Light up your Workspace 

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If you feel your computer does not appreciate you then perhaps you need to add a glow to the relationship.

If asked to list the top ten features I would look for, or hoped to be included, in a desktop set (keyboard and mouse) then I can honestly state that a feature regarding illumination would not be included.  Belkin, however, would appear to be of a different opinion.  The company's latest desktop set has both the keyboard and mouse providing an illuminated display.  I can not say that I'm totally surprised by this as Belkin has already released two mice that feature this particular attribute.  To give this product its full title, this is the Slim Illuminated Desktop Set and it consists of a keyboard and optical mouse.


The slim keyboard is a full size unit that is coloured an Apple white.  It connects to the computer via a USB lead and requires no additional drivers.  It is the USB connection that provides the minimal power required for the subdued blue light that emanates from this keyboard.  You can turn off this light if you find it distracting or unsuitable for a specific environment.  Belkin has placed a key, located in the top right corner of the main keyboard layout, to achieve this task.


The keyboard is meant to be used flat.  In fact there is not way you can raise this device to an angle.  All the various keys are flush to the main body of the keyboard and provide little tactile or audio feedback as to whether they have been pressed or not.  The standard alpha-numeric and number pad keys are constructed of translucent plastic to help heighten the illumination effect.  A light strip running across the top of the number pad provides feedback information as to whether the Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock features have been turned on.


Running along the top of the keyboard is an additional row of keys which provide one-touch access to such features as Internet, e-mail and multimedia type controls.  There are also keys to shut down the computer; place Windows in sleep or stand-by mode; and wake the system up from sleep.  While the other keys generally worked as expected, I was unable to get the wake-up to work on the test machine.  These additional keys are constructed of the same white plastic as the main keyboard shell.


The mouse supplied with the desktop set is of the two-button, wheeled variety.  This optical mouse can connect via either USB or, using the supplied adapter, to a PS/2 mouse port with no additional drivers being required.  The main body of the mouse is white with translucent panels at the rear and around the wheel


Once connected to your powered-on system, the mouse will emit a fluorescent glow that gradually cycled through various colours.  In order to ensure that the effect is appealing and possibly tension relieving, Belkin has stuck with a palette of cool colours. The effect can be a talking point but it must be remembered that the visual attribute does not add any additional functionality to the mouse.


Priced at £39.99, the Slim Illuminated Desktop Set will certainly add to the visual appeal of your computer set up but will not increase functionality over more conventionally style desktop sets.  Windows 98SE or later will be required.


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Comment by M, Dec 25, 2006 23:43

The Mouse- there is no way of turning off the colours. They will continue to glow even when the computer is not on. I have to take it out of the USB, or unplug the computer from the mains for the glowing to stop.

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