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Testing & Results
The Microsoft Arc wireless keyboard was tested in a wide variety of situations. I hooked it up to my main desktop for "entertainment" tasks such as gaming to test responsiveness, some light web browsing, and multimedia use to see how robust the wireless feature functioned for me in a typical "home" environment. I also brought it to work with me for a few days to try it in a heavy use environment to gauge the longevity of using it as a primary keyboard for typing and heavy web browsing.
Test System 1
Motherboard: Gigabyte P5NE-SLI
System Memory: 4gb DDR2
Processor: Intel e6600
Video: eVGA Nvidia gtx260
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Model: Dell Latitude e6500
System Memory: 4gb
Processor: Intel Centrino 2 Duo
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP3
I found that there was very little that this keyboard could not handle well. Using it for web browsing and basic other tasks, there is nothing about the Arc that I found to discourage this use. The keys type very nimbly, there is absolutely no setup required for either OS it was tested on. It did not even ask me for an administrator's password at work like many other peripherals do, so those of you who don't have admin rights over their work computers should not have trouble. I simply plugged it into both systems, and it just worked.
Using it for heavy typing or gaming resulted in good performance, but being that it is a bit smaller than an average keyboard, my fingers began feeling slightly cramped after several hours of continued use. I also occasionally found myself mistyping a few keys, but that can be had with almost any new keyboard. Until you get the hang for the tactile feel and layout of every button, it is hard to gauge whether that is learning the new Arc keyboard, or a misstep in a design. I chalk it up to it being a new keyboard.
If you are looking for a full featured multimedia keyboard, you may want to look elsewhere. There is a Mute button and Volume button, but there is nothing along the line of a play, stop, pause, etc. button. This is not to say that it is not a suitable keyboard for a HTPC, but just keep that omission in mind. The wireless had not shown me any trouble at all. I used it both at home and at work, where there is a massive amount of electronic interference to be had, and I did not notice a single missing keystroke. All in all, I found it to be a very comfortable keyboard that is perfect for basic use, and as long as you don't need to type a 40 page term paper on it, you will be very pleased with the performance.