Microsoft Wireless Desktop

ms-wireless-desktop-thumb.jpg
  • Editors' rating
    7.3 Very good
  • $79.95

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • good ergonomics
  • suitable for both right- and left-handers.

Cons

  • 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.

Specifications

General
Wireless Receiver PS/2 wireless receiver
Pointing Device / Manipulator mouse
Power Device
Type none
Input Device
Connectivity Technology wireless
Movement Detection Technology opto-mechanical
Interface Provided
Type none
Miscellaneous
Package Type Retail
Color white
Package Type retail
Color Category white
Battery
Included 4
Form Factor AA / AAA
Software / System Requirements
Peripheral / Interface Devices CD-ROM
System Requirements
Min Hard Drive Space 60 MB
OS Required Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows 98/ME, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP6, Microsoft Windows XP
Header
Brand Microsoft
Product Line Microsoft Wireless Desktop
Localization English
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility PC
Interface Required
Connector Type 6 pin mini-DIN (PS/2 style)
Gender female
Connector Qty 1
Expansion Slots
Type none
Software
Type Drivers & Utilities, Microsoft IntelliType Pro
Service & Support
Type 3 years warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Full Contract Period 3 years

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