A closer relationship is at hand

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 4:18pm

If it feels like you are more productive at work than before, take heart - it is probably true.

A study commissioned by Microsoft said that was because of increased productivity from closer 'relationships' between workers and their computers.

The US survey, released in March, found that two out of three office workers spent at least six hours a day using a computer, and nearly 25 per cent said they spent eight hours a day at the computer.

With workers spending more time in front of the computer screen - more hours than many of us spend sleeping - the quality and comfort of peripheral input devices such as keyboards and mouses are extremely important.

Microsoft's new Wired Desktop 500 offers a complete system for today's desktop computer-bound workforce.

The keyboard gives users one-touch access to e-mail, the Web and the Microsoft Windows operating system features that are used the most. Its compact and durable design fits easily in most keyboard trays.

I particularly like the convenience offered by the e-mail and internet hot keys. This feature lets users check their e-mail or start their Web browser with the touch of a button. The my computer and calculator hot keys provide one-touch access to features used most. The media centre lets you control media activities - including play/pause, volume up, volume down, mute and Media Player launch - with the same one-touch button convenience.

To cater for the needs of Chinese-language users, Microsoft has combined the standard English keys with printed codes for Chajei Chinese input and traditional Chinese input methods.

These include keys for backspace, enter, caps lock and esc.

While most keyboards in the market are not waterproof, the Wired Desktop 500 keyboard has a spill-resistant design. It has integrated water channels for liquid to drain away.

The Microsoft Wired Desktop 500 set includes the basic optical mouse, which comes in the same black or white colour as the keyboard.

The mouse did not give my hand a stiff feeling even after a few hours of use. It also works well on most flat surfaces.

Precision is acceptable provided you do not use it with applications such as Visio.

Microsoft Wired Desktop 500


Price: $139

Pros: Attractive price, practical design and ready to use out of the box

Cons: Built for novice users who are unaccustomed to wireless peripheral equipment