With the kind of style you would not usually associate with Microsoft, this portable keyboard is sure to be a useful accessory for netbook users that find their keyboards to be that little bit too fiddly.
Keyboards are not exactly something you would – or for that matter should – get too excited about. That said they are extremely important tools for very obvious reasons – they are a critical part of what makes a computer work.
Simply having the alphabet and relevant punctuation is not quite enough for the modern keyboard, however. Firstly there are ergonomic concerns, with the traditional keyboard being blamed for many a maimed carpal tunnel. Secondly as the computer becomes more a device of the sitting room it must go beyond functionality and have a somewhat respectable look about them.
Last but not least – as is the general trend of computing – keyboards that are free of wires are now becoming the standard, simply for the sake of convenience. With its Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 Microsoft appears to be doing what it can to address all of these elements.
The layout of the keyboard itself is based on the company’s ‘curve’, meaning the keys bend upwards at both end to somewhat match the natural positioning of the hands. It is not a fully ergonomic layout but it is a lot closer to it than the standard laptop or computer design. This altered pattern takes a little bit of getting used to at first with it being very easy to hit wrong key while typing – it does not take too long to adjust once you give it time, however.
The curved design does have the added benefit of making the keyboard that little bit more easy on the eye; the extremely slim casing also makes it quite a neat fit on the desk.
Last but not least, as the name suggests, the keyboard connects to the computer via Bluetooth, meaning it does not require any kind of USB connection to work. The downside of this, of course, is that it will only work on laptops or computers with Bluetooth built-in. This is something that is increasingly common on new computers and if yours does not have it you can always buy an attachment for a relatively small cost.
Connecting to the computer is easy to do generally, although it can some times take a bit of trial and error for both devices to find each other and ‘pair’ properly. Once you have done it the keyboard should remember the computer and vice versa, meaning you can turn it off and not have to worry about going through the motions again when you switch it on. The keyboard also comes with a separate numeric pad which also connects via Bluetooth – and it should be no problem to have either one or both connected at the same time.
Overall this keyboard is quite a nice replacement for the bog-standard one that tends to come with new PCs. It would also be a very handy addition for netbook users who type a lot but find the keyboard a little bit too small. It may defeat the purpose of having a netbook if you have to lug around a load of accessories along with it but as the name suggests this is quite portable and will not add to much weight or bulk to your bag.