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MS Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth
Date 19th March 2003
Author James Rogers
Editor James "Agg" Rolfe
Manufacturer Microsoft


For a while now, Microsoft has been selling wireless desktop products - both individual units (like the Wireless Intellimouse Explorer) and combined wireless keyboard and mouse bundles. All of these products have worked off the same wireless radio technology.

With the advent of the new and more advanced wireless standard "Bluetooth", Microsoft has created their "Most Advanced Wireless Desktop Ever"... but how does it compare to the standard wireless products, and is it worth the hype? Well, Jane from Spin Communications has been kind enough to lend me the Wireless Desktop for Bluetooth for review, so we shall find out the answers to those questions!

Click to Enlarge

Opening the box
Included within the product packaging is:
1 x Wireless Keyboard for Bluetooth
1 x Wireless Intellimouse Explorer for Bluetooth
1 x USB Bluetooth Transceiver
4 x AA Energizer Batteries
1 x IntelliPoint/IntelliType for Bluetooth software CD
1 x Instruction booklet

Setting it up
Firstly, insert the included software CD and install the IntelliPoint and IntelliType for Bluetooth software. Both the software packages are much the same as the last versions of IntelliType and IntelliPoint, except both now support the Bluetooth Wireless standard. Both also include peripheral power management. Then, open the battery compartments on the bottom of the mouse and keyboard and insert the included batteries (save yourself some money and purchase some rechargeable batteries while you still have the use of those ones).

Now, you connect the Bluetooth transceiver to a USB port on your computer. From this point, a few different screens should be displayed in order to link the computer to the keyboard and mouse through a wireless connection. The keyboard connection screen first searches for the keyboard, and once detected, requires a randomly generated security code to be entered on the keyboard to make the wireless connection secure. On the mouse connection screen, the computer searches for the mouse, then an image must be clicked in a specific area of the screen to secure the connection between the mouse and the computer as well.

While the setup process is a little complicated, once it is complete you shouldn't have any problems later on down the track - and it's well worth it!

The Transceiver

Click to Enlarge

The Bluetooth transceiver that comes with the Wireless Desktop for Bluetooth is compact and looks very futuristic. In a small silver cradle sits the metallic blue colored Bluetooth transceiver. Located on the top of the transceiver unit is a small blue light to indicate the unit is powered and ready to accept transmissions from devices. The cradle can be positioned on a desk or even out of sight if you so wish. The blue colored transceiver can also be removed from the cradle and applied to a smaller USB adapter for use with a laptop if need be.

Click to Enlarge

Not only does the transceiver work with the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, it can also accept other Bluetooth compatible devices as well. This can include mobile phones, handheld PCs, laptops, etc. Using these devices with your computer can make doing things a whole lot easier in terms of synchronizing and exchanging information between machines. e.g. synchronizing your phone book with your PC, synchronizing your Outlook calendar with your iPaq... the list of possible uses is endless. The transceiver can accept up to seven Bluetooth compatible devices at one time, so if you are using your mouse and keyboard, five more devices can link up to the Bluetooth enabled PC.

The transceiver can detect Bluetooth devices from up to 30 feet (9.1 meters) away, even through walls and other objects. However, other items such as microwaves may cause interference or other factors can affect the working distance of the unit.


All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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