Response by poster: It also looks like the 59758 is my exact model (duh), and perhaps identical to the 58221.
posted by 4midori at 6:22 AM on January 29, 2008

I also have one of these, and it's the 59758 as well.

I don't see any differences from the photos.
posted by Caviar at 8:49 AM on January 29, 2008

if you do get a filthy copy of the one you want, it should be easy to disassemble and clean with distiller water. Just make sure it is dry before reassembling.
posted by Good Brain at 9:43 AM on January 29, 2008

The difference may be in the lifters underneath the keyboard. The original ones had one long lifter bar in the front (the patent infringing piece of myth). Later ones had the standard sort of two small lifters in the rear.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:47 AM on January 29, 2008

My 59758 has a long lifter bar. I'm almost positive it was billed as a rev 1 model when I bought it. It may have just been a different stock number for the same product.
posted by Caviar at 9:47 PM on January 29, 2008

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