But why is it a 'comfort' keyboard though? Well, like Logitech did with the K350, Microsoft has set the keys in a gentle curve rather than in straight rows, in the hope of allowing your wrists to adopt a more natural, and therefore more comfortable, position.
The current trend is for thin keyboards that look like they've been borrowed from laptops, but Microsoft hasn't jumped on the bandwagon. The whole thing is very solid, with deep keys. They are well set, though, given a dull sound while you type, even with the space bar.
Wrist rest and removable stand
As you can see in the photo above, the keyboard includes a wrist rest that looks very much like it's made of rubber. Appearances can be deceptive though: rather than being soft and comfortable like the Logitech K350's, it's actually made of hard plastic. It doesn't really manage to do the job we'd expect of it.
Without the stand
|Stand at the front of the keyboard
||Stand at the back of the keyboard
Underneath are four slots (two at the front and two at the back) which can house an optional stand. That gives three possible combinations: you can either tilt the keyboard backwards or forwards or leave it to lie flat. We preferred this last option, as with the other two, the keyboard sloped too much, which was uncomfortable.
Shorcut keys and driver
The Wireless Comfort 500 has no fewer than 126 keys. Normally, you only need 107 for typing, so you have 19 extra here. Most of them are found along the top of the keyboard, and to fit them in, Microsoft made them run right up to the edge, which produces an attractive result.
According to Microsoft, the keyboard has been optimised for Windows 7. By default, the hotkeys we just mentioned control features of the manufacturer's new OS. The buttons numbered 1 to 5, for instance, launch the first five programs on your taskbar if you don't assign another function to them.
If you haven't yet upgraded to Windows 7, then the shortcut keys aren't activated by default. Don't panic though: you just need to use the driver to tell the keyboard which program you'd like to run when you press each button.
You can also assign macros to the hotkeys, and save a series of key presses that will be activated when you press a single button. This can be very handy in both applications and games, and is useful for example in both Photoshop and World of Warcraft.
- Quiet typing: keys don't rattle
- Comfortable mouse can be used with both hands
- Shortuct keys
- Macros can be configured
- Wrist rest is too hard
- Large keyboard
- Mouse isn't up to gaming
The Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 is a good keyboard and mouse kit, but we were expecting more from a high-end pack like this. The keyboard is quiet and has plenty of shortcut keys, but the wrist rest is too hard for our liking and the mouse is rather basic.