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Product: Wireless Optical Desktop 5000
Company: Microsoft
Website: http://www.microsoft.com
Estimated Street Price:
$104.95

Review By: Robert Stein

These days it seems everyone has a digital camera, with rolls of used film now being replaced by folders and folders of photos in of the most prevalent digital movements in the 21st century. One of the latest Microsoft hardware packages is designed simplify and improve your digital photo experience by combining an excellent digital imaging software package with hardware with digital imaging specific features. Microsoft has released the newest version of the Microsoft Optical Desktop by transforming some Microsoft classics (Comfort Curve Keyboard and Wireless Optical Mouse) into photo editing tools. To accomplish that task, Microsoft has included the well-versed Microsoft Digital Image 2006 Standard software. Does the mouse and keyboard combo live up to its promises? Read on to find out.

Microsoft Wireless Comfort Curve Keyboard

  • New! PhotoCenter provides one-touch control of common editing tasks — including edit, send, print, slide show and library — which reduces editing steps.
  • Curved keyboard design delivers more comfort in an easy-to-use keyboard layout that people prefer by a ratio of 3-to-1 over top-selling flat keyboards.1 With a slight 6-degree angle, it encourages a more natural position while being very approachable.
  • Zoom Slider on the keyboard enables effortless control of digital photos and documents with just the touch of a finger, delivering true compatibility between hardware and software. Simply push the slider up or down to zoom in and out when navigating large documents or images. It’s the perfect companion for digital camera owners, 80 percent of whom store or access their images on the computer.2
  • Redesigned Multimedia Center offers one-touch control of music, video and more. Now you can play your favorite songs or navigate clips with the touch of a button.
  • My Favorites Keys deliver one-touch access to most-used Web sites, files and folders. Simply push and hold the key to assign it to the current destination, just as you would a car stereo’s preset buttons. The key assignments also move with the individual user settings. In addition, you can simply push the Show Favorites Key to reveal the current assignment of each of the five My Favorites Keys.
  • Customizable Hot Keys, including Messenger, Mail and Web/Home, allow you to quickly launch your favorite programs.
  • Enhanced F Keys make it easy to complete common tasks with one touch. Keys are conveniently grouped according to usage patterns, such as New, Open and Close. You also can set traditional F Key functions with the F Key lock.
  • A smart receiver improves 27MHz wireless technology and cuts down on interference. The smart receiver and intuitive software (included) notify you when interference occurs from other wireless devices, such as a cordless phone, and offer ways to reduce it. Microsoft is a leader in the industry for working to reduce the likelihood of interference by using 65,000 random identification codes.
  • Wireless freedom allows you to sit back and click up to six feet away from the receiver, even if it is out of sight. Eliminating wires on the desk also means less clutter and a more organized space.

Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse

  • New! Magnifier tool enlarges any section of the screen, enabling real-time magnified viewing and editing of images, documents, Web sites and more. Simply push the Magnifier button and move the cursor over any portion of the screen that you want to enlarge.
  • New! Improved performance with enhanced tracking technology features smoother and more accurate cursor control over a wide variety of surfaces.
  • Proprietary Tilt Wheel delivers convenient four-way scrolling capabilities. You can scroll smoothly vertically and now horizontally, which is perfect for navigating long Web pages or spreadsheets. By depressing the scroll wheel, you can toggle among open windows, which is especially useful because research shows most people have three applications running simultaneously.3
  • Shapely design conforms to the hand with an ergonomic form. The finger grooves and thumb scoop enhance the user’s grip, helping keep the hand and forearm naturally aligned.
  • Five customizable buttons, including the Tilt Wheel and Magnifier, can be easily changed to perform popular commands with a single touch. The side buttons are set by default for easy forward and backward Internet navigation.
  • Microsoft High Definition Optical Technology

Microsoft Digital Image Standard 2006

  • Powerful yet easy-to-use photo imaging software helps you enhance and organize photos.


 

Setup & Installation 

Mouse & Keyboard Setup: The installation is quite simple. First, just insert the CD which comes with the keyboard and mouse. You will install the IntelliType 5.2 and IntelliPoint 5.2 software, neither of which are required (though needed for the advanced button functionality). Nothing really has changed since last year's versions. The wireless receiver is almost 5 inches long and three inches high, and works with either PS/2 or USB ports. Of course, Microsoft has included four sealed Energizer AA batteries for the keyboard and mouse. When the receiver is plugged in you just push the button then press the corresponding connect buttons on both the mouse and keyboard to establish a connecting frequency. With that done you should be all set to go! The photo specific features of the keyboard will work only with Microsoft Digital Image 2006 and not other photo-editing software. Therefore, to use those features you must install Microsoft Digital Image 2006 which is included in the package.
 

Microsoft IntelliType Pro Software

If you would like to adjust your keyboard settings, i.e. reprogram its hotkeys, then you’ll want to install Microsoft IntelliType Pro 5.2 software. Installation of the IntelliType Pro 5.2 software (although not needed) is a breeze. Just pop in the CD included or download the software (about 8 MB). To customize your keys, select either “Keyboard” from the Control Panel or “Microsoft Keyboard” from the Program menu. On the Key Settings tab, you’ll see a list of thirty hot key defaults, which you can reprogram if you like. Another nice feature is you can print out a list of the key assignments, which is good for those who like to reprogram a significant amount of keys. From here you can edit your key assignments from a list of fifty-five available commands. Options include disabling, programming to open a webpage or file, and reprogramming to fit Microsoft’s available commands. Some keys, however, such as the Caps Lock, you can only disable the key, not reprogram it.

To customize your keys, select either “Keyboard” from the Control Panel or “Microsoft Keyboard” from the Program menu. On the Key Settings tab, you’ll see a list of thirty hot key defaults, which you can reprogram if you like. Another nice feature is you can print out a list of the key assignments, which is good for those who like to reprogram a significant amount of keys. From here you can edit your key assignments from a list of fifty-five available commands. Options include disabling, programming to open a webpage or file, and reprogramming to fit Microsoft’s available commands. Some keys, however, such as the Caps Lock, you can only disable the key, not reprogram it.

Microsoft IntelliPoint Software

If you want to customize your mouse, you will have to install IntelliPoint (about 7 MB). To customize your mouse keys, select either "Mouse" for the Control Panel or "Microsoft Mouse" from the program menu. On the buttons tab you can click on the different buttons and reassign the keys to a variety of functions. In this software you can also change your pointers, other pointer options, view which hardware is connected, change scrolling options, and view wireless features. The software is easy to use and is required for advanced functionality of the mouse.

Mouse Design

The Wireless Optical Mouse sizes up at 4.5 inches long, 3 inches wide and an 1.5 inches high. The mouse has a dark blue finish around the top and middle, with a sleek black design on the bottom sides. The black has a very "tech" feel, it is very subtle and appeasing to look at. As you can see in the image below, there is a nice silver Microsoft "Optical Technology" logo on the front of the mouse.

The Wireless Optical Mouse has 2 extra buttons on the left and a scroll wheel (which also serves as a button), so there is a total of five programmable buttons. One of the new features of the mouse is the magnifier button. This new magnifier allows you to bring an zoom box on the screen in all types of programs. One really cool thing about this feature is if say you use it in Excel, you can edit within the zoom box. This feature is a much improved version of the accessibility magnifier feature within Windows. The scroll wheel has the tilt technology feature, which helps scroll left and right. The scroll wheel is a transparent white. The mouse has a similar, but improved look as previous wireless desktops. The size makes this mouse easy to use for long periods of times, without irritating the wrist (something I particularly find important).  Unlike the Bluetooth IntelliMouse Explorer, this mouse will only work 6-10 feet away from the base at any given time. The upside, though, is the mouse will use less battery power overall, as Microsoft is now claiming a battery life over 6 months or longer.

Microsoft High Definition Optical Technology

Microsoft has provided a well deserved update to an already great optical technology. This product includes the new Microsoft High Definition Optical Technology which aims to improve performance at much higher levels than the previous optical technology. The technology is 6000 frames per second (FPS) - an improvement over the 2500 FPS of most of the previous optical mice. Other technology improvements that have been made include 1000 dots per inch (DPI) resolution, 85 million operations per second (MOPS), .18 CMOS technology and the Microsoft Intelligent Tracking System. Microsoft optical technologies have been well tested for many years now and work smoothly on most surfaces. It has been broken-in well with previous mice, so you know you won’t have any problem. 
 

Keyboard Design

This keyboard is an update of one of Microsoft’s newer keyboard designs in 2004, and offers photo-specific improvements in style and features over its’ predecessor. The keyboard has a standard length of 19 inches and width of 9.5. The keyboard is very slim at 1.5 inches high, although still very sturdy. The design has a matte silver finish with matte black keys. The top of the keyboard, above the function keys, is matte blue (same dark color as the middle of the mouse). The palm rest is attached with a very comfortable matte black rubber material.

Starting from the left, there are the five designated function buttons on the curved part, now called the "Photo Center": Library, Edit, Send, Print and Slide Show. The "Photo Center" buttons automatically open the corresponding feature within Microsoft Digital Image 2006. These buttons are blue. Set in the curvature of the buttons is the Zoom Slider, a feature new this year to Microsoft's keyboards. The zoom function is 2 inches long and a half inch wide (we'll get to the functionality in a bit).  In the top bar, there are media (Play, Stop, pause, etc.)  keys, and in the center are the “favorite” keys. These keys, 1-5 can be assigned for any function. The center star key brings up the assign box where you can designate which keys have which functions. Next there are the remaining standard keys calculator, log off, and sleep, on the far right. All keys can be reassigned however by using IntelliType Pro software. There is also an F Lock key where you can switch between standard and enhanced functions.
 

The Zoom Slider

One of the new features of the comfort curve keyboard when it was released last year is the Zoom Slider, as we mentioned earlier. The Zoom Slider is perfect for those of you who want to zoom in on digital images, graphics, etc. (the best use we have found for the product), or to a lesser extent, text and web pages. You can control the zooming speed, have "accelerated zooming" and more all through the IntelliType software included. There are a variety of programs that work with the Zoom Slider (even though the other photo buttons work only with Digital Image 2006): Word, Picture Viewer, AOL, PhotoShop, Office, Visio, Acrobat, Acrobat Reader, PageMaker, even Netscape and many more. Strangely though, it does not work will all Microsoft products: Frontpage, MapPoint, Lotus, etc. Click to view the full list of non-compatible products or compatible products, respectively.

Final Comments

How It Grades

Installation: 95%
Performance: 90%
Design: 90%
Price/Value: 95%
Overall: 92.5%

This product is perfect for those who love digital photos and feel there is room for an improvement for their overall digital image experience. The keyboard design has been refined over last year's model and provides an updated look over previous desktops, though still not of the "natural" form though somewhat ergonomic. The Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 5000 is good looking and indeed, fairly comfortable. The mouse has four buttons (including the new magnifier feature), not to mention the multi-function tilting scroll wheel, so I feel those who seek the most functionality will enjoy this product. The photo-specific features of the product have been combined well with the Microsoft Digital Image 2006 photo editing software.  However, that stated, because the photo features of the keyboard do not work with other photo software, this keyboard is not for digital professionals, but rather a sophisticated home user. Also, Microsoft includes four Energizer batteries for the mouse and keyboard, which I feel is completely classy since the standard generics are not included. I feel the price is excellent considering the Digital Image 2006 Standard software is $50 alone.

ActiveWin.com: Wireless Optical Desktop 5000 Microsoft Product Manager Interview

Specs & Package
Overall Score 92.5%
Version Reviewed Wireless Optical Desktop 5000
Release Date Out Now
The Good Points Enhanced Optical Technology
Nice Color/Design
Longer Battery Life
Tilt Wheel
Zoom Slider
Magnifer
The Bad Points No Natural Edition
Not Bluetooth
Receiver is large
Similar Product Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard
System Requirements

To use Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 5000, users should install included IntelliType Pro keyboard software and IntelliPoint mouse software for full functionality of all the features including the Zoom Slider, My Favorites Keys, Magnifier and Tilt Wheel. Users also need the following:

For a Windows-based PC:

Microsoft Windows® 2000, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Media Center Edition or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

Pentium 233 MHz or higher processor

128 MB of RAM

60 MB of available hard disk space

CD-ROM drive

An available PS/2 keyboard port or USB port on the PC

Additional system requirements:

· Internet Hot Keys are supported for use with the following:

– Windows-based PC: Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.0 or later; MSN® Explorer versions 7.0 or 8.0; Netscape Navigator versions 6.1, 6.2 or 7.0; and AOL versions 7.0, 8.0 or 9.0

· Multimedia Hot Keys are supported for use with the following:

– Windows-based PC: Versions of Microsoft CD Player, Microsoft Deluxe CD, Microsoft Windows Media® Player, and certain versions of other popular media players and browsers

· Four AA batteries required (included)

· Sleep Hot Key functionality is available if the system supports power management and has it enabled, and if all peripherals are compatible with power management.

To use Microsoft Digital Image Standard 2006, users need the following:

For a Windows-based PC:

· Multimedia PC with Pentium 700-MHz or faster processor

· Microsoft Windows 98 SE, Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me), Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating system

· Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 software required and included (Up to an additional 60 MB of hard disk space may be required for Internet Explorer upgrade. This installation will not replace the primary browser.)

· 128 MB of RAM

· 300 MB of available hard disk space

· 4x or higher CD-ROM drive

· Super VGA monitor (800x600, 16-bit color or better)

· 1 MB of Video RAM

Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device

Additional system requirements:

· Compatible with the following:

Most digital cameras, scanners, printers and storage devices

JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, FPX and other image file formats

 

 

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