Physically, the keyboard that comes with the Wireless Optical Desktop Pro is expertly designed for maximum comfort while typing. The keys could probably be a little easier to press and a little more shallow, but overall it's quite comfortable. Although it is nearly identical in design, this keyboard doesn't suffer from the stiff, creaky keys of the corded edition of the Natural Multimedia keyboard.
The only bad quality of the wireless edition of the Natural keyboard is F-Lock, which is a key that you must press in order to gain access to the funtion keys. It's off by default. That means that every time you start or restart your computer you have to hit the F-Lock key in order to use the F keys.
To use the extra multimedia keys, you need to install special software from Microsoft. Outside of Windows, you can map the extra keys using the keyboard configuration module in GNOME or KDE. The multimedia controls are nice if you don't have your speaker volume in front of you already, and the calculator button is convenient if you use the calculator often, but the other buttons are superfluous at best and annoying at worst. As for the standard keys, there are no labels for Apple users.
What a disaster this keyboard was to install in Windows XP! You'd figure that being a Microsoft product, it would work well with a Microsoft operating system, but that was not the case. The Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Pro wouldn't work at all in Windows XP Pro despite having followed the directions and properly installed the drivers. I could get the mouse to work only through USB. GNU/Linux and FreeBSD both detected the keyboard and mouse without incident.
The Microsoft Wireless Natural keyboard is only available as part of the Wireless Optical Desktop Pro package, with the Wireless Intellimouse Explorer. The mouse is available separately, if that's all you're after.
|Model||Wireless Optical Desktop Pro|
|Interface||USB (keyboard/mouse) and PS/2 (keyboard), with PS/2 adapter for PS/2 mouse port|
|Price (retail)||U.S. $76 Buy it from Amazon.com|