Microsoft has produced many keyboards and mice over its long history and there is a good chance you have likely used one at some point. For the past week or so, I have been using Microsoft’s Wireless 900 Keyboard and also with my Surface Book, the Bluetooth Mobile 3600.
The Wireless 900 Keyboard (it also comes with a mouse too) is an entry level peripheral that offers the basic features you would expect from a keyboard and not much else. The device, which is plastic, has quiet touch keys, USB plug and play functionality, and an average of a two-year battery life.
One unique feature that this keyboard does offer is encryption that helps protect your information by encoding your keystrokes. For those of you who are worried someone may try to sniff the communication channel between your PC and the keyboard, this will offer a little bit of peace of mind. Although, if you are truly that paranoid, you are likely using a wired keyboard anyway.
The mouse that is included is a simple device with a scroll wheel and your standard left and right mouse buttons. The design is universal so it will fit either your right or left hand.
In use, the keyboard and mouse operate as expected and didn’t present any barriers while using the devices. The keys are firm and have modest travel length; the firmness is greater than the Designer keyboard Microsoft sells but a bit less than the new Type cover for the Pro 4.
The media keys on this keyboard are located above the number pad but I much prefer them to be over the letters as you have to take your fingers off of the home row to reach them.
There are two options for height on the keyboard, you can keep the legs closed and use the keyboard in a flat arrangement or extend the legs to have it slanted towards you while you type. Again, nothing too out of the ordinary here but does give you some flexibility.
The mouse is about as basic as it gets but for those looking for a simple solution, it gets the job done. Movements are accurate and responsive; simply put, the mouse works.
One thing to be aware of, and it’s really not that big of a deal, is the USB receiver for the desktop is ‘large’. For those of you who used to the micro USB wireless connectors the come with other keyboards, the one that comes with this keyboard is about twice that size.
Included in the box are batteries for both the keyboard and the mouse. Microsoft does this with all their peripherals and it is a welcomed little surprise when you open the box knowing you don’t have to hunt down AA or AAA batteries to use your new devices.
Microsoft also sent me the Mobile 3600 to try out, which I used with my Surface Book while traveling or was away from my desk.
The mouse is a no-thrills options for those who need a compact Bluetooth mouse. The mouse has the same basic features as the Wireless 900 mouse but operates over Bluetooth.
In your hand, the mouse is comfortable and responsive; no issues with any sort of input lag. During my use I have no major complaints, it’s a mobile mouse and it works as intended.
The Wireless 900 Desktop will set you back $49.95 and the Bluetooth Mobile 3600 runs $29.95. Seeing as both are inexpensive, it’s understandable why they lack any sort of power-user features or better materials.
If you are looking for a basic mouse and keyboard, the Wireless 900 Desktop will serve you well as long as you understand that it is a basic setup made of low quality, but durable, plastic. The same can be said for the Bluetooth Mobile 3600 as well, it gets the job done without much fuss.