I've put up with a wired desktop for years - struggling with stopping the cables dragging the mouse, and climbing behind the computer to swap over the USB cables when switching between my desktop and a "working from home" laptop. Now that wireless alternatives claim to be more reliable than ever and about the same price as wired alternatives I thought I'd step out of the dark ages and get a wireless desktop instead.
I've always liked Microsoft's keyboard and mice, even the basic ones, and this is why I chose to try this basic wireless keyboard and mouse offering from Microsoft.
Initial impressions were very good - the keyboard is gloss black with a white underbelly, and the mouse has a gloss black streak around its edge to match. They both feel a bit too light, but once the mouse has its batteries installed it has a much better weight to it. The keyboard doesn't move at all during use so the light weight doesn't affect the feel or the quality in the end.
Batteries installed (2 AAA and 2 AA Duracell batteries supplied in the box) and the USB "dongle" plugged into my PC (NOTE: single, one for the mouse and keyboard combined), Windows XP found the devices within 30 seconds and they were both ready to use. A nice touch is that the mouse only requires one of its AA batteries to work - handy if you only have a single spare floating about in an emergency. The keyboard takes 2 AAA batteries.
UPDATE: I've since tried this on Windows 7 and Mac OS, and both have worked perfectly.
The mouse is very controllable, slightly more sensitive than my Microsoft wired mouse but very accurate and a nice positive button click and scrollwheel. There are no extra fancy buttons to be had here - just left, right, and middle (the wheel). It had a range of over 15 feet when I gave it a test - I ran out of rooms and it was too cold outside to push it to the limit. This was with fresh AA batteries.
As for the keyboard, it's ever so slightly too compact to be the best I've tried, but the keys are all full size so 99.9% of the time this won't be an issue. The reason for the compact size is that the function keys are half height, and the number pad and cursor keys butt right up to each other rather than have a gap like in most keyboards. I've heard this is better to help combat RSI - you don't have to move your hands as far to get to the mouse if the keyboard is compact and you're right handed. The Enter key is double height so that's one benefit over other compact keyboards.
The keyboard has a very good feel to its keys - they're quite short "throw" which I like, quiet to the touch, almost like an Apple offering. It can be raised thanks to a couple of simple feet at the back; my only criticism is that I'd like the back to go up another few mm in order to get the keys to the same level as my last keyboard - but I believe this is me just getting used to it. Another downside is that there are no lights for caps lock / scroll lock. Not too big an issue as it's pretty obvious when you switch to CAPS.... There are some extra media buttons (volume / play / pause) and a calculator button if you like doing sums when you're bored.
All in all this is an extremely good offering from Microsoft - better looking than the alternatives and of superb quality.
EDIT: Battery life is great - first set of batteries and I've used the keyboard and mouse most days for an hour for well over a month. Still getting used to the slightly more compact layout compared to my work keyboard.
on 8 July 2011
I'm really pleased with this keyboard and mouse. I received:
1 x Microsoft wireless keyboard 800
powered by 2 aaa batteries supplied
1 x Microsoft wireless mouse 1000
powered by 2 aa batteries supplied
I just plugged in the very small USB wireless adapter and let my pc (running windows xp service pack 3) find it. I inserted the batteries into the mouse and into the keyboard and off I went.
There is no on/off switch on the keyboard, I guess it must be switched off whenever a key is not being pressed). There are no indicator lights (e.g. no caps lock indication), but that's no big deal. The keyboard has a nice feel to it, and is not at all clunky. It has a calculator button which is quite useful, plus volume control and play/pause both of which I keep forgetting about! Other functions are pretty much the same as any other keyboard.
Underneath the mouse there is a place to store the usb wireless adapter should you wish to remove it. The mouse stays switched on all the time unless you switch it off, and there is a small on/off switch on the bottom. Probably 50% of the time I forget to switch it off at the end of the day. After a month it still appears to be working well, with no sign of battery failure due to me forgetting.
The mouse has just two buttons, plus a scroll wheel which also can act as a button. It has a nice feel to it. I've not changed the settings. The default settings are nice and responsive but not too much either.
The wireless range is pretty good and both easily work at 15 feet away, any more than that and I can't see the keys or mouse pointer anyway!
The speed of inserting characters or responding to mouse movement are no different to my built-in laptop keyboard or mouse.
I only bought these so that my wife didn't hammer my laptop keyboard to death! I was surprised to find it a much more pleasant experience using this new keyboard and mouse. Ergonomically using a separate keyboard is better than being hunched forward to type on a laptop. With hindsight, if I had to buy another mouse and keyboard, then I'd go and buy exactly the same thing again!
This purchase gets full points from me :-)
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.
on 18 November 2010
This desktop set is quite stylish, nicely positive keys and doesn't need to be in sight of the receiver. It has about a 15 foot range so it won't matter if your machine is hidden away as it'll still work perfectly. Heaps better than my previous wireless keyboard. The seller was A1 too and it was delivered very quickly. Recommended.
on 4 January 2012
Was considering if I should buy this cheap one or spend more on a more fancy version. Am really glad I chose this one. Very simple to set up, great to use and a bargain. Highly recommend.
on 17 February 2012
A good all round value wireless keyboard and mouse set. Being a software developer and using keyboard for hours and hours on end every day, its essential the keyboard has a good quality feel to it... which it does. However, the function keys are too small and the keyboard layout / ergonomics does appear slightly cramped particularly when using many of the keyboard shortcut keys. Despite that, its still a good quality keyboard.
The Mouse is simple and functional though does feel slightly heavy to move on a wooden surface, so perhaps more to do with the surface rather than the mouse.
The wireless capability and longevity of the batteries are exceptionally good!! Certainly recommend this product for its overall strengths of price, style and quality!
on 17 February 2012
This is a good value wireless set-up.
The mouse, though small and not shaped to sit in the palm of your hand like traditional MS mice, is fine to use for long periods and has an off switch to save battery used with leaving the laser on.
Unfortunately, the keyboard makes some basic ergonomic mistakes which make it hard to use fluently. For example, there is no gap between the 3 main sections of the keyboard so the "Insert" key is directly next to the "Backspace" key - this makes touch typing less effective as more errors are caused. Also, the "Escape" key is wider than usual so the "F1" key is shifted along to be where the "F2" key should be and so on.
on 8 November 2013
I have been very disappointed with the mouse and keyboard. I've had them for about 6 months and they have been causing me trouble for the last couple of months. The mouse just goes mad after I have been using it for about 5 minutes and the keyboard is fine if you are only typing a little but beyond that it starts to miss out letters. From the start I realised that I could not type as fast as with a wired keyboard, and had to be very deliberate with key presses. I have replaced them with a Logitech MK270, from PC World, which cost a little more but the mouse has been much smoother and does not go mad, the keyboard allows me to type as fast as I ever did with a wired keyboard. Spend a little more for the Logitech, which costs £21-£22, and you will have a much better experience. The transmitter can be stored in the mouse, there is a caps lock light and on/off button on the keyboard, the mouse is lighter and far more accurate, and they both work properly!
on 9 June 2015
Do NOT Buy It.
It looks like the quality of this item varies wildly depending on which Factory - Manufacturer makes the one you receive.
I know it's very cheap at just £19.00 but it's still a disappointment.
And despite the low price, it's not worth buying if you barely get 6 months out of it
before the most commonly used letters rub off the keys.
Bought direct from Amazon ( Not from a Market Place Seller. )
DATE PURCHASED :
20.01.15 ( 24 hours thanks to Amazon Prime )
Basic quality plastic with 'hard' keys
which obviously don't have the relatively soft easy action of decent quality keyboards.
THE BAD POINTS :
1. Letters began rubbing off the keys within about 3 months.
In contrast, I'd used an HP keyboard for about 4.5 years with no letters rubbing off the keys.
2. I kept hitting the wrong key by mistake
The INSERT key is right next to the backspace key.
Hitting the INSERT key instead of the backspace key, so often, was annoying
as it resulted in stuff being pasted onto a word doc that I didn't want.
That might just be a personal failing on my behalf.
But the layout almost invites that specific operator error.
So I wouldn't be surprised if other people experience the same problem.
3. The keys or key action are significantly harder on the fingers than other keyboards.
A minor complaint, I know.
But it's instantly noticeable and all the mid priced keyboards I've used
have the relatively easy tap-tap action which this MS 800 Keyboard badly lacks.
WHY JUST ONE STAR WHEN IT'S SUCH A CHEAP ITEM ?
Because, with their name and glorious history, Microsoft's economy quality hardware
should be at least as good as other companies cheap hardware - not sub grade like this keyboard.
Alternatively, Microsoft with all it's zillions, could have poured a trunk load of sparkling shekels into some R+D
which could have resulted in the birth of the best keyboard in the history of the universe.
Most of us would be willing to pay extra for such top quality.
Instead they make a horribly basic 'hard plonk ' keyboard.
And, just as bad, it seems they have re-allocated manufacture to a lesser producer
who has reduced the quality yet further.
That would explain why so many people give this item 4 or 5 stars while others are so disappointed with it.
on 14 March 2013
I bought this because the bluetooth just gave up on my Mac, rendering my Magic Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard unusable - I've always thought it's stupid of Apple relying on bluetooth for peripherals, and having a USB keyboard is always a safe backup for bluetooth, but I might now use this as my full time keyboard and mouse - I'm that pleased with it.
Obviously for this price you're not getting anything fancy, and certainly the Microsoft offering doesn't have the premium feel of its Apple counterpart, but this keyboard and mouse combo costs less than a third of the Apple Wireless Keyboard alone! A nice surprise was that the volume/mute keys work in OS X, with the 'Windows' key acting as a 'Command' replacement in OS X. The only feature lacking is the 'inertia scrolling' from the Magic Mouse, but the scroll wheel on this mouse is very smooth. Some reviewers have complained it's not "notchy" enough, but for scrolling through web pages I prefer a smooth 'roll' feel to the scroll wheel. The thing that has pleased me the most is the relatively quiet nature of the keyboard. I've never liked the loud clacking noise of Dell keyboards compared to the soft tapping of the Apple keyboard, and this Microsoft keyboard is actually fairly quiet - the keys feel soft without being unresponsive, providing a comfortable and quiet typing experience.
There are, of course, a few niggles: the 'Escape' key (and all the top row 'F' keys, in fact) are much thinner and shallower than the other character keys, so are harder to press accurately whilst keeping your eyes on the screen. Also, there's no light to show you if the Caps Lock or Num Lock are on, so if you press Caps Lock by accident you might not even notice - this is surely a cost-saving measure, and the absence of these lights does make the keyboard feel a little cheap. Moreover, the glossy plastic finish gathers fingerprints very easily, and the mouse is a little light for my taste, and not hugely ergonomic (then again, at least it won't give me hand cramp like the absurdly shaped Magic Mouse!) All in all, this kit feels cheap because it is, but it gets the job done perfectly well. I haven't yet used it on Windows, but for OS X use alone, I can't think of a better alternative for this attractive price.