|Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 XSA-00001|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Mathew Thompson - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 30 December 2008|
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Keyboard Test Results
On to the keyboard: The keyboard is full size, including all the normal keys and a number pad on the right side. As such, its portability is decreased. It has a fairly typical weight for a keyboard. Basically, once it finds a home, it will probably not be carted anywhere. Granted, the full size makes they keyboard better for typing papers and playing games, it's not good for other wireless uses, such as the living room.
The keys themselves are short with short throw. This makes typing much faster as they keys don't need to pressed as far and the fingers can move from key to key easier and faster (no obstructions). The keys themselves are cushioned and very quiet. Unlike most regular keyboards that have a lot of plastic on plastic clicking sounds during typing, the Wireless Keyboard 6000 emits very little noise and no clicking. The keys are also in a curved shape. I found the shape to be more comfortable than the rectangular shape that many keyboards use. It allows me to place my hands in a formation that is more natural.
The keyboard features a rubberized wrist rest. However, leaning on the keyboard itself will cause the keyboard to tilt toward the user. It's not meant to support the entire weight of the hands and wrists. The keyboard includes a pair of nubs that fit inside slots on the bottom of the keyboard. The nubs tilt the keyboard either toward the user or away from the user, depending on their preference. However, it's important to note that doctors suggest, for proper keyboard ergonomics, not to tilt the backs of the hands toward the body. This introduces stress in the wrists.
The keyboard has a battery light in the top right hand corner. It lights up when batteries are inserted and shows green when the batteries are fresh and shows red when the batteries need to be replaced. Most of the time the battery indicator does not shine as it doesn't need to. There are no light indicators to let you know if caps lock, scroll lock, function lock or num lock are on. Rather, when you press any of the lock buttons a indicator shows on screen to let you know if the lock is on or not.
The media and function buttons are highly customizable. Each button corresponds to a specific function (such as play, pause, copy, shutdown, etc) or can be made to activate a shortcut. You can even assign keystroke macros to most of the buttons. However, there are 5 favorite buttons that are only able to open shortcuts but will not let you assign a function or use a Macro. The F1-F12 function keys have alternate functions as well when the F Lock button is actuated, each denoted by an icon on the button. These buttons have built in functions as well as the ability to be customized.
The IntelliPoint and IntelliType software for Windows and OSX allows you to customize the functionality of both the keyboard and the mouse. In IntelliPoint you're given many different options for customizing what the mouse can do for each button, including both the left and right click buttons. IntelliType allows you to assign and customize each of the function keys and set up the macros. I find the Intelli software to be rather intuitive and easy to use.
The wireless connection of the mouse and keyboard is generally quite good. I can type up to 20 feet line of sight away from the receiver. Microsoft advertises a range of up to 30 feet. I could not test any further because I don't have a 30 feet span anywhere in my house with which to test this range. From time to time, the wireless connection would inexplicably stop for the keyboard and then start up again, lasting no longer than 10-15 seconds. I cannot figure out what causes this disconnect, but it happens frequently enough to be annoying.
Another thing to note is that the wireless transceiver and emitters of the whole Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 operate on the 2.4ghz radio band, which a lot of other remote and wireless devices use. Placing two emitters/transceivers in close proximity to each other can affect range and operation. I, originally, tested the combo on my living room computer which sits next to my wireless router and both the router and keyboard interfered with each other. Afterward, after attaching the transceiver to a USB extension cable and placing 4 feet away, the keyboard functioned properly without interference.