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on 6 December 2010
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.
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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.
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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 :-)
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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2011
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.
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VINE VOICEon 24 May 2014
Very impressed. Wanted a wireless keyboard and mouse as my base unit is tucked behind the TV and the wired keyboard was getting to be a pain. My concern with a wireless device was how far the signal would reach but I'm happy to report it manages the 3-4 metres I need.

I have always been impressed with the quality of Microsoft's keyboards and mice, it's difficult to explain but they don't have the clunky or cheap plastic feel of lesser types. The mouse very accurate and is superb for playing computer games, just make sure you have a decent mousepad.

Worth noting that if you have a base unit with a USB slot in the top, use this as the signal can get blocked by devices particularly if it's plugged into the bottom, front of the base unit.
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on 17 July 2017
There is nothing wrong with this keyboard and mouse, both work well and are comfortable to use. However there is one big issue with this product, the USB receiver is too big. When I first unpacked the receiver and plugged it into a USB port on my laptop I though I had done something wrong. It stuck out approx 12mm which may not seem a lot but when you take you laptop everywhere with you ,it soon becomes a problem. A few times while packing away my computer the receiver took a knock, so I was extra careful after that. 1 month in the inevitable happened, it got caught taking it out of my bag and broke completely. Come on Microsoft you must have noticed this design flaw. I have now moved to a Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard with a receiver that sticks out about 6mm and had no issues at all.
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on 29 December 2012
I wanted to create a media centre for my flatscreen TV. Instead of going for Zotac Zbox, Chrome Box and the likes (which all come with inferior Intel CPU and retail at close £300), I realised that all I need is:
- my old unused laptop (2.33 ghz core duo) and
- a wireless keyboard and mouse (very important)

The issue now was, do I buy a keyboard with integrated trackpad or do I go for a separate mouse + keyb. After ploughing through more than 10 devices on Amazon and their reviews (which criticises the flaky trackpads), I went for separate mouse + keyb. And because I didn't want to risk having to return the thing, I went for a brand and am happy.

Just tested it on Windows XP (32 bit) and Windows 7 (64 bit). Conducted my test from 4 metres away and no problem (at 5m I have problems reading some of the smaller font). Turned the mouse off to save on batteries. Btw the package comes with batteries. So no worries there.
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VINE VOICEon 11 February 2014
Good points:

Works well
Decent range
Proper keycaps

Bad points:
No Sleep button
Flat "F Keys" aren't that good for power-users who use them (i.e. developers)
No LED for caps lock (standard problem with wireless keyboards)
Mouse a little small
Gloss black is a fingerprint magnet
Spending money with Microsoft makes me feel dirty inside.
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on 10 April 2015
If you plug the the dongle into a rear USB port, the radio link is too weak and the mouse becomes erratic. The key layout is non standard. The function keys are too small. For a while, I went back to using a wired keyboard. It's in reliable use now with a PC where the weak reception is less of a problem.
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VINE VOICEon 10 February 2014
Good points:

Works well
Decent range
Proper keycaps

Bad points:
No LED for caps lock (standard problem with wireless keyboards)
Mouse a little small
Gloss black is a fingerprint magnet
Spending money with Microsoft makes me feel dirty inside.
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