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Belkin Wireless Keyboard and Ergo Optical Mouse review: Belkin Wireless Keyboard and Ergo Optical Mouse

MSRP: $79.99
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The Good Comes USB- and PS/2-equipped; comfortable design; useful hot keys.

The Bad The mouse is finicky; hot keys don't always work.

The Bottom Line Belkin's wireless keyboard and mouse set achieves its goal of tidying up your work area, but operating glitches keep it from being an ideal system.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.6 Overall

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Belkin Wireless Keyboard and Ergo Optical Mouse

Belkin's Wireless Keyboard and Ergo Optical Mouse set aims to clean up your workspace by cutting the cords. At $85, the set should provide flawless operation and setup; unfortunately, it suffers from separation anxiety.

On the second kit we tested, the quick setup worked smoothly and took less than five minutes. The first set was problematic because the receiver failed to properly sense either the keyboard or the mouse. The set comes with a lifetime warranty, and when we called customer service, the rep was fast, friendly, and helpful. To set up the second set, we plugged the receiver into the USB port (it also comes with a PS/2 adapter) and manually synchronized the mouse and the keyboard, although the instructions say the set should synchronize itself.

The paper instructions are for quick setup only, but they're clear and include pictures. The installation CD comes with a more detailed electronic manual that has disclaimers, troubleshooting advice, and instructions on how to customize the keyboard and the mouse. We used the troubleshooting guide a couple of times to understand why our first system wasn't working and why the new mouse was finicky. Unfortunately, its suggestions to check the batteries and clear interference didn't solve our problems.

The keyboard shortcuts work out of the box, but they don't always operate like they're supposed to. When we hit the Desktop hot key, it occasionally took us to the desktop but made the taskbar disappear. The Home/Favorites key didn't take us to our home page; instead, it showed only our favorites. Even more annoying, hitting the Sleep button affects both the computer and the receiver, which means, of course, that the Wake-up button doesn't function. A disclaimer in the electronic manual warns of this problem, but it's such a gaffe, we can't understand how it escaped the factory.

If you choose to install the hardware, you can add features to your desktop such as battery monitors for both tools and alerts that pop up if you hit any of the lock buttons. Installing the set also lets you customize the hot buttons through an intuitive properties-manager program.

Belkin's Wireless Keyboard and Ergo Optical Mouse set achieves a fairly high level of comfort with a foldaway plastic wrist rest and retractable legs that let you adjust the height of the keyboard. The mouse, though ergonomic, is made only for right-handed users, and on some surfaces, it drops the RF signal and ceases to function.

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