This week I gave up on my Microsoft Natural Wireless Keyboard and Mouse. I was given it by the Visual Studio Team System group for particpating in some focus groups at Tech Ed last year. (Thanks again guys.)
But the whole split keyboard thing just wasn’t working for me. I am now a touch typer, but switching between that and my laptop keyboard was just too difficult. But luckily for me Brad wanted _place_holder;a Natural, so I took him over to the company store, had him buy the one I wanted and then we traded.
What I got was the Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Elite. A nice straight keyboard, fancy leather-like palm rest, wireless mouse with tilt wheel, and all the other doodads.
In general I’m happy with it. The keyboard feels nice under my fingers. I’m faster on it than I am on either the laptop keyboard or the old Natural. And this one remembers the F-Lock state between shutdowns. I don’t know if it is new drivers or what, but that alone makes this thing worth the money.
There are a few interesting annoyancesΓÇª
- The software regularly pops up a modal dialog box claiming the mouse had a dead battery. It does not.
- They Play/Pause media button works with iTunes () but seems to send double keypresses (). This _place_holder;could be a bug in iTunes, but I’m not sure.
- Who decided that the Function keys should be grouped into blocks of three instead of blocks of four?
- I still think the idea to get rid of the Insert key was wrong. I miss that key.
Another thing that I would like to see, that I haven’t seem on any keyboard is one with a little “eraser head” mouse pointer in betweeen the G-H-B keys. That would be nice. Then, for relatively simple mousing activities I wouldn’t have to leave the home row.