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Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 7000

Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 7000

A sleek and ergonomic wireless peripheral package

The Laser Desktop 7000, a keyboard and mouse package, is Microsoft's latest wireless peripheral. While it is difficult for anyone to make a particularly revolutionary product in this market, Microsoft has made a few nifty improvements over past models, including floating shortcut keys and a stylish new clear bezel. The key layout is also slightly ergonomic, which reduces hand strain and makes using the keyboard more comfortable.

What impressed us most about the keyboard was its design. It has a glossy black colour scheme that is surrounded by a fantastic looking clear bezel. The bezel also dips in at one point and houses several floating keys (keys that are touch sensitive and don't actually stick out), which are a great way to access your internet favourites quickly.

Other shortcut keys are also present, including the usual array of entertainment options (mute, volume, play/pause, track skip etc.), a zoom button and internet functions (browser, mail, back etc.). The mouse also contains a nifty inclusion for Vista users: a Flip 3D key, which allows you to access this function without so much as shifting your hand.

The key layout is slightly curved and while the overall design isn't as extreme as some other ergonomic units we've looked at like the Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 it is still more comfortable than a standard keyboard. The difference between a regular layout and an ergonomic one can really be felt if you're at your PC for hours on end. It is definitely a worthwhile investment for serious computer users. We found the keys were responsive and easy to type on. There is also a wrist rest which makes long sessions that little bit more tolerable.

The mouse is sleek and extremely modern looking. It is finished in the same matte black rubber as the keyboard and is a fantastic looking device. It has a curved, ergonomic design with rivets for the thumb and two end fingers of the right hand. We would have liked it to be a little heavier, but its size is about perfect and it rests comfortably in the hand.

It has a scroll wheel that offers good tactility and little resistance when scrolled. It also functions on a four-way axis, giving you a few extra controls at your disposal. Aside from that and the aforementioned Flip 3D functionality, there are also two extra navigation keys that can be tailored to your liking; for example, as back and forward keys during web browsing.

We found the mouse accuracy to be fairly pleasing. This isn't a gaming package and thus hardcore gamers may want to opt for a specialist gaming product such as the G9, but for basic desktop use and the occasional deathmatch this unit will suffice.

Both pieces of hardware are wireless and connect to your PC via the included dongle. They operate on a 2.4GHz signal and no setup is required; simply plug them in and you're good to go. To make the most out of all the functions, however, you will want to install the software, which lets you do things such as tweak the button assignments.

The keyboard operates off two AA batteries. The mouse comes with a single rechargeable AAA battery that can be charged using the included docking bay.


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