I use several different keyboards regularly. I have a wired HP keyboard, which is a little noisy and clicky but OK. A couple of "A4 Tech" wireless keyboards/mice from Maplins which are very compact, but the key action is too heavy and they're noisy.
I also have a 6 year-old Belkin wireless keyboard/mouse which until now was my favourite - simple, but effective.
Despite only giving it 4 stars (I'll explain why), this Microsoft deskset is my new favourite. (And it must be good, as I'm not a big fan of Microsoft!)
The key features are:
- 2.4GHz band: better reception, works from about 10ft away through a wall, and at least 15ft in air for me (I just tested it!) Bear in mind you wouldn't normally want to use a keyboard through a wall, of course.
- 3-button ambidextrous mouse
- tiny USB receiver that stows under the mouse for safe-keeping
- slim profile (overall thickness of keyboard, and height are on the slim side
- keyboard feet to raise angle
- mouse takes 2xAA batteries, keyboard 2xAAA (all supplied, all Duracell in my box)
- key caps have varnished transfers rather than etched/moulded characters; these sometimes wear poorly, but we'll need to wait for a while to see how it goes...
As usual, some pros and cons to help you decide.
- individual keys slope up at different angles meaning your fingertips connect with all of them at the same angle: this is much more comfortable than standard keyboards
- the key caps are all slightly concave, meaning more comfortable typing again, and more accuracy, as your fingers can feel where they are better with well-defined key edges
- some keys are ergonomically designed (Caps Lock is made harder to press by accident when using "Shift" or "Tab") or situated (cursor keys and navigation keys are not separated from the alpha-keys by a gap, making for greater ease of use
- keys are "constant resistance" action: there's no large initial resistance click, and so impact is softer, making for more comfortable typing
- the keyboard is also very quiet
- for the comfort, response, and build quality (but not the noise), the keyboard feels like it rivals the legendary old Apple "Extended Keyboard II" (I have one, so I know!)
- the mouse is a simple, 3-button scroll wheel model, suitable for left- and right-handers alike. I sometimes use my mouse left-handed, and can't stand right-handed-only mice!
- the mouse is very responsive with light, positive click action
- the mouse's scroll wheel action isn't quite "notchy" enough for my taste - I prefer it a little more clicky, although I'm sure I'll get used to it
- the keyboard's border and mouse's "skirt" is in fashionable "glossy piano black", which will scratch and mark almost instantly as it's a soft plastic surface
- the "Function" keys, and the "Escape" are low profile and 1/3 the height (although same width) of normal keys.
For me, this last point is the "minor design flaw" I mentioned in the review title - I use those keys frequently, and I don't know how comfortable this setup is. It certainly seems odd and a bit fiddly at the moment, although I've only had the keyboard a few hours - I'll update the review if I change my opinion.
Overall, this is a superb keyboard and mouse, with the keyboard being really lovely to type on - quiet, positive, and easy on the finger joints.
If it had bigger Escape and F keys, I'd give it 5 stars; as it is, it gets 4 stars, with a recommendation to try one out if you can, to see if you're bothered by the key size. If you're not, it'd be hard to beat the value and quality of this deskset.