So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Creative Labs Desktop 9000
- Wireless, easy setup, funky charging system
- Letters often typed twice, laptop style keys
The Creative Wireless Desktop 9000 is a reasonable wireless combination package, but the keyboard is plagued with typing problems and the mouse buttons are badly placed, which made it a pain to use.
Price$ 189.00 (AUD)
We enjoy getting wireless peripherals in for review, because inevitably review will mean testing them whilst we work, which goes some way to reducing the intimidating mass of cables that litters our desks. Unfortunately, we found the Creative Pro 9000 to be a less than satisfying combination package. There are a few significant flaws with both the keyboard and mouse designs that make using them more of a trial than a fun filled, wireless romp in the park.
The worst of these by far is the keyboard tends to type the same letter multiple times. Every thirty seconds or so, one of the keys you hit will produce not one, but two letters, meaning you constantly have to go back and edit what you were typing. Itt did it at least threee times since we started writing this revview! This is a truly annoying quirk of the 9000 that we just couldn't get over.
Apart from this, the keyboard isn't badly designed. It utilises laptop style keys, which are compact and don't sit as deeply as those on a desktop keyboard. They also have a distinctly different sound, more of a tapping than a proper key-press sound. We found them difficult to get used to in the beginning, but after a few hours of use they were as comfortable as any other keyboard. Some people may in fact prefer this less recessed design. We did notice several of the keys emitting a slightly different sound after prolonged use; a much louder and quite annoying crunch, but this came and went with no apparent regularity.
The unit itself is quite a slim, stylish looking model; much smaller than most other media keyboards. None of the face is wasted, with the slick gray space around the keys occupied with a row of shortcut buttons. Whilst most of them are fairly -standard, play, pause, track skip and mute, along with internet functions and a few applications (calculator, internet explorer etc) - it was the volume control that really caught our eye. A tubular wheel resting along the top of the keyboard, it rotates like a lottery barrel to raise and lower the volume. It is only slightly more practical than traditional buttons, but infinitely more fun to use.
We cannot however say the same for the mouse. The design is fairly simplistic, with a symmetrical, slightly arched body that is suitable for both left and right handers (unlike Logitech's mice), but it felt a little small in our hands. It wasn't particularly comfortable to hold, with no real effort having gone into the ergonomics of the design. The most irritating part of the mouse was the placement of the two internet buttons. They run along either side of the chassis, but rather than being placed towards the front, where the fingers naturally fall, they are squarely in the middle, which means not only are they difficult to reach but they are constantly getting bumped inadvertently. The wrath of a reviewer who has spent fifteen minutes entering specifications, only to lose them all to an accidental twitch of the hand knows no bounds!
The mouse uses an 800 DPI sensor, which is a little better than most optical mice, but after having used several high precision mice from Logitech, it felt average at best. The mouse is perfectly functional for all desktop tasks, but if you are a gamer looking for pinpoint accuracy there are better choices elsewhere.
The thing we liked most about this combination was the simple setup and quality of the wireless technology. It took less than five minutes to get both devices functioning, and it was all clearly explained in the accompanying documentation. We did not experience a single stutter in transmission either, which has been a problem that plagued some other wireless products. The mouse and keyboard were both quick to respond and we noticed no real degradation resulting from the wireless technology.
We also loved the ease with which we could charge each component as well. Rather than having a cradle, or using removable, rechargeable batteries, the wireless receiver simply incorporates a small power lead that you plug in when necessary; no additional components to lose or carry around.
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