Wireless Keyboard Set 3
While some companies, no names – no pack drill, seem to be hell-bent on driving computer users towards a predominately touch screen environment, there are other firms who realise that there are a number of tasks, including the writing of this review, that require tools more suited to general work tasks. I am, of course, referring to the familiar element of a keyboard and mouse which is commonly referred to as a desktop set. The latest such product, to arrive at my work space for review, is the UK edition of Sandberg’s Wireless Keyboard Set 3 offering.
The product did not get off to the best possible start as I removed the various components from the box. These components consisted of a predominately matte black keyboard and a similarly coloured mouse that housed a mini USB receiver in its base. There was also a small Multilanguage User Guide which concentrated on inserting the battery. Talking of the batteries, they were nowhere to be found. Checking the content list displayed on the product’s packaging revealed that Sandberg has taken the decision not to include any batteries in the box.
A scrambled search then ensued as I attempted to track down the two AA batteries for the mouse and two AAA batteries for the keyboard. Fortunately I eventually found both sizes of battery. But perhaps Sandberg might like to consider following other manufacturers of the desktop sets I have reviewed in the past and include this necessary piece of equipment in the box and avoid disappointing those customers who do not keep spare batteries ready to hand. After all even some toy companies are now including batteries with their products.
The appropriate drivers for this kit will be automatically installed once the mini USB receiver has been inserted into a vacant USB port. Both the keyboard and mouse will be paired to the wireless receiver and to each other so no further set up options are required or provided. You will however need to activate the mouse by clicking one of its buttons. This action will also be necessary to wake up the mouse from sleep mode which automatically happens when there is around ten minutes of inactivity.
At first glance the mouse’s bulbous appearance can be a little off-putting but the unit does tend to fit comfortably in the hand – just as long as you are a right-handed user. The shape of the unit and positioning of the various controls are such that a left handed user could struggle with this device. An on/off switch on the base of the unit can be used if you are intending not using the mouse for a lengthy period.
The arrangement of the controls used by this mouse, place the usual arrangement of top-mounted left and right buttons separated by the main scroll wheel. You have the option to turn this wheel in order to scroll through long documents, large images and web sites or click it and then scroll by moving the mouse in the appropriate direction. Mounted on the side of the mouse is a second scroll wheel and a third mouse button. While the second wheel can be used to move between opened web sites, I have yet to discover how the third mouse button can be put to a useful purpose. I was later informaed that this button was for changing the resolution.
The keyboard feels rather lightweight when compared to some keyboard I have looked at. However it was able to cope with some heavy handed use without causing any problem. The keyboard element of this desktop set does stand out with regards its shape. Within a basic rectangular shape stylised with cut-out and protruding sections, the keyboard consists of a 107 key QWERTY style UK layout with cursor and a number pad attached to the right. A rather narrow sloping, permanently attached wrist-rest feature is available and a couple of flip-out supports on the base of the keyboard can be used to raise the unit at an angle for a more comfortable positioning.
Running across the top of the number pad is a light strip which is used to indicate when Caps Lock and Num Lock are turned on. This strip is also used to show when battery level is low. Arranged across the standard row of function keys are two blocks of hot keys linked to specific tasks. Over on the left are a group of media related keys. With these you can call up Windows Media Player, adjust the volume level plus fast forwards and backwards through tracks. On the right are keys to access your Favourites, Search, Email Client, and your Browser.
While the lack of batteries and documentation regarding the various controls was disappointing, the Sandberg Wireless Keyboard Set 3 is priced reasonable at £26.99. Capable of operating at distances up to 10 metres, this wireless desktop set is compatible with Windows XP and later.
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