A decent keyboard and mouse combo but...
Jan 30, 2011
Review by mcftaz
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Compact design, comfortable key layout, foward/back buttons on mouse, many common function keys.
Cons:No on/off switch for keyboard, very limited keyboard range, unusual F-keys
The Bottom Line:
Not recommended for people who do a lot of important typing work or data entry. Will cause you to make a lot of mistakes.
I bought this keyboard because I wanted a more comfortable, curved, keyboard. The curve of this keyboard allows you to keep your wrists at a more comfortable angle than a standard one. But without splitting the keypad into two sections like you see in many other ergonomic keyboards. And doesn't have the annoying gimmicky hump in the middle of the keyboard like a couple other models do. So in that sense, I like this keyboard better than other models/designs.
Recommend this product?
The keyboard is the width of a standard, basic keyboard. But slightly deeper to accommodate the curve and the additional "common functions" keys above the F-keys. It doesn't have a hump in the keyboard like other ergonomic models. Which is great for me since my desk has the roll out keyboard tray. This keyboard will not give you any clearance issues when rolling the keyboard tray in and out from your desk.
There are 14 keys along the top that have dedicated common functions. Including the calculator, email, web browser, windows explorer, zoom in and out buttons, and common media player buttons (volume, mute, pause/play, skip forward/back). There are also an additional 6 customizable keys along the top.
But squished between common functions keys and the rest of the keypad are the F-keys. The F-keys are very small, sit almost flush to the surface of the keyboard, and are not grouped in the familiar pattern of 3 groups of 4 keys. If you're used to pressing the F-keys without looking at them, you're out of luck. You have to look to find the right key. If you don't look, you WILL press the wrong key! The escape key has also been squished and flush mounted like the F-keys.
There is an LED in the top right corner that tells you if the batteries in the keyboard are getting low. The mouse also has an LED on it for the same reason. Which I find is helpful.
The mouse is great. It's your standard wireless mouse with left and right mouse buttons, forward and back buttons mounted on the sides. Thumb button has the back button, pinky finger controls the forward button. The scroll wheel feels very smooth and has the left/right tilt feature. The scroll wheel does not have the notches that some people are familiar with and rely on. It turns perfectly smoothly.
The mouse uses Microsoft's "BlueTrack Technology". Which I believe is cleverly named to try and fool people that it's BlueTooth. Which it isn't. Regardless, the BlueTrack technology that the mouse uses is very good and works well on almost any surface. I tried it on my smooth, simulated wood grain desk surface and didn't have a problem. The box says it won't work on glass or mirrored surfaces.
The keyboard and mouse combo overall is good. But it does have a serious issue with the wireless range and functionality.
There is a USB transmitter about an inch and a half long (about the size of a typical USB thumbdrive) that's supposed to fit in the bottom of the mouse when not being used. Storing the transmitter in the mouse turns off the mouse to save battery life. But the transmitter doesn't fit all the way in. It only sits about half way into the mouse, so the mouse won't sit flat on a surface. Plus, the fact it sticks out makes it possible to knock the transmitter out, and potentially lose it or step on it.
If you use one of your PC's front mounted USB ports, you constantly have to be careful to not hit it. Since it sticks out like a thumb drive would. Mounting it in one of the back facing USB ports is safer, but cuts down on your transmitter range. Which is a HUGE issue.
I haven't had any transmitter issues with the mouse. But I find the keyboard reaches the limits of its range sooner than the mouse does. I have to be within about 3 feet (or 1 meter) of the transmitter for the keyboard to work properly. Any further away, and my keyboard suddenly stops working.
I also find the keyboard tends to think pressing the same key twice is a mistake. When typing a word with two of the same letters (like "pressing" or "need"), often times the letter will only appear once. Causing me to have to constantly go back and correct my work.
Considering the wireless issues I'm having with the keyboard. I would prefer this keyboard had a wired version. With only 3 feet of wireless range, I may as well use a keyboard with a 6 foot cable and have 3 more feet of range. The wireless mouse is great though. No issues with connectivity.
This keyboard/mouse combo would be good for most people. But anyone who does a lot of typing, should find a better keyboard.
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