I found it time to retire the venerable Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Elite made famous from the cover of Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction:
At the time I purchased it, about 3 years ago, I believed it to be the cats meow of keyboards. And I was probably right. I usually am ;-). Anyway, enough self indulging. I tired of this keyboard this year, and when I saw the announcement for the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 7000 I had to have one. But I didn't have to have one for the original $129.99 asking price. Recently the price has dropped significantly under that original figure, and I was able to pull the trigger. Take a moment and marvel at the beauty of this thing:
Ewwww. You're drooling. Here, let me help:
Okay. Enough gratuitous use of images. In any event, I have been very pleased with this keyboard all-in-all. I'll give you the things I'm not crazy about first though:
- Out of the box, the rechargeable battery for the mouse didn't work. So the theory is this desktop set comes with a mouse charger that you can plop that mouse on and recharge the battery. Seems like a great idea. Except when I put in the included rechargeable battery, and put the mouse on the charger, the mouse blinks fast red. Translation: Charging error. Solution? Drop a normal alkaline AAA in the mouse and throw the charger away.
- The cool "aero looking" plastic that surrounds the keyboard scratches VERY easily. So easily in fact that it comes pre-scratched from the factory.
- The escape key and other function keys are a bizarre size. Tiny little things. Although I still find them easy enough to hit.
- The space bar is a bit loud. Not necessarily on its own, but when compared to the amount of noise generated from the other keys on the keyboard, the space bar seems to generate twice as much noise. Not a big deal, just a small nitpicking thing. Its NOWHERE NEAR as loud as my Elite was!
Okay, now for the good stuff, things I like:
- Cannot be overstated - the thing is by far the best looking keyboard I have owned to date. Goes superbly with my Vista desktop. Very important.
- This thing is comfortable. I have been a latecomer to the whole curved setup of keyboards, but I purchased one of the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 3000 kits for at work several months back and ever since I've found the normal "flat" keyboards just plain uncomfortable to type on. Furthermore, my typing speed seems to go up significantly on a curved keyboard.
- I really like the amount of pressure that each key requires. The Elite required a ridiculous amount of key pressure and I would find my fingers quite fatigued at the end of the day. I have not had any such problem with the Laser 7000.
- This is by far the best looking keyboard I have owned to date.
- People have complained about the new tiny 2.4 GHz USB receiver, but I actually like it. I'm tired of the big honking receiver that has come with previous keyboard sets. The reception is just fine at my desk, mind you my keyboard is within about 4 feet of the receiver, and I have it plugged into a USB port on the front of my desktop. Haven't tried plugging it in the back, maybe I would run into problems then, but I doubt it.
Take my advice for what its worth, but if you are a fan of Microsoft hardware, which I undoubtedly am, I think you'll be very happy with the Wireless Desktop Laser 7000.