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BenQ X730 Wireless Desktop Companion Pro review: BenQ X730 Wireless Desktop Companion Pro

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MSRP: $99.99
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BenQ X730 Wireless Desktop Companion Pro

With the help of BMW's DesignUSA design shop, BenQ's X730 Wireless Desktop Companion Pro brings high-concept styling to the humble mouse and keyboard. While perhaps not as slick looking nor as comfortable as the Logitech DiNovo Cordless Desktop, it's cheaper at $100, and its extra buttons and features give it a bit more practical functionality than Logitech's luxe set provides.

The first thing you might notice about the X730 Wireless Desktop Companion Pro is its concave design. Housed in a plastic cradle, the keyboard slides--with some difficulty--to four different notched settings, giving you the flexibility to set the keyboard at whatever angle you like. A smartly sculpted bulge along the front edge of the cradle works as a wrist rest, but the inward curve of the keyboard angles the keys toward one another, resulting in a cramped layout prone to erroneous keystrokes. The ambidextrous 800dpi cordless optical mouse has clean lines and a sturdy-feeling scrollwheel, with two programmable buttons in a line down the middle of the body and none on either side.

Two standout features help distinguish the X730 Wireless Desktop Companion Pro from other wireless desktop sets we've seen. The first is the scrollwheel on the left side of the keyboard, now a relatively common feature on keyboards from Logitech and Microsoft. Unlike those, BenQ's version requires you to press a button to toggle between vertical and horizontal modes--a design we actually prefer, since it ensures that you won't mistakenly scroll in more than one direction. The other high point of the BenQ set is its assortment of media-control keys. With a volume knob that's much easier to distinguish than a pair of tiny buttons, the media-control keys worked in every application we tried, including Winamp, which gave the Logitech set trouble.

Setup is a breeze, requiring only pressing the standard call-and-response connection button on each piece of hardware. The hockey puck-shaped wireless receiver, while not a diminutive USB minireceiver, looks more elegant than others we've seen. Both the mouse and the keyboard require a pair of AA batteries, four of which came in the box.

The Takeaway
Editor's Rating

The Good
Unique design; sturdy scrollwheels; easy-to-find volume knob; media buttons work with many applications.

The Bad
Awkward concave keyboard causes too many typos.

The Bottom Line
BenQ's X730 Wireless Desktop Companion Pro mostly hits all of the right notes in its quest to infiltrate the high-end input market. Serious typists, however, should beware.

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