PROS / The additional features on the keyboard, such as the media buttons and printed shortcuts on the keys, are a nice touch.
CONS / The mouse struggles on glass surfaces.
VERDICT / This ergonomic keyboard and mouse combo is large and comfortable, with a design that even first-time ergonomic keyboard users can appreciate.
The Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5050 is our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner. The wireless keyboard is one of two ergonomic keyboards in our comparison, and our reviewer group found the wireless mouse and keyboard combo to be among the most comfortable they used throughout our testing. This combo's unique design helps you stay comfortable and accurate, but it also provides many of the extra features you'd expect from one of the best wireless keyboard and mouse combos.
Beyond its ergonomic design, this keyboard has other nuances that make it easy to use. For starters, the N and B buttons are the largest keys on the keyboard. It looks a little funny, but once you start to type, you realize that the large landing spot for those two keys in particular makes for fewer errors and faster typing. Other keys have larger surface areas to make keys that are generally difficult to hit more accessible.
Another small but convenient layout feature is shortcut key commands that are printed on the front side of certain keys. For instance, *Save is printed in small font on the front side of the S key to let you know that pressing Ctrl+S is the shortcut to save your work. There are a handful of useful shortcuts printed on various keys. If you aren't fluent in shortcuts there is a guide on your keyboard to help you.
The Microsoft wireless keyboard features a multitude of single-button shortcuts and media keys located across the top of the keyboard. There are buttons that will open your email, your photo browser and your music. There are also media keys to play and pause music as well as adjust the volume.
Our testers really enjoyed this design of the keyboard. Many said that the large, sloped wrist rest helped keep their hands in a comfortable position as they typed. They also said that the slightly waved key designed combined with the slightly concaved key shells provided a solid typing platform. This keyboard does have an actuation point that is deeper than other keyboards. You have to press the keys down 2.8 mm, which is just a little bit further than other keyboards that measured 2 mm or less. It doesn't seem like much, but even the slightest difference can slow typing speed down. Overall, after all the data was collected, we determined that the wireless keyboard deserved an A- for comfort.
A wrist rest and media keys give the keyboard a large footprint. At 8.6 inches wide and 1.8 inches thick, this is one of the largest keyboards in our review. It is labeled the Comfort Desktop 5050 probably because it's designed to stay on your desk. If you are planning to pack this keyboard around, take note that it does take up a bit of extra space in your bag.
The wireless keyboard operates on two AAA batteries and has a battery life of up to 15 months. This falls middle of the pack in terms of battery life. Other keyboards have as short as a two-month battery span while others claim to have up to three years of battery life with a single set of batteries. In comparison, this battery life is fair.
Mouse Surface Accuracy
We tested all mice in our lineup on multiple surfaces, including wood, laminate, denim, carpet, marble and glass, to see if various surfaces affect the responsiveness of the mouse. Glass was the only surface that gave this mouse any trouble. This is a typical problem with mice that have a laser sensor. On a glass surface, the onscreen cursor became sluggish and not nearly as responsive. It would also jump from one place to another making it difficult to use. It performed great on all other surfaces. So, if possible, try to avoid using this mouse on a glass surface.
After a long period of use, our testers determined that they liked the mouse. It features an ambidextrous design – Microsoft didn't forget about all the left-handers out there. It also has four-way scrolling, a feature that few mice in our lineup have. This enables you to scroll through pages horizontally by pressing the scroll wheel left and right. Our reviewers liked the large and wide surface of the mouse. It fills up the palm and provides a comfortable place for your hand to rest. The wireless mouse also features additional clicking options on the right and left side of the mouse, further adding to its ambidextrous design.
The mouse operates on two AA batteries. Microsoft claims the battery life for the mouse with regular use is eight months. This is a fairly short battery life considering that other mice in our comparison can last up to 36 months with a single set of batteries.
Help & Support
Microsoft offers a three-year warranty on this wireless keyboard and mouse combo. You can contact the company via phone if you have any questions concerning your product.
Please note that if you are using this keyboard on a Mac computer, the basic features of the keyboard and mouse will work, but many of the additional media buttons and additional click buttons on the right and left sides of the mouse will not.
The Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5050 is one of the most comfortable laptops in our comparison. Our reviewers really liked the design of the keyboard and mouse. The keyboard features a number of additional features and buttons, as does the mouse. This is a great choice if you are looking for a wireless keyboard and mouse combo for your computer.