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Wanted to buy a new laptop, then ended up building a new PC from scratch. That also meant needing a mouse and a keyboard. I wanted something wireless, although from previous experience I knew there's a strong chance I'll end up charging batteries on a weekly basis, just like all my clients used to do. After about 10 minutes of research, I decided to go for the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800. What can I say? I am speechless... This cheap keyboard and mouse combo is almost (jump to "The bad" to see why) everything someone would want.
- batteries last for ages with a daily usage of around 6-8 hours: have been using the same batteries for the last 12 weeks!!!
- some short-cut buttons for calculator and audio control
- quality build (keyboard fell on the floor and no sign on any harm or malfunction): piano-gloss finish, but still nice. Keyboard's bottom side is for some reason white.
- warning leds for low battery
- dock for the receiver built into the mouse which is also a combination of glossy and matte black plastic with a white scroll-wheel
- on/off button on the back of the mouse
- no leds for Caps Lock or Num Lock
- function buttons are a lot smaller (aka lower-profile) than people are used to having them
- if receiver is close to a wireless LAN card for example, the mouse becomes unusable (ended up using the receiver with a USB extension cable, about 60 cm far from the Wifi Lan Card, which solved the issue beautifully)
Installation is automatic and very quick both on Windows 7 and 8, and it's safe to assume the same for Vista as well. I have not tested the maximum range of the receiver's signal, but from personal experience I can say that from a distance of 3-4m, it works without any issues.
This is a review of the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800, which consists of a wireless keyboard and mouse.
Having broken my previous keyboard (which I do with some regularity unfortunately), I needed a replacement and this was the one which Argos were promoting for 16.99 pounds at the time (although it's back up to 19.99 pounds at the moment) which seemed good value.
The package consists of the wireless keyboard, the wireless mouse and also the dongle which plugs into the computer's USB port. The equipment is battery powered, the keyboard uses 2 AAA batteries, and the mouse 2 AA batteries, but these come supplied within the package. Installation for me at least was easy, just a matter of plugging the USB dongle in and my Windows 7 computer at least immediately installed the relevant software, and I was ready to go in minutes.
The packaging notes that the product is compatible with Windows 7, and also with Windows Vista and Windows XP. The Argos packaging came with a note saying that it came with a Microsoft two year guarantee, which I imagine is provided to all customers regardless of which retailer they purchase it from.
The mouse has three buttons and three scroll wheels, and the buttons are programmable, so it's also handy that it's suitable for left or right handed people and seems to be quite robust. The mouse moved effortlessly with no sticking and no slow response times, which is the main requirement I could have with a wireless mouse. The only fault I've really found with the mouse is that it sometimes seems to scroll down the screen rather faster than I'd like, so I'm not always in control, but this isn't a major issue.
Everyone probably has a different preference for the keyboard and how firm they want the keys, and these suited me, being responsive to the touch without being too "clicky". The keyboard height is adjustable, and the keys are raised on the keyboard at an angle to making typing more comfortable.
I'm used to typing on a laptop, so this took a little bit of an adjustment as my laptop keys are all flat, but it was comfortable and easy to type. The keyboard doesn't seem to be quite a full size keyboard, but is larger than my laptop keyboard, so again was easy to use and like the mouse, was very responsive. I noted that there was no light on the Caps Lock key, but this didn't cause me a problem. Some of the keys are not full height, such as the function keys, which my old HP keyboard used to have, which I never really took to, but doesn't impact on my typing at all.
The product seems to be strong enough to last for some time, and I'm not sure how long the batteries last because I haven't yet need to replace them in three months, but this in itself suggests that they shouldn't need replacing that often. One extra nice feature is that when the USB receiver part isn't needed, it can be slotted into a compartment in the base of the mouse. The mouse can also be turned off when not in use which saves a little bit of battery usage.
I didn't test to precision Microsoft's claim that there range was 30 feet, but a quick test seems to suggest that this is possibly an under-estimate, although walls and other factors can of course interfere with such tests. I use the keyboard and mouse near to the computer, and certainly at a few feet, I had no problems with the quality of the connection, which the manufacturer notes is a highly secure one.
I was happy with this purchase, I'm not sure I'd be entirely comfortable using it as my main keyboard, as I'm rather used to using a laptop for large amounts of typing, but it certainly seems reliable and should suit the requirements of most typists and users. It's certainly handy not to have to untangle the wires from the keyboard and the mouse as in days gone by!
The keyboard retails for 29.99 pounds, but is usually available for a cheaper price than that. At the time of writing it's available from Amazon for 17.99 pounds including delivery, or can be picked up from Argos or Maplin for the sum of 19.99 pounds.
Overall, I'd recommend this product, it's relatively inexpensive and robust for the money. I haven't experienced any technical difficulties with either the mouse or the keyboard, and although I don't use them that frequently (normally using a laptop) they seem well built enough to cope with regular use.
I bought this keyboard as a replacement for a my broken Logitech MK250 which I was happy with so didn't think this could be any better but it is!
Firstly, it's very very nice to type on, the keys push in nice and easily why maintaining a nice weight to them. I think it looks very sleek for the price it was, £18 when I bought it. The keyboard has a glossy black finish which does look good, but gets dusty and dirty easily and is hard to clean with covering it in even more mess. Fingerprints stick to this a little too much aswell.
The "F" keys are smaller and don't push in as much as the others which I think is a nice touch. There are some additional buttons; a calculator button; play; pause; increase volume; decrease volume; mute. This is handy, but the increase volume and decrease volume doesn't seem to work with VLC, my preferred media player.
The bottom of the keyboard is white, which seems an odd choice but I can't see it so it doesn't bother me. There are little legs on the bottom, propping it up to a nice height.
The mouse has a nice feel to it, but the wheel isn't clunky enough. It turns too easily meaning you often find yourself wizzing down pages instead of slowly scrolling down them.
The set came with the two AAA and two AA batteries which was good, especially since they were duracell.
My only true criticism in the range, my logitech one would easily reach the length of my room but I have a few theories as to why this is. Firstly, the logitech had a 1M wire attached to the receiver and a large receiver. This microsoft one has a USB device that plugs in and is only an inch long so I think that might affect range. To try and fix this I moved the receiver to the front of my PC which did improve it.
Thanks to the Microsoft Wireless Desktop you can access commonly used programs and files with easily programmed hot keys, and enjoy better maneuverability with the included optical mouse with 4-way scrolling.
|Product Description:||Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 - keyboard and mouse set|
|Device Type:||Keyboard and mouse set - wireless|
|Wireless Receiver:||USB wireless receiver|
|Localisation:||English - United Kingdom|
|Pointing Device:||Mouse - optical|
|Features:||1000 dpi resolution|
|Microsoft Certification:||Compatible with Windows 7|
|Manufacturer Warranty:||3 years warranty|