Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
on 12 August 2014
Bought this keyboard to replace a very old Logitech Wave keyboard that was finally becoming too difficult to use day-to-day. I am using this as a software developer, so it get's a lot of use (and abuse) over the course of a day. Please bear this in mind as the review might be a bit programmer-centric in places.
The keyboard is (as described) wireless, so it comes with a dongle and a set of batteries. It's a little disappointing that the dongle is so large though (the dongle is about USB-stick sized) when compared to the fairly common micro-dongle that barely sticks out from your USB port. This will probably be an issue for people that want portability.
Surprisingly the included batteries were Duracell, so I expect that they'll last quite a long time. I haven't experienced (as far as I can tell) and issues with the wireless so far. To "turn on" the keyboard, simply pull out the blue tag on the back of the keyboard. Once you've done this, and Windows has finished installing the drivers, the keyboard will be usable. There's no need to turn the keyboard off as it does not use any power when a key is not pressed. One minor annoyance I find with this "always on" design is that aside from the battery warning light, there are no indicator lights on the keyboard at all. This means that you cannot tell if num lock or caps lock is enabled.
Contrary to the images on the product page, the keyboard itself is an English (Great Britain) layout. This means you get a double-height enter/return key, and a backslash key in the lower left. Shift + 3 produces a £ symbol, rather than a #.
The keyboard is mostly the standard EN-GB layout. Microsoft have an annoying habit of screwing around with the keys on the right side of their keyboards (notably the home/end/pgup/pgdn/insert/delete keys and the arrow keys). This keyboard is no exception, however the changes are limited only to a double height delete key, and moving the insert key to the top row of the keyboard (where the F1-F12 keys are). I don't find this a problem because I don't really use the insert key. Other than that, the layout is basically unchanged, a rare win for Microsoft keyboards these days. It's worth noting at this point that although the keyboard doesn't appear to have a "BREAK" key, it actually does. It can be found, unlabelled, between the insert key and the calculator shortcut key (the key that says "ScrLk"). As someone who uses the BREAK key a lot, this caused me to panic briefly.
The split-in-half space key is fine for day-to-day use. I don't have it set as a backspace key, so both halves are used as space. The space-space/backspace-space mode can be toggled by holding down both space keys for about 5 seconds.
I find this keyboard very comfortable to use every day. Other reviewers are correct that the tactile feedback isn't the best, but it's definitely not bad. The keyboard is angled upward by design, although you can flatten it by lifting the feet at the bottom of the wrist-rest. The wrist-rest is very comfortable. Unlike the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard 4000, the curve in this keyboard is quite subtle, so people like me who find the split-keyboard style of the 4000 or the more expensive sculpt keyboard hard to get used to will prefer this.
The keyboard has a set of media keys at the top, as a set of Fn keys with the F1-F12 keys. It has the following keys:
- Volume Up
- Volume Down
- Search (Windows 8 only)
- Share (Windows 8 only)
- Devices (Windows 8 only)
- Settings (Windows 8 only)
- Win+Tab feature (Windows 7+)
There are three more Windows 8 specific keys that I can't figure out (using on Windows 7). These can be toggled on/off by using a switch on the far right of the keyboard. It's a bit baffling to me that they don't include next/previous track keys, but do include a play/pause button.
Overall, I would have preferred a dedicated set of media keys, but the switch makes them easy to access. However, since (again) there are no indicator lights on the keyboard, you may find yourself occasionally hitting the media keys instead of the F keys. Something I do quite often.
In summary, I have very few complaints so far. I find the keyboard mostly a delight to use, with a few niggles here and there. A good overall experience though.