Comfort is something we seem to neglect to think about all too often when it comes to our time at in front of our computers. I'd be more than willing to estimate that the majority of people either have an uncomfortable chair that's set at the wrong height, a monitor that's too high in regards to your eye level, or a mouse and keyboard that just aren't comfortable for long term use.
So when a product pops up on the market specifically designed for comfort, you'd imagine at least one of those little flaws of ours to be blown away with a swift purchase. So from Microsoft, we have the Wireless Optical Desktop Comfort Edition. Designed by ergonomic experts with comfort and design in mind, this desktop is offered with the promise of a heightened level of comfort, and a fair old amount of gorgeous design too.
- Ergonomically designed keyboard
- Wireless Optical mouse
- Smart Receiver with USB, and PS/2 connection
- 4 batteries
- Installation CD
The cushioned palm rest is quite a delightful feature, especially as it's designed with a feel of leather. At the top of the keyboard sits a set of 5 numbered buttons, entitled “My favourites”. These 5 buttons are easily allowed (with the included software) to be given the job of opening your 5 most used programs. A huge time saver! To the right of these, a play/pause, stop, and forward and backward buttons are included to enable swift media control. Again, a huge time saver. Towards the left hand side of the keyboard you'll notice a Zoom slider, allowing you to zoom in and out during various applications. How relevant that'll be to your own personal use is for you each to decide on your own, but even merely using for zooming in and out with the family photos, it's a nice feature to have at your fingertips.
With the mouse, Microsoft's Tilt Wheel Technology allows not only vertical, but also horizontal scrolling. Yet again, a huge time saving plus.
The installed software allows you a quick and easy way to not only check up on the signal and battery levels of both your keyboard and moue, but also change the various options in a simple manner.
First of all, connectivity is quite easily the best I'm yet to witness from a wireless optical desktop. With signal quality easily checked up on via the installed software, you'll be hard pressed to get both your mouse and keyboard in a position where the signal differs from its highest optimum levels.
The mouse, while lacking the side buttons that most of the top of the range mice now come with, works as well as you could hope for. The scroll mouse can feel a touch difficult at first try, but a quick tweak of the sensitivity setting, and a better feel for the fact it lacks the ‘click' that most wheel's have will leave you scrolling through huge text documents and web pages with ease.
As for the keyboard, the biggest praise I can give is it fulfils, and practically forces you to make use of all the features mentioned above. Though utilising it as a simple keyboard (though one with fantastic comfort levels) is easily enough, the fact that each and every single one of those features can be used to make your PC time a thousand times easier is a big plus. The “My Favourites” keys in particular have proved to be a major time saver.
There's no denying that this is quite a wonderful desktop set. The mouse feels perfect when it comes to bog standard web browsing, and even hardcore online fragging in Counter Strike. The keyboard too offers a sense of comfort that very little seem able to bring to the table, the design itself (in this reviewers experience at least) bypassing the touches of cramp you can suffer after long periods of use. From a personal perspective, as a journalist I do spend a little too much time sat in front of a PC, and wrist strain has always come a little too swiftly. But since receiving and utilising this product 2 weeks ago, no such strain has been in evidence, even after alarmingly long periods of use.
Retailing at a mere £40-£50 online, you'd be hard pressed to find a more comfortable wireless optical desktop kit inside that price bracket. The comfort, combined with the stylish design, and the ease of use means that this piece of kit comes highly recommended indeed.