When it comes to talking about mice and keyboards there are opposing fronts. Gamers want wires on everything for better speed and accuracy. The average computer user wants to lose the wires for a less cluttered desktop. Today we are going to look at a wireless desktop set from Microsoft called the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000. Read on to see how well the wireless desktop performs.
The Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 includes the Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 3000 and the Microsoft Wireless Mouse 5000. The keyboard is packed with shortcut keys for just about every function that you could ever use in Microsoft Word. If you are a heavy Office user, the shortcut keys alone may be worth the price of admission. I use Word all the time and only knew a fraction of the shortcuts shown on the keyboard.
The keyboard has a nice layout with full multimedia controls for video and music playback as well as a full complement of shortcut keys to take you to web pages and other applications. The buttons can be custom programmed with the software included with the desktop. Typing feel for the keyboard is acceptable. I have used keyboards with better tactile feel and feedback, but I have used them with worse feel as well. In short, the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 keyboard isn’t the best, but it is decent.
The mouse uses Microsoft’s new BlueTrack laser. The laser promises improved tracking on a variety of surfaces — and delivers. In testing, the mouse tracked very accurately on a bare desktop, carpet, my leg, and paper. The mouse is sized like a notebook mouse and the USB transceiver that connects both the mouse and keyboard to the PC can be stowed away under the mouse in a little recessed area to take with you on the road.
The mouse itself has programmable buttons and 4-way scroll. The ambidextrous design makes the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 work for all users and the buttons on the mouse offer nice tactile feedback. The only thing I found lacking on the mouse was the sensitivity. With a large 24-inch or 30-inch, LCD the mouse needs more sensitivity. Users taking advantage of the mouse with a smaller screen or a notebook may find the low sensitivity to be less of an issue. Microsoft isn’t specific on the sensitivity of the mouse, but I would say it is around 800 dpi.
Both the keyboard and the mouse use AA batteries and Microsoft says that a single set of batteries will last 8 months with normal use. Wireless connectivity is 2.4GHz and range is 30 feet. The mouse and keyboard also both have battery life indicators to show when you need new batteries. The entire Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 system retails for $69.95, which isn’t bad for a wireless desktop and it is available now online.
- Lots of programmable buttons
- Good mouse tracking
- Mouse needs more sensitivity on large LCDs
Computer users looking for a wireless desktop for general computer use will find a lot to like with the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000. Users with large LCDs may find the sensitivity of the mouse lacking. Overall, the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 is a good offering at the $70 MSRP.