A little reminder to existing Microsoft Skydrive users. Microsoft is changing the amount of storage space for free users from 25 GB to 7 GB. You will need to login and click the link on the page for the free “upgrade” option in order to keep the 25.0 GBs of space.
This keyboard is the first Ergonomic Keyboard I’ve ever tested. The main feature here is the key layout and shape of the keyboard. This is a full ergonomic keyboard, and not just a curved keyboard. There is a zoom slider above the Space bar key, “forward/back” buttons are found near below the Space bar. You have the usual multimedia and Internet keys.
This also includes a Palm lift. A piece of curved plastic that when placed under the palm rest area lifts your palms for added comfort. The keyboard is a USB (wired) keyboard.
The keyboard software in the box is out of date. You’re better off downloading the current version from Microsoft’s website. The software allows you to better use the multimedia keys and even customize some of the actions for the keys found at the top of the keyboard.
Microsoft does make some good hardware. I purchased and have been using the MS Wireless Laser Desktop 4000 kit for a few months now.
It consists of:
1 Wireless receiver
The Receiver connects to the computer via a USB connection. The receiver also has some important display lights. Caps Lock, numerical lock, and function key. The Keyboard (Microsoft Wireless Comfort Keyboard 4000) has the usual keys, however some keys are shaped differently, The Spacebar is curved, the keys in the middle seem slightly larger, especially the N key. The Delete really stands out too. It actually took me little while before I got used to this.
The extra keys are quite plentiful. The Upper right has shortcut buttons for the calculator, Logging off, and sleep. The left side of the keyboard has “Documents” folder, “Call”, Mail, “Gadgets”, and “home webpage”. At the top of the keyboard are the very useful multimedia and “favorites” buttons. You get volume up, volume down, mute, play/pause, stop, previous and next. It does exactly what you would expect it to do, depending on what media player you have running. You can customize or even disable these extra buttons from the included (IntelliType) software. With the exception of the multimedia buttons, I have all the extra buttons disabled. You could probably find a way to get a use from them but it just didn’t work for me while I was testing it. The keyboard does come with a curved, padded palm rest which complements the curved layout of the main keys.
The keyboard itself has is powered via 2 AA batteries which are included in the box (2 for the keyboard and an additional 2 for the mouse) you should only need to syncronize with you reciver just the first time, even when you need to replace the batteries. Nothing much else to say about the part except all keys and button are working well after these first few months of use.
The mouse (Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 5000) has a nice feel as opposed to most OEM mice included with new computers. I’ve been using those basic USB optical mice for so long, but the moment I tried to use the new mouse I could feel the difference almost instantly. The mouse is actually a laser mouse rated at 1000 dots per inch, according to the box. This provides a more precise mousing experience. You won’t be able to see the light like you can with an Optical USB mouse. Even though there are higher rated laser mice on the market, the 1000 dpi is enough for day to day computer usage. As for buttons, you get “left”, “right”, “middle” (scroll wheel), and two extra buttons on the side of the mouse. The mouse is powered by two AA batteries. It seems to start working the moment you load 1 AA battery so the second must be for additional operating life. Like with the keyboard, the Mouse has its own software the IntelliPoint, which allows you to customize some of the mouse settings.
The kit does have some downsides though, It’s stated in the setup guide that the receiver only has an operating range of no more than 6 feet. This means that this is more ideal for a desktop setup and not a Home Theater setup. From time to time when I have the window by my desk open, I get signal interference for some strange reason. Even if the receiver is touching the keyboard and mouse is less than 6 feet away. Both devices have fresh batteries.
I’ve been a longtime Logitech user but now I see that Microsoft does make some fine hardware.You can get this at Amazon or you might be able to find it at you favorite PC/Technology shop.