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Microsoft Bluetooth mouse and keyboard review
Posted on 17-Jun-2003 08:43 | Tags Filed under: Reviews


Microsoft Bluetooth mouse and keyboard review
Just received a Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard and good news: I have them working with my TDK USB dongle 1.4.2 build 1.

The Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard and mouse come as a kit with a Bluetooth receiver, installation CD with Bluetooth, mouse and keyboard drivers.

Unfortunately the Microsoft Bluetooth stack works only on Windows XP, and only a few Bluetooth profiles were implemented: Human Interface Devices, Dial Up, and Print hardcopy.

As a result, Bluetooth devices other than printers, mobile phones, mouse and keyboard can be paired, but can not connect and use any service from your computer if using the Microsoft Bluetooth receiver (at least until an update comes out).

Until now none of other Bluetooth stacks supported HID. This is about to change. With a new version coming out soon, devices using the Widcomm Bluetooth stack will be able to use the HID profile. In my case I'm using the TDK 1.4.2 build 1 software, which is a beta version, and should be released soon from TDK website.

Using these devices is fairly easy: insert the batteries in the mouse and keyboard. Press the connect button under the keyboard and start a device search from your computer. After the keyboard is found, double click the icon corresponding to this new device, and the pairing dialog will show up, but instead of asking for a pair key, it will show one, and ask the user to enter the number using the newly discovered keyboard. This is all that is needed. Similar instructions for the mouse, except that no pairing is needed.
Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard and mouse connected
The devices will enter a sleep mode when the computer is powered off. If any key is pressed, or if the mouse is moved, a request will be sent to the paired computer, opening the connection again.

The mouse is ergonomical, and my hand adjusted very comfortably around it.

The keyboard is very comfortable and the keys give a good feel. It is full of resources, including multimedia keys and modified function keys with multiple functionality. If you're used to a standard 101 keys US keyboard, it might feel a little strange, mainly because of a slightly different key disposition, but nothing to worry about, after half hour use. The keyboard is black with a dark blue border, which looks very nice.

Interesting to note the keyboard response while using the non-Microsoft adapter is very good, while the mouse seems to sleep now and then.

The Microsoft Bluetooth receiver comes in two pieces, so you can attach it directly to a USB port in your computer, or plug it into a stand and have it in your desk. And it looks good.

If you're just after a wireless solution for your desk and use Windows XP, this is a very good device to add to your setup. If you're using Windows 2000, or Windows XP but already have a Bluetooth adapter, wait for a new version from the manufacturer (at least 1.4), and add this keyboard to your computer. I think it's worth it, just to make the desk look clean without the wires (and it looks cool too) .



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