When Microsoft got into the peripheral business many years ago, a lot of people scoffed. We scoffed, for instance, but we’re happy to say we were wrong. The Redmond Giant has put out a lot of good hardware over the years, and some dogs of course, and the latest to grace our desk and where the proud brown stains of regular use in the office is the Laser Desktop 7000.
Actually, that last bit is kind of inaccurate, because the black rubber wrist-rest of the keyboard and the black plastic of the mouse are more or less impervious to stains. They’re both also very comfortable, and the mouse in particular has a wonderful shape to it that really sits well in the palm of your hand. Those with smaller than average mitts may find it a touch difficult, but we found it a pleasure, at least ergonomically.
In usage, though, it’s a slightly more bitter tale. The keyboard features a curved set of keys with slightly elongated center keys; it takes a little while to get used to, and even after a couple of weeks of use, we were still making a lot more mis-keys than normal. The keys have a rubbery feel to them, and an average amount of travel. It’s not an ideal gaming board, for instance, because of that slight key displacement. There’s also the usual plethora of extra keys for media functions and extra browsing options.
The mouse, too, is not as precise as it could be. Many years of scoring headshots on de_dust has left us with a precise mouse hand, but mis-clicks abounded. This is due, in part, because of the off-set position of the laser; it sits closer to the thumb than the normal centered position, and so precise mousing and clicking can be a little challenging. The scroll wheel is clickless, which offers good operation within the GUI if Windows or other apps, but is again not ideal for gaming.
It’s an attractive set, at least, designed both visually and technically with Windows Vista in mind. The clear edge is meant to mirror the looks of Aero, while the mouse features a one-touch button that lets you take advantage of Vista’s shiny Flip function. The Laser Desktop 7000 may not be the enthusiast choice, but it’s an attractive, feature-rich option nonetheless.
This Review appeared in the August, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine