Top positive review
244 people found this helpful
Stylish, good wireless range, good quality setup
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.