Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000

Can this desktop duo meet expectations?

Official Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 Website

Box Contents: 27MHz USB Receiver, Setup CD, Quick setup guide, 4xAA Batteries, 1x Comfort Curve Wireless Keyboard, and 1x Wireless Laser Mouse 6000.

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows Vista, Windows XP Pro/Pro x64/Home/Media Center Edition/Tablet PC Edition, and Windows 2000 SP4+.
  • Mac OS X v10.2x – 10.4. Dashboard will only work with Mac OS X v10.4 or Higher. Expose will only work on Mac OS X v10.3 or higher. .

Connectivity: USB
RRP: £40.00

Introduction

Lately I have been in the market for a new keyboard, as my current Logitech Internet Navigator SE is beginning to get extremely dirty, not to mention the fact that the imprint on various keys are starting to fade. For a long time now I have avoided Wireless peripherals because, in my opinion they were either useless or just erratic with response issues. Generally wireless keyboards have been pretty good over the past years I must admit, but wireless mice have only begun to really give decent performance over the past year and a half, mainly thanks to Logitech who dominate the mice market with their range of peripherals.

Microsoft, on the other hand dominate the keyboard market mainly thanks to their software, build quality and the fact that their keyboards can make better use of Windows based operating systems. Both Logitech and Microsoft make top quality keyboards, especially the former but at the end of the day, Microsoft are the software specialists and they shine. I have always loved using Logitech products, but their Setpoint software is just appalling to use, often requiring stupendous amounts of resources, even the early Vista versions are poor. How does Microsoft’s Intellitype software fare? Read on.

Product Overview

The Keyboard

Upon opening the rather huge box, you will find yourself with a wireless keyboard & mouse, its accompanying USB receiver unit, 4xAA batteries, the usual outdated CD-ROM and instructions. The instructions recommend installing IntelliPoint before connecting the receiver, however from my experience it didn’t matter. I quickly unwrapped the keyboard and threw in the 2xAA batteries into its rear compartment. The USB receiver was then plugged into the rear of my case and Windows Vista recognised the device right away, without any drivers however I had no keyboard customisation at this point, so obviously IntelliType was required.

The keyboard looked and felt superb. When it comes to ergonomic research Microsoft really have put a lot of resources into developing the most wrist friendly keyboards for the consumer. My personal favourite was their very first ergonomic ‘Natural‘ keyboard, which was huge but an amazing experience to use. It seems that Microsoft has settled down on the curved design for their keyboards now, and who can blame them. It feels natural typing away on these, in comparison to a normal non-curved variety. Since I have been on a non-curved keyboard for about two years now, I have quickly adapted to this new keyboard in less than two hours. However the application buttons on the left of the keyboard throw me off completely, and I find myself accidently tapping them by accident when attempting to use the SHIFT key. Experience over time can only resolve that minor issue.

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