Riding the Wave 

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Desktop sets continue to evolve with addition functions and design features to aid the user at both work and play.
Logitech Desktop Wave keyboard and mouse

There has been a great deal written about RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) and the effect it can have on those tied to a computer for most of their working life.  Even the average computer user is estimated to type more than two million keystrokes in a year.  I will not add to the debate on the subject of RSI other than to state that this next product, the Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave?, is yet another attempt to guide the user's hands into a more comfortable position so reducing the stress effect that can occur.

Ergonomic keyboards have been around for a number of years without gaining total acceptance.  With this latest product, Logitech has taken a different approach, mixing comfort and style with this black and metallic grey keyboard's layout.  As befits the Wave part of its title, this keyboard sort of undulates across its body in such a way that the height of the keys tend to relate to the different lengths of your fingers (unless of course you belong to the peck-and-hunt two-finger brigade - of which I am a fully paid up member).  Rather than an inflexible, detachable wrist rest, Logitech has opted for a permanently attached cushion rest - more for the palm than wrist really.  Although I am not a fan of wrist rests, I was impressed by the comfort of this one.

As with the greater majority of modern keyboards, you are not limited to the standard QWERTY layout plus basic computer related function, cursor and numeric keys.  This Wave keyboard has been designed to take advantage of some of the features found in Windows Vista.  Along with keys for Windows calculator, multimedia and media player keys, this keyboard has specific controls for activating the Vista Flip 3D; zoom in/out; Vista Gadget feature; photo gallery; and Media Centre access.  These additional controls are located on the left and top of the main keyboard so as not to interfere with general typing activities.  In order to make use of these controls you will need to install the supplied software which also includes options to set up Logitech Desktop Messenger and Yahoo! Toolbar.

While some minor adjustments were required on my part when using the Wave keyboard, none was required when using the ambidextrous mouse supplied as part of the kit.  With a similar colour scheme, the mouse features the standard two-button with click and tilt wheel arrangement.  There is also an addition control on the left side of the mouse for navigating between folders and Internet sites.  When used with Vista, clicking the wheel activates the Flip 3D feature of the operating system.  Any of the various mouse buttons and special keyboard controls are programmable using the supplied software.

Both devices are powered by two AA batteries (supplied) and communicate wirelessly with the computer via a USB receiver that has its own USB stand.  Although there are less expensive cordless desktop sets available, the Wave model, priced at £69.99, is worth considering especially if you have upgraded to the Vista environment.  This is a well made stylish piece of kit.  The Cordless Desktop Wave? requires Windows XP/Vista or a Mac running OS X 10.2.8 and above.,en

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