Review: Microsoft Wireless Desktop 850 (with AES)

Great, that’s just great. We’ve got another Microsoft peripheral which means more gushing about how awesome they are. Aren’t we tired of that yet? Um… no.

This is the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 850 (with AES), a full desktop setup. We say ‘full’, we all know that means that this arrangement includes a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse. So why do you want one? Besides it being a Microsoft product, we mean?

That’s surprisingly easy to answer. Microsoft’s ergonomics are in full force here, with the full-sized keyboard and the mouse displaying the contours, heft and durability we’ve come to expect from the company’s hardware.

The wireless connection is via a dongle which hides inside the mouse when not in use and users have the typical fifteen feet of range with both. Not sure what you’re doing that far from the screen but that’s your problem.

But there’s also something different. Microsoft have included Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with the Wireless Desktop 850, which is where the AES part of the name comes in. Essentially, the keyboard encrypts your keystrokes so that your information is that much more secure. Keyloggers are be a bastard, after all.

Microsoft’s biggest problem when it comes to convincing people to upgrade their wireless desktop systems is that, if the users are already using Microsoft hardware, the last lot hasn’t bombed out yet. They’re that good, so Microsoft’s sometimes a victim of its own success.

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