In multicultural Australia, the opportunity for home cooks to expand their culinary horizons is too tempting to resist.
Microsoft Optical Desktop 6000
- Comfortable, Looks great
- Wireless technology has some problems
If you don’t type ten pages a day then this may be the perfect desktop combination for you, but the key skipping gets annoying fast.
Price$ 199.95 (AUD)
The Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 is Microsoft's flagship keyboard and mouse combination. Like its sister model, the Desktop 5000, this package presents a funky looking, comfortable keyboard as well as an excellent mouse, but it has a few functional flaws that can cause some serious frustration.
This combination suffers from the same problem that we discovered in the 5000,; the wireless connection has a tendency to skip. No matter where we placed the receiver, we were getting pop-ups informing us that the signal was low. We literally tried over fifteen positions across our desk, but we couldn't seem to satisfy the fickle unit. At times this didn't seem to be a problem at all, with the devices operating quite well, but at other times we found our keyboard missing letters that we definitely typed. It didn't occur all that frequently, once every paragraph or two, but it quickly snowballed and our frustration grew. We tested it with several different computers, even set it up with a massive amount of distance from any other components to minimise wireless interference, but it didn't help.
That said, when it wasn't skipping letters this keyboard was wonderful to use. It comes armed with a padded wrist rest, and an ergonomic key layout that takes an hour or so to adjust to, but is well worth the effort. Certain keys are elongated, in a pattern designed to mimic the natural fall of the fingers, making for more comfortable typing over the long run.
It looks pretty smooth as well, with a grey and silver motif that is fitting for a piece of technology. The keys are partially see-through which is kind of neat, although all there is to really see is the brackets underneath that hold them in.
We love getting wireless keyboard units into the office, because for the next few weeks our desks are clean and clutter free (no really!). It is our convergent technology dream that one day we won't even have need of input devices, voice activation will be the norm, but until such a time we will happily settle for being free and unwired.
The Desktop 6000 has virtually the same key setup as its younger sibling, with a zoom slider and shortcut keys on the side. This slide can be used for everything from zooming in to a picture to increasing resolution of a word document. Along the top are the now almost standard media keys, and some more shortcuts bound to internet favourites. Rounding out the collection of extra keys are the calculator, log off and sleep buttons which rest above the num-pad on the far right hand side.
As with the Desktop 5000 the mouse is probably the best part of this combination. For the everyday desktop user, the Microsoft mice are probably primary contenders for comfort and ease of use. The 1000 DPI sensor on the Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 is perfect for day-to-day tasks and whilst it won't compete with the Logitech G5 or Razer Copperhead for gaming, it provides a more than adequate solution for those dabbling in first person shooters.
It sports a similar design to Logitech's competitor, with a deep thumb groove, two finger grooves along the top. There are two internet navigation buttons along the side as has become standard. Once again we must mention the scroll wheel on this unit, which is one of the highest quality wheels we have encountered. It is thick and rubbery, and rolls smoothly, without the annoying clicking found on most other mice.
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