Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800, first impression

I recently purchased Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 Keyboard and Mouse, after my 4 year old Logitech Multimedia Keyboard started throwing tantrums in the form of Q key getting pressed automatically. While the limited time I have used this keyboard and mouse isn’t enough for a full-fledged review, I thought I would share my initial impression of it now and follow it up with a proper review, few months down the line.

I had been using a Logitech M235 Wireless Mouse for 15 months and I was using a full sized PS2 multimedia keyboard, so buying Microsoft Desktop 800 has helped me get rid of one more wire from my desktop, although it has made my still working Logitech mouse redundant for the time being.

In comparison to Logitech Wireless Mouse, Microsoft 800 Mouse is longer and heavier, though it has a flatter design and is little less in height.

Logitech M235 and Microsoft Desktop 800 Wireless Mouse

Logitech M235 and Microsoft Desktop 800 Wireless Mouse

Being used to Logitech Mouse, Microsoft Mouse feels little weird in hand. However if you are migrating from a normal sized mouse, then Microsoft Desktop 800 Mouse would likely feel more at home than Logitech Mouse. While 2 batteries are needed to run Microsoft Mouse, Logitech Mouse only needed one. Based on this, I feel it wouldn’t be fair to compare battery life of both the mouse and Microsoft Mouse should give better battery life. Apart from few ergonomics quirks and the scroll wheel feeling tight, I have no other issue with Microsoft 800 Mouse.

Keyboard however is quite another thing. Keys have very little travel and while that translates into less noise, it also makes my fingers and hand feel tired after a while, though it is likely just switchover pain and typing seems a lot faster on this keyboard.

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 Keyboard and Mouse

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 Keyboard and Mouse

However what is really an ergonomic nightmare is the spacing between primary key set, insert and direction key set and numpad. Add to that Delete, End, Page Down and arrow keys aren’t raised all that much from the surface of the keyboard and lead to wrong keys being pressed. Different placement of home and end button, in comparison to my Logitech Multimedia Keyboard isn’t helping matters either. And is causing me to hit Page Up key instead of End key and Insert key, instead Home key. Hopefully this is also something I will get used to after a while.

Tab, Backspace and Ctrl keys on the other hand are poorly designed and only respond if you hit them in the middle, otherwise they fail to register key press. There is also no num or caps lock indicator (majority of budget wireless keyboards do not have it), which makes life little difficult, but isn’t a major annoyance.

There are also several multimedia keys eg. volume up/down, play, calculator etc. which I used to use extensively on my Logitech Keyboard as well and hence I am glad to see them on this keyboard as well.

Design of the Keyboard is sleek and light, however its shiny surface is a finger print magnet and a pain to keep smudge free. It also takes in 2 AAA batteries and has a battery indicator, but no physical off switch (mouse has one), which would make cleaning keyboard pain, without first switching off computer or taking out batteries.

While I have sounded quite negative in the above initial impression, most of my complaints are due to difference in ergonomics and design of the keyboards I am comparing and hence may not be applicable for you.


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