Even though I have come to rely on my notebook as my primary computer, I still use it in a desktop-like configuration when I'm working out of my home office. It's connected to an external monitor mounted on desktop stand and I use it in tandem with a wireless keyboard and mouse. If you didn't know any better, you'd swear I had a real desktop somewhere.
Wireless desktops have drastically reduced in price in recent years, so unless you really need to the reduced latency of a wired setup, it's so much more convenient to go wireless. The latest set that I've had the chance to try is the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000. It may have a budget-oriented price, but the features are far from coming up short.
An Affordable Wireless Desktop with More
The MSRP on the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 is listed at $69.95, but I've been able to find it on sale online for as little as thirty bucks. That's a steal of a deal, considering that you're getting a trusted brand and plenty of nice features.
Going through the spec sheet, you'll discover the following:
- Reliable 2.4GHz wireless with up to 30-foot range
- Battery status indicators
- BlueTrack technology combines optical power with laser precision
- Snap-in mini-transceiver
- Windows Flip for mouse
- Spill-resistant, quiet touch keys
- Media Center controls on keyboard
- Taskbar Favorites and enhanced F keys on keyboard
- Compact keyboard fits your notebook PC style
You get all this and to top it off, even the AA batteries required for operation are included. Microsoft's BlueTrack technology is also the same technology that comes on their more elite SideWinder X8 Gaming Mouse which costs as much as this whole desktop set.
Looking Inside the Box
Cracking open the box to the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000, we don't find much in terms of surprises. The wireless desktop kit is comprised of the Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 3000 v2.0 and the Wireless Mouse 5000 with BlueTrack technology.
Accompanying the keyboard and mouse are the compact USB mini-transceiver, four Energizer AA alkaline batteries, installation CD, and supporting documentation.
Even though the instructions call for alkaline batteries, I had no trouble using this set with rechargeable Ni-MH batteries instead. This is one way that gadget geeks can go green and minimize their footprint at the landfills.