Great keyboard and mouse

Sep 25, 2010 (Updated Sep 25, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Well built, many additional shortcut keys, low battery indicator LED

Cons:Non standard F key placement, curve takes a bit of getting used to.

The Bottom Line: If you don't mind non standard F key placement and getting used to the slight curve this is a great keyboard and mouse.

I had just bought a Logitech keyboard only to find it didn't have the standard Context Menu button which is a very often used key. I went back to the store and noticed none of the Logitechs have the context menu button anymore even though my old Logitech did. There are many people complaining about Logitech removing this essential key so hopefully they will put it back on future models. It's a shame as I much prefer the design of Logitech keyboards.

I chose this Microsoft 5000 keyboard and mouse as it has many shortcut/multimedia buttons at the very top and is supposed to be better with the curved design. It doesn't take that much getting used to as the curve is not too pronounced and it the keys aren't split in two sections like on other curved ones. It does take a bit of adjustment but isn't that different than a regular keyboard.

The keys also have shortcuts printed on their front edge such as "* Undo" on Z, "* Cut" on X, "* Copy" on C, etc. along with a * on the Ctrl key. They also have other shortcuts I didn't even know existed like "[Start Key] My PC" on E and "[Start Key] Lock" on L.

One thing I don't like is the Esc and F keys row is made of smaller buttons and the F keys are not in groups of four making it nearly impossible to find the right F key without looking (I knew F4 was the key just before the first space and F5 the key just after the first space, these are my two most often used F keys for closing programs and refreshing the screen). There is also an F Lock key to switch the functions of the F keys between their normal function and other functions represented on the keys by icons.

The top of the keyboard as buttons to start different programs, Zoom +/- buttons, and multimedia buttons. Above the numpad is a calculator button to start the Windows Calculator. This is great as my old keyboard had an actual calculator and LCD display on the numpad so I could calculate right on the keyboard, this Calculator button is a good alternative.

Next to the Calculator button is a low battery icon with a red LED next to it, I tested it by putting weak batteries and the keyboard works normally but the red LED slowly fades on and off, making an impossible to miss low battery indicator as I don't see how you can miss a flashing red LED on your keyboard. This is a great feature as my last Logitech wireless keyboard would just quit working without warning of a low battery.

One thing I find quite silly is that rather than flip up legs to angle the keyboard, this one has removable legs that are easy to loose if you choose not to use them, I don't see the logic in usign removable legs rather than flip out legs.

The mouse is symetrically shapped so it will work for left handed people as well. It uses Bluetrack technology which allows it to work on any surface other than glass or mirrors. It has a scroll wheel that you can also tilt sideways for left-right scrolling. The scroll wheel turns smoothly without any clicks you feel while turning it. I like the smooth scrolling but from other reviews I read this makes it impossible to use for gaming but as I never play computer games I can't comment on that. The mouse also has 2 side buttons as well as an LED that glows green when you turn it on when the batteries are good and red when they are low. You can turn the mouse on and off by snapping the wireless receiver in the storage area under the mouse, I guess this is mostly for laptop users as I will not be disconnecting the receiver from my computer. In any case the mouse enters a power save mode when you're not moving it.

When I first started using the keyboard and mouse the reception was absolutely terrible and gradually improved over the next few minutes, I assume the system automatically changes frequencies until it finds a reliable one. I also moved the receiver to the front of the computer with an extension cable rather than the back for better reception (I have a video projector and 82" HD screen and when using it rather than my LCD I sit many feet away from the computer). Speaking of the receiver, it is about 1.5 inches long, the Logitech receiver on the keyboard I returned was tiny, about 1/4 inch long so I could leave it in a front USB port with no risk of snapping it in half as would be bound to happen if I did this with the bigger receiver.

Although it is a good keyboard I'm not yet entirely sure I'll keep this one either, I'll see if I get used to the non standard F key positioning as well as the curve in the keyboard. I really want to make sure I get one I like as I will be having it for probably 5 years so it's a device I want to make a good choice on.

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