- ✓Easy to install
- ✓good ergonomics
- ✓suitable for both right- and left-handers.
- ✕No USB ports on keyboard
- ✕both keyboard and mouse require batteries.
Microsoft's Wireless Desktop is a reasonably priced all-in-one cordless keyboard and mouse that's as suitable for left-handers as right-handers.
Microsoft has waited for a long time before bringing out an all-in-one cordless keyboard/mouse. Sales figures for this type of product -- and in particular those of competitor Logitech with its Cordless Desktop Optical - have not been encouraging. Consequently, Microsoft has up to now contented itself with more traditional products like the Internet Keyboard and the Natural Keyboard.
The benefits of a completely autonomous mouse are clear enough, but as for the keyboard -- a peripheral that doesn't demand the same mobility - they are less evident. Calling this product 'wireless' isn't completely correct, since both the keyboard and the mouse communicate by radio frequency with a receiver box that's connected to the PC by wires -- more precisely by two PS/2 cables. Furthermore, the radio communication precludes the keyboard from hosting USB ports and obliges the keyboard and mouse to rely on batteries, with the consequent constraints of weight and limits of battery life.
Despite these reservations, the Wireless Desktop performs well. Installation is straightforward and the keyboard is solid, ergonomic with its wrist rest, and practical with its ten shortcut keys. The mouse, with its four programmable buttons and scroll wheel, has the advantage of being equally usable for right-handers and left-handers.
|Wireless Receiver||PS/2 wireless receiver|
|Pointing Device / Manipulator||mouse|
|Movement Detection Technology||opto-mechanical|
|Form Factor||AA / AAA|
|Software / System Requirements|
|Peripheral / Interface Devices||CD-ROM|
|Min Hard Drive Space||60 MB|
|OS Required||Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows 98/ME, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP6, Microsoft Windows XP|
|Product Line||Microsoft Wireless Desktop|
|Connector Type||6 pin mini-DIN (PS/2 style)|
|Type||Drivers & Utilities, Microsoft IntelliType Pro|
|Service & Support|
|Type||3 years warranty|
|Service & Support Details|
|Full Contract Period||3 years|