on March 23, 2011
I was looking to update an older PC with windows XP to a cleaner interface with a wireless combo. I bought the Microsoft wireless desktop 1000 but the keyboard was defective out of box so I rteturned it for the wireless desktop 800.
I was mainly looking for wire free hardware with a thin keyboard and shallow form since desktop space was limited. This provided both.
On opening the box I notice that it does not have an installation CD. The installation process on the one page setup manual is basically a three step process, insert batteries in keyboard and mouse, plug receiver into usb port and turn on the power switch on the mouse. (keyboard doesn't have a power switch)
The receiver is a nano receiver so its tiny and inobtrusive, the 1000 model has a mouse size receiver with a usb courd on the end.
The battery life is 15 months for the Keyboard and 8 months for the mouse which is a lot better than the more expensive 1000 model.
Range is listed at 15 feet with no degradation within that distance.
The mouse is only a three button mouse, its a little on the light side, but the (2)AA's inside helps alot. It does have an on/off switch which is great to make the batteries last even longer. The Keyboard does not have an on/off switch.
Neither the Keyboard nor mouse has a "connect" button, they are both ready to go as soon as the batteries are in and nano is inserted. Keyboard uses (2) "AAA" and the mouse uses (2) "AA". The Keyboard is black on the top side and white on the bottom, but its hard to tell unlees you're looking at it at a low angle ... or flip it over of course.
The set works great without drivers on XP it should be the same or better with Windows 7. I went to the microsoft site to make sure it is driverless in case the CD was missing from my box, but the only downloads available are literature, and a CD rom was NOT listed as a requirement for setup, so its safe to say it is indeed driverless. (or that its already built into the OS)
So I'm impress with this altogether and I'll try to update on a the actual battery life as time goes on.
It also has a 2 year limited warranty.
Update May 05, 2012
It's been a little over a year and although this PC is only used about three times a week, the battery is stil going strong and performance is still like it was at day one. Again, thumbs up for this keyboard and mouse combo.
Update Febuary 09, 2013
Still running on original batteries
on February 7, 2011
First, a summary: This is a solid wireless desktop, and works great for 'couch gaming' with a big screen and a 'lapdesk' (I use the Belkin CushDesk). IMO, it works amazingly well considering its price! I have tried many sets that develop keyboard lag during a session, or 'lose signal' after time or distance and require a reset. This one runs for hours without issue. It also seems to have more than the advertised 10-foot range (Microsoft probably advertises the shorter distance on the box because it's their bottom-end product, and they don't want to compete with their higher end stuff - probably the same RF gear in all of them). On top of that, it looks nice, with a black piano finish.
Keyboard details: The keyboard supports at least 4 simultaneous keypresses at once, and usually more, depending which keys you press. 4 keys is plenty - I have no issues in 'WADS-style' FPS's. In my keypress test, it often bested my old school PS/2 keyboard!
This keyboard has what I'll call a 'compressed standard' layout. This means the space between the key 'banks' has been removed - all the usually separated key groups are smashed together. I thought this would suck, but it turns out to work OK. All the punctuation keys are in the right place both in the main bank and the 'side banks', and at least within each bank the keys are properly spaced relative to each other. The layout and relative placement being 'standard' is a big plus for gaming, and the 'interior space removal' is not a big deal. The compressed layout is a good thing for a cramped working area or a lapdesk, but why didn't they trim more size around the outer edge? A wasted opportunity to give it an even smaller footprint.
Because they didn't change the main keyboard bank, it works fine for touch typing, as long as you don't move from the main key bank to the keypad or arrow keys too much. I noticed as I typed this review that I have been frequently hitting '0' on the numeric keypad when I mean to hit the right arrow, because the secondary banks are left-shifted. I don't notice that while gaming. So, I wouldn't use this to write a novel.
As a previous reviewer stated, all the F-keys have been placed into one evenly spaced row at the top, which is quite unfortunate. I don't understand why, they seem to have gained nothing from this. The F-keys are supposed to be grouped in banks of 4, and the uniform placement is indeed annoying in-game when trying to hit F9 to quick-save.
On the plus side, the keyboard is lightweight, and FLAT, which are both great things for lapdesk use. When you have the legs folded in, there are nice gummy rubber feet that hold it in place well. On the desk, with the feet opened, it is at a good angle and doesn't move around. Nice design. There are only a few annoying extra 'multimedia keys', and they don't make the keyboard larger, which is good. Maybe someday I'll try pressing one to see if they work (not that I'll care). The keyboard uses two AAA batteries, which last a long time. I use alkalines.
Now the Mouse: The mouse doesn't impress me as much as the keyboard, but it's works OK. It doesn't have the snappy resolution or great shape of my Logitech MX518, but I didn't expect that. It's passable - this mouse probably does lose me some precision in games, but when I'm couch gaming I'm less competitive.
The buttons click fine (a bit loud) and the wheel works well as a middle button, but the scroll wheel itself is a bit too loose for gaming use (weak 'resistance notches' compared to the tighter MX518). It also doesn't have the 'back/forward' side buttons I've become accustomed to, but I don't use them while gaming.
The plastic used on its top surface is chintzy and does makes it feel like a cheap toy (the keyboard keys have this same feel, which could bother some people).
One nice touch is the storage for the USB transmitter included on the bottom of the mouse. Always a good feature for travel. And while I would have preferred an auto-off, the switch is better for travel, as motion causes auto-off mice to stay on which kills the batteries. The mouse requires two AA batteries, which give it a good heft. I use NiMH rechargables since mice eat batteries.
Overall this is a great desktop for lightweight couch gaming on a tight budget (maybe any budget - expensive desktops seem to all have weird grossly oversized keyboards, which are pointless and bad for lapdesk use - one example is the bloated and totally non-standard Logitech Wave). I took a star off due to the brainless F-key layout, and the cheap feel of the keys and mouse.
on January 12, 2012
The keyboard and mouse work just fine, work for basic gaming and is completely plug and play.
However, one warning. We had our receiver plugged into the USB port and one of the times we pulled it out the plug part stayed in the USB port and the circuit board and part you grab onto just pulled right out of it. I called Microsoft to get a replacement part and was promptly told that the warranty does not cover the receiver and if I want to replace it I will have to purchase a new set, regardless of the fact that my item is still well under warranty.
So in short, it works fine but if it breaks Microsoft's customer support is terrible. I would just find a Logitech of the same price instead. You will get similar quality but my experiences with Logitech support have been much better.
on May 29, 2011
For the price, its a resonably good functioning product. No hoakey features, spaced out forms. In fact I bought a 2nd one. Other than the small top function keys, there are keys mapped to Microsoft calculator, audio controls and PrtScrn, ScrnLock. Wireless capability makes things a little easier. Its plug & play allright. Stick the bluetooth adapter into a USB port, wait 20 seconds, you have a wirless keyboard/mouse. The feel of the keys is good. I was using the HP slimline PC keyboard that I did not like b/c you had to press each key all the way. I found myself always retyping b/c many keys did not take. This keyboard elininates that, making typing faster. The mouse is sensitive enough - not overly. I do not experience jumpy mouse, losing my mouse or sticky mouse behavior. So I like that too. The size and form is good. I've found certain things are best left in the most common form. Any "innovative" form factor ends up a distraction.
1. There is no CAPS LOCk or NUM button lights.
2. The low battery indicator light (I guess) will come on when due. Presently there is no green light to indicate battery is OK.
on June 9, 2011
This is about the 5th wireless combo I've owned and I am very satisfied. Excellent responce time for the keyboard and mouse. The mouse doesn't jump around like many of the other wireless mice I've used in the past. I am going to purchase another set for my kids today.
on February 5, 2013
This is not something that occurred to me when buying this, but the mouse is pretty big and it hurts my hand to use it for too long. I've never had that problem with a mouse before. From looking at it, it didn't stand out to me as exceptionally large, it was only from using it and my hand hurting by mid-day that I realized the problem. It also doesn't seem as accurate other mouses, although it may be me that's less accurate when my hand is sore.
I will try to post a picture of this mouse next to another mouse to show the difference.
on April 12, 2013
I really expected more from this product. I don't know what the deal with the wireless is, but it is incredibly inconsistent and unreliable. The keyboard sort of, kinda works if you type with one finger and keep it below 10 words a minute. Anything faster and it drops keystrokes left and right. This review has taken about 8 minutes to type so far. The mouse will generally refuse to respond for a while and then jump halfway across the screen unpredictably. Clicking a button works after anywhere from 3 to 30 attempts. On the other hand, the appearance is terrific. It looks exactly like a mouse and a keyboard. Except that it isn't. It's crap. It does fit well on my desk, there are no cords to tangle and the black plastic is very glossy. None of the parts have floated away or exploded. That's nice.
on July 17, 2012
Have had this keyboard for a good 10 months of medium usage. Wireless dongle attached to the back of workstation, which is a steel-construction Silverstone Sugo SG02B, sitting no further than 10ft. I'm an ex-IT support guy that enjoys building my own computers and work fluently on Windows, Macs, and also Linux.
- never had a keyboard with built-in spill drains and protection, engineering excellence right there
- great weight, feel, and physical keystroke response
- on eneloop batteries, it's lasted this entire 10 months without fail (still going too)
- you can be typing, and be mssng letrs lke ths RANDOMLY
- must be somehow directly aimed (still haven't figured this one out) at the dongle or at an angle where the case may possibly not be obscuring the signal... but sometimes it works regardless. maybe it just needs a hug?
- the mouse is forgettable and honestly, fairly terrible in terms of tracking because it has the same inconsistent connection issues no matter what surface I tested it on
I've honestly had enough of having to stand up and re-live my childhood days of "aiming the controller and tapping the same keys repeatedly" so I've just bought the Logitech K400 to see if it'll fare better.
Stay away kids. This is garbage despite the drunk-protection, which, if you're spilling your alcohol on the keyboard, you probably already drank too much to be using a computer anyways.
on December 17, 2012
I program by trade. I use keyboards all day long. I can adapt to big and small keyboards, I can adapt to keyboards with or without numeric key pads, I regularly switch between US, US international, French and Central American keyboards, but I have no use for a keyboard where you have to press harder or longer to get a M than to get an A.
So I give it an F.
I have been on the lookout for a reliable wireless keyboard and mouse for when I hook up my computer to my HDTV. Well, look no further! This is the perfect keyboard and mouse combo. Usually, I run into the problem of the mouse being jumpy or not responsive due to the lack of range or signal. Although Microsoft says that there is a 10 foot range, I used this product well over that range and never experienced any hiccups.
One of the most annoying things when I get electronics is when it's advertised as "easy setup" or "easy installation" and it turns out to be anything but easy. I've experienced not being able to establish a connection between the mouse/keyboard/computer before and it's so frustration. This setup literally takes seconds. As soon as the batteries (included) are put in and the USB plugged in, the connection is made, no trying to push buttons simultaneously.
Another added feature with this mouse is that it can be turned off when not in use. This feature is good for me since I don't always have my computer hooked up to the TV. It really will save me from having to replace the batteries!
One aspect that I still have to get used to, is the boxy/rectangular feeling of the keyboard. I like the general layout, the way the keys feel, I don't feel like they are cramped together. However, it feels a little weird that this is no contour, it's just a rectangle. At the same time, the price of the combo, the wireless range and general ease of using the set really outshine the lack of a more ergonomic design.
Overall, I definitely think this is an excellent keyboard and would certainly recommend it to anyone in the market for a reliable wireless keyboard.