Functional improvements but hampered by mice and OS requirements. (August 31st, 2008)
Product Manufacturer: Microsoft
Price: Media Desktop, $50; Laser Desktop, $100
- More compact designs.
- Quiet, comfortable keys and palm rests.
- Useful key presets, particularly in Windows.
- Laser Desktop 6000's mouse is comfortable; Media Desktop 1000 has a good wheel. - Good price for the Media Desktop 1000.
- Mouse wheel on the Laser Desktop 6000 is imprecise and unpleasant.
- Many features are dependent on Windows, sometimes Vista alone; some are trivial.
- Laser Desktop 6000 is expensive for the features difference versus the 1000.
- Media Desktop 1000 has a large USB receiver for no apparent reason.
- Battery life is potentially much shorter than for some competitors, if still reasonable.
If there's a fault to the two Desktop pairings, it's that they're overly targeted towards one platform and towards a particular set of users; those that type very frequently, such as at work, may well find these perfect precisely because of their fairly compact, comfortable, and quiet keyboards. They're also good fits for those who actually make use of Windows Vista's more esoteric features and are frustrated with older or more generic keyboards.
For everyone else, however, it's harder to make an immediate recommendation, albeit for different reasons. The 6000 is hampered by a poor mouse wheel and a relatively high cost (estimated at $100) for functionality that can be limited in all but specific situations. The 1000 is more reasonably priced and has a more universally appealing mouse, but isn't quite as comfortable and comes with a self-defeating USB receiver. A significant amount of functionality also goes away immediately with a non-Microsoft OS, and the Flip 3D key is only relevant in Vista.
As such, it's hard to view either set as more than strictly average. Their chief advantages are their prices, which sit below Logitech's generally more expensive offerings for similar components. If anything, the Wireless Media Desktop 1000 is the best deal simply because it represents the best value for the money. Its mouse may be more restricted, but its better controls and cost relative to features make it a suitable replacement for a computer's pack-in keyboard.