|Microsoft Arc Wireless Compact Keyboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Nate Swetland - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 24 March 2010|
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Wireless Keyboard Final ThoughtsI can really think of very few reasons why someone in the market for a simple, yet functional wireless keyboard would pass the Microsoft Arc up. With a price point at roughly $60, it is an affordable no-nonsense wireless keyboard from a respectable brand. If you are looking for a more than fully-featured wireless keyboard for your HTPC setup, this may not be for you, but if you want a simple solution for a keyboard to put in your living room, kitchen, or some other minimalist setting, but don't want to sacrifice looks, this keyboard is worth a look.
I wanted to conclude with this image. This is the way the Arc came packaged. I am not completely sure what this represents, but if I had to guess, it has something to do with the way the keyboard is designed in such a way that it would become a part of your every day life.
Microsoft Arc Keyboard Conclusion
Performance on this keyboard was not an issue. I never noticed any hiccups typing whether I was using it for hours at a time, or using it touch-and-go. The wireless did not seem to be affected by other wireless devices at all, and the range of 15ft is more than adequate for most users.
Appearance was a focal point for this keyboard. You can really tell that their design team put a great deal of effort into making this look as good as it performs. The colors, shape and size exude elegance.
The construction quality of the Microsoft Arc is top notch. They keys feel very solid, and leave no impression of wearing out any time soon. I have no reason to believe that this keyboard would not survive a few drops from the kitchen counter, and as stated before, the magnetic holster for the USB receiver held strong through some light abuse.
Often you find that a device either functions well, or looks good. This device does both. The functionality of this keyboard is all there. It may not have all of the fancy buttons of some other keyboards, but it has a full size qwerty layout, a directional pad, and a nice selection of function buttons along the top row. It is nothing to be disappointed about.
The Microsoft Arc J5D-00001 keyboard has a $60 MSRP, but sells online for as low as $45. The price may seem a bit on the expensive side for a keyboard, but when you add in the fact that it is wireless, compact, and damn good looking, the price easily seems on par with the device, especially with the included 3 year warranty from Microsoft. I have a feeling people will be pleased with their purchase at either price.
As I have stated in several other ways, I see no reason why this would not be a top choice if you are in the market for a wireless keyboard. The good looks immediately caught my eye, and the quality and functionality definitely won my favor.
+ Small and lightweight
- Slightly lacking HTPC keys, but it is not necessarily designed to be one
Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.
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