Product Type: Logitech keyboards
Newest Review: ... was very easy to set this up but when I bought a new desktop last year I had to download some new software from the Logitech website becau... more
Freedom from Wires?
Logitech Cordless Desktop EX 100
Member Name: rosebud2001
Logitech Cordless Desktop EX 100
Date: 18/11/11, updated on 18/11/11 (90 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, easy to use, durable, space saving keyboard
Disadvantages: Battery life poor due to no power switch, not immediately compatible with Windows 7, cheap looking
In a bid to cut back on them I got my first wireless keyboard and mouse several years ago and the set I bought which were from the Trust brand were great - until the keyboard stopped working abruptly.
I replaced it with the Logitech EX 100 set, which I picked up in Morrisons in 2009 for £15, which was a bit of a bargain on reflection. I'm still using this set after all this time and while it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it's still a useful set if, like me, you want to cut down on wires.
The set is black, so if your computer is silver, as mine was when I bought it, it's not going to be a perfect match. The mouse is laser driven so there's no ball on the bottom. The keyboard is designed to save space although I have to be honest and say it's not something I noticed until I compared it to a wired keyboard I bought for my daughter to use with her Wii.
There is no denying however that the whole set looks plastic - because that's what it's made from. The lack of any metal - or even some silver plastic - to detract from the black plastic does make the set look cheap but let's be honest here, this set IS cheap.
The set is battery powered and you need 2 AA batteries for the mouse and two AAA batteries for the keyboard. Unlike my old wireless keyboard and mouse set the battery compartments are easy to access.
Set up requires you to install some software from a CD-ROM. There is a USB receiver which you have to plug in to your computer and you then use the red "connect" buttons on the bottom of the keyboard and mouse to connect them to your computer.
When I bought this set I was using a desktop computer running on Windows XP so it was very easy to set this up but when I bought a new desktop last year I had to download some new software from the Logitech website because the software disc included with the set isn't compatible with Windows 7.
It's worth bearing this in mind because it does make setting up the keyboard and mouse a little more complicated - I had to set up my new computer using a wired keyboard and mouse for instance - but it's worth persevering because when the set is up and running there are some nifty features which make this set a very useful bargain.
The best thing about the keyboard is the fact it is pretty quiet to use. Logitech claim it is "silent" but I would beg to differ. It should be borne in mind however that I learned to touch type on a manual typewriter so I do tend to hit the keys far harder than someone like my daughter who has never had to experience the pain of practising typing letter sequences such as "sqs" on these old machines.
The response on the keyboard is fantastic - there's no lag at all. The software also enables you to secure the keyboard by encrypting your keystrokes and ensuring they cannot be detected by another computer. I also really like how rather than a light come on to tell me my shift lock or number lock has been activated, a message will come up on my screen, meaning I can't really miss it should I hit that shift lock in error - something I am prone to do.
There are a couple of clips for the keyboard which enable you to have it sitting on your desk at a slight angle but it's not a really obvious angle. When I first bought the set I was a bit disappointed in this but I actually find it far more comfortable to use than a keyboard as angled as those old manual typewriter keyboards were.
The keyboard has all the usual keys one would expect including the function keys and you use the "FN" key to operate alternative versions of these which include a power button for your PC (which is pretty nifty!), and vlume control buttons. The keyboard has the oft missing Euro symbol too.
The mouse is very simple to use but it's worth checking the settings on the software as it seems to default to a rather slow roll across the page and at first I wondered if it was faulty. The software, which is called Set Point Settings enables you to easily access this information and change the pointer speed and scrolling size.
This software also enables you to keep a check on the battery life of your mouse and keyboard, along with offering support should you need it.
The one thing I really don't like about the set however is the USB receiver - for some reason this comes on a pretty lengthy cable, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a wireless set as it only actually removes one cable from my computer.
My old Trust wireless keyboard and mouse had a discreet USB dongle which did this job and it looked far better than the lead included with the Logitech set, which has at the other end a small black square piece of plastic which is angled at the end and is designed to sit on top of your desktop with a small "connect" button on top. It's about five times the size of the Trust dongle and seems to add unnecessary clutter to a device which is supposedly designed to cut out on clutter.
Battery life for both the mouse and the keyboard isn't very good either. The biggest design flaw is a lack of an on/off switch on either, meaning the only way you could possibly save on power is to remove the batteries when you are not using the computer. I must be honest here and say this isn't something I could ever really see myself doing so I have got used to a warning flashing up on my screen when the batteries are about to die every couple of months or so. The batteries do seem to drain quicker on the mouse than the keyboard.
Occasionally when I change batteries, or clean the keyboard the connection to the USB receiver can go but it's generally easy to get up and running again by just pressing the red "connect" buttons on whichever item has stopped responding.
This is still available to buy online, with Amazon having some Marketplace sellers punting used sets for around £10, and new sets available elsewhere for between £15 and £25.
I would recommend the set but only with the caveat that if you have a computer running Windows 7 it does slightly complicate the installation process which requires a software download and a couple of computer reboots to get going.
This is a small concern however and it's the ease and comfort of use of both the keyboard and the mouse which has kept me using them even though I know I could get a more energy efficient set if I were to replace it.
In over two years' service this hasn't let me down and as such I can recommend it if you are looking for a cheap, cheerful and durable wireless keyboard and mouse.
Summary: A wireless keyboard that could use losing the wire on the USB receiver
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