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Saturday July 8, 2006 2:40 am

Gear Live Review: Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 Review


Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000I’ve been taking my sweet time going over this desktop set with a fine-toothed comb, using it every day to ensure that I’m giving it a fair shake. I’ve positioned the wireless receiver everywhere I can, I’ve changed the batteries, and I’ve changed wireless channels. The only verdict I can come to after several months of use is that this desktop set should probably be avoided.

I used to hate wireless keyboards, because they seemed like a needless luxury item. Unless you’re surfing the web on your big screen TV, what could you probably need a wireless keyboard for? Once I had one, I understood…a wireless keyboard is a fantastic way to reduce wire clutter, not to mention reclaiming desk space by simply moving the keyboard out of the way when you need to.


While I’d love to blame the problems I’ve had with this set on the wireless receiver, I’m not convinced that it’s the issue. The biggest problem has been the stickiness of the shift key, resulting in a string of three or four capitals before the lower-case letters kick in. I should note that I am an extremely fast typist, hitting up to 120 WPM when I put in the effort, but this has not been an issue with any other wireless keyboard I’ve tried. Additionally, it seems as though the space bar is not responsive enough, resulting in strings of words crammed together.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a keyboard snob, and while I’m partial to ergonomic keyboards, the “comfort curve” on this keyboard is certainly usable, though it will probably require a small learning curve for anyone (since you’re likely coming from either a straight keyboard, or a standard ergonomic design). It’s important to note that my key issues listed above came after what I would consider a reasonable (if generous) learning period.

The mouse, simply a packed-in version of their Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, is fantastic, just like the stand-alone (which is to be expected). It’s very quick, so you might want to turn down the sensitivity in the Mouse Control Panel, but other than that it works incredibly well. The quality of the mouse only underscores the issues with the keyboard. Considering how mission critical the keyboard is to any computing experience, I just can’t recommend this set to anyone when better options from Microsoft’s own salvo of products exist.

So the search for the perfect desktop set continues, though is sounds like Microsoft plans to end that search soon with their “Ultimate” keyboard and mouse combo. Could it be possible for one rechargeable keyboard and mouse be the ultimate answer? I’ll let you know soon.

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