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Posted

First off, many thanks to all of you who came to my aid with recommendations in [url="http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=614368&hl=mx3200"]this thread[/url].

I finally decided on the MX3200 as my ultra-quiet keyboard of choice and I'm on my first day of using it at work.


I did purchase this keyboard with the express purpose of finding a keyboard that would make as little noise as possible. I have a psychological hangup about people paying attention to me, or at least unnecessary attention, and a result of that is that I want to draw as little attention to myself as possible. I think it's an Aspie thing, but having people's eyes on me makes my skin crawl. Anyway, the Dell-branded noisemaker-with-keys that was on my PC was less than optimal for my going ignored (and don't ask me why - I work with great people, but like I said, I just hate drawing attention to myself unless I absolutely have no other choice) and so I ordered me an MX3200.

[b]Basics:[/b]
The MX3200 is a "standard" form-factor keyboard (i.e. straight, no hump or curve or anything), with numeric keypad, full-size. It has a number of additional keys (more later) and a touch-sensitive zoom/magnify bar. Also, it comes paired with a wireless laser MX600 mouse.

[b]Noise factor - The Biggie[/b]
As noise levels go, the MX3200 produces some very quiet and subdued clicks if I type at full speed (something I still can't quite do as I haven't developed a feel for the keyboard just yet, give me a couple days). If I slow down my typing and soften up the keystrokes, it is almost completely silent.

[b]Feel:[/b]
The keys are large and comfortable to press. There's an antibacterial coating on the device that lends a "slippery-soft" feel to the key surfaces, but it's oddly pleasant. Keystrokes are a tiny bit "mushy" but it's really only a problem when I'm hotkey-chaining like crazy in my various development environments, image editors, etc. Keypress depth is pretty deep, which I like. I've used deeper and shallower keyboards, and this one is pretty much the Goldilocks board as key depth goes. I don't feel like I have to mash every key as far as it'll go, but my fingers don't "bottom out" unexpectedly either. Also, the double-tall forward-delete key is nice for command-line environments like my mainframe terminal emulator and, again, some of my IDEs. Function keys are small, but placed such that everything from F1-F7 is easily within reach of my left hand without the need for me to move it from its resting position, or requiring only the slightest of moves. The same goes for F9-F12 and the right hand.

There's a palm-rest that's curved and angled just about perfect and is also coated with the antibacterial surface material. It has more of a non-slip feel than the keys and is quite comfortable on the hands.

[b]Additional Functionality:[/b]
There are 11 multimedia buttons along the top row by the integrated LCD clock, with the usual functions: Play, Pause, Stop, Volume, Skip, etc. The MX3200 also has a launcher for a calculator (Windows default is calc.exe, haven't tried on my Mac or Linux systems), a sleep/suspend button, three buttons for VoIP functionality (box boasts AIM/Yahoo functionality, though I'm sure they can be hotkeyed to Ekiga, Skype, iChat, or a number of other VoIP software), and a number of preset functions that are programmable and are accessed through its laptop-esque "Fn" key.

One feature in particular stands out (enough to get its own paragraph, even), and that is the multi-function search area on the left side of the keyboard. In addition to a row of function buttons for searches, a Close button, and a custom Alt-Tab button, there's a touch-sensitive zoom bar that will zoom in and out (ostensibly via Ctrl+ and Ctrl-, though I haven't found a way to reprogram it yet) as you slide your finger up and down it. Also, Logitech have demonstrated enough foresight to put a "100%" button (also touch-activated) beneath the bar to counter any frustration that may come from inadvertently touching the bar and altering magnification settings. In all honesty, though, you'd really have to try (or have Guinness Book finger size) to bump the bar by accident.

Though not a button, the keyboard features an integrated LCD clock. To be perfectly honest, it seems a little superfluous in that most users will have a clock on their PCs anyway, but I suppose it's for people who work in command-line interfaces or perhaps for home-theater PCs where it's being used at too great a distance from the PC to be able to read the system clock (which would be obscured by full-screen video anyway).


[b]Other:[/b]
I had a minor problem at first with the connection dropping and keystrokes either not going through or repeating, but I realized it was because I hadn't explicitly established a connection with the mouse even though I had full use of the mouse. As soon as I pressed the "Connect" button on the mouse, all was well. Moral of the story: Connect all your devices properly before you use them!

It's also a very nice-looking device (or pair of devices, as it were). Black and charcoal-grey make for a great colour scheme and the keys are just rounded enough to have a sort of "organic" look without looking strange. There are a few blue and orange highlights that serve to make it extra-shiny, and a few glossy areas up around the clock and along the sides and bottom, where the VoIP buttons are. The whole thing smacks of polish and looks really nice on my desk.

And now, pictures.

[attachment=190538:MX3200_Boxed.jpg]
[attachment=190539:MX3200_Unboxed.jpg]
[attachment=190540:MX3200.jpg]
[attachment=190541:Mouse.jpg]

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Posted

It's not just a clock. It's also a timer, etc, and also has a character count function to see what 'mileage' you are getting :p

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Posted

The keyboard looks really great though i'm not so sure on the mouse, i'm too used to the new scroll Logitech have going on the MX/VX.

Great review :yes:

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Posted

Mm nice.
I doubt the Dell was loud, though, mine came with a Dell keyboard that was extremely quiet, but I got this Microsoft Optical Desktop Elite which is nice, with leather palm rest and all but [b]very[/b] loud.
Yours seems a nice mix, is the palm rest soft?

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Posted

Right on time - I was getting this set anyhow because I tried it at a friend of mine, but you just convinced me some more :)

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Posted

[quote name='chconline' post='589176956' date='Jan 31 2008, 18:53']It's not just a clock. It's also a timer, etc, and also has a character count function to see what 'mileage' you are getting :p[/quote]

Oh, awesome. I definitely need to keep experimenting with the features. Not sure what use I'd have for a timer but the mileage function is cool.


[quote name='EL' post='589177465' date='Jan 31 2008, 23:23']The keyboard looks really great though i'm not so sure on the mouse, i'm too used to the new scroll Logitech have going on the MX/VX.

Great review :yes:[/quote]

The mouse is a step down from the MX Revolution I had plugged in before. Unfortunately the wireless receivers aren't cross-compatible and to use the MX Revo with the MX3200 would mean having 2 wireless receivers and also no way to use the bundled mouse. The 600 isn't terribly uncomfortable or anything, though - just not as slick as the Revo.


[quote name='Doom1468' post='589177663' date='Feb 1 2008, 02:46']Mm nice.
I doubt the Dell was loud, though, mine came with a Dell keyboard that was extremely quiet, but I got this Microsoft Optical Desktop Elite which is nice, with leather palm rest and all but [b]very[/b] loud.
Yours seems a nice mix, is the palm rest soft?[/quote]

Palm rest is soft but not squishy. It'll support your hands but if you're looking for something more pillowy I'm sure there are softer out there.

The Dell wasn't Model-M loud, but it was cheaply built and didn't go out of its way to absorb noise like the MX3200 does. Plus the Dell keyboard's spacebar sat loosely on its mount and would click and rattle as it shifted when you hit it. Hated that.


[quote name='Keito' post='589177669' date='Feb 1 2008, 02:53']Right on time - I was getting this set anyhow because I tried it at a friend of mine, but you just convinced me some more :)[/quote]

Glad I could be of help!

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Posted

*looks at his keyboard and mouse combo* hey, I got that!

As someone who has been using this combo for over a year now, I must say its one of the best keyboards/mouse combo I bought. And as a plus, the mouse batteries has lasted about a month with it on the "your batteries are critical" stage (I haven't seen any lose of control since my mouse batteries has been like that)

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Posted

I am using this desktop set. I got it as a replacement from Logitech when they couldn't fix the left mouse button of my MX3000 set. I liked the scroll controls that MX3000 had on the keyboard. Apart from that the MX3200 is great!

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Posted

I have this desktop set as well. The only complaints I have is that the bluetooth dongle has to be very close to the mouse for my mouse to work properly and that my keyboard will drop connection randomly. Other than that, its ok. Its not nearly as quiet as I had hoped, but I haven't ever seen a keyboard that was very quiet.

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Posted

The keyboard is good, the mouse isn't as good. I use this keyboard with the Logitech MX Revolution mouse.

I wish there is a way to turn off the "touch-sensitive zoom/magnify bar" on the keyboard. The problem is I tend to use headphone and when I move my head the headphone wire sometime hits that touch-sensitive area and my window get zoom.

The media controller on the keyboard is not very good. The buttons are too small and arrange in a not so good arrangement, so you have to look at the keyboard if you want to press the correct button to control your media player. I don't normally look at the keyboard so in my case to change volume I use the speaker volume controller (Logitech Z2300), and when I want to skip song I use buttons on the mouse. It would be nice if the touch-sensitive zoom/magnify bar can be reprogramed for controlling volume.

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Posted

I have been using this keyboard with my G5 mouse for over a year, I really enjoy it and the battery life is great.

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Posted

I too use this combo and I absolutely love it :)

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Posted

Good review. Seems like a nice keyboard, shame it's got that compacted group of buttons above the arrow keys (delete, end, etc.). I absolutely hate that and as silly as it sounds, it's a complete dealbreaker for me =\

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Posted

I've got this keyboard and mouse but the mouse was too heavy. So i went back to my basic logitech mouse (optic) Keyboard stays tho as it's nice :D

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Posted

[quote name='npe' post='589181467' date='Feb 3 2008, 12:55']..................... I wish there is a way to turn off the "touch-sensitive zoom/magnify bar" on the keyboard. The problem is I tend to use headphone and when I move my head the headphone wire sometime hits that touch-sensitive area and my window get zoom...............................[/quote]

You can disable the dynamic slider and the 100% hot key by pressing FN + Close (X). You can enable them by pressing FN + Doc Flip. This should take care of your problem!

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Posted

[quote name='kak' post='589181452' date='Feb 3 2008, 01:10']I have this desktop set as well. The only complaints I have is that the bluetooth dongle has to be very close to the mouse for my mouse to work properly and that my keyboard will drop connection randomly. Other than that, its ok. Its not nearly as quiet as I had hoped, but I haven't ever seen a keyboard that was very quiet.[/quote]
It's not a Bluetooth dongle, this is a RF keyboard :p

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Posted

[quote name='chconline' post='589181852' date='Feb 3 2008, 14:12']It's not a Bluetooth dongle, this is a RF keyboard :p[/quote]

Wow, you're right. I read right past it. I have the numbers wrong, I gots the 5000. I've read that this model is better. Oops :)

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Posted

Great review! I have the same model, and I really like it.

Just a note in regards to the VoIP. It doesn't natively support Skype. I do believe you can reprogram the VoIP button to load Skype, but it won't answer and hang up with the designated keys. I have seen some workarounds, but I do believe they require some third-party software.

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Posted

How long were you using the keyboard before writing the review? The reason I ask is because my MS Natural 4000 was pretty quiet when I first got both of them (I have a work and personal PC), but eventually the quietness, softness, and slippery feel wore off after months of constant use and some abuse. I'm not particularly concerned about the quietness of a keyboard, but more so about how long that quietness lasts after extended use.

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Posted

Looks like a nice set but am I the only one that dislikes the single height return key?
That alone would put me off buying it but more and more keyboards use that layout now :(

No particular reason, I just prefer the larger double size return key :D

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Posted

nice set .. Mouse = logitech mx620?

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Posted (edited)

ohh dude thats so sweet i want one know LOL

*starts saving*

im welcome to donations lol Edited by Unimatrix Xero

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Posted

had that keyboard, was one of the worst keyboards i had.

missed keys, double key presses, not up for the tast if you type fast.

plus the plastic it made of gets very dirty fast, even visible in your pictures.

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Posted

[quote name='Kushan' post='589181757' date='Feb 3 2008, 14:03']Good review. Seems like a nice keyboard, shame it's got that compacted group of buttons above the arrow keys (delete, end, etc.). I absolutely hate that and as silly as it sounds, it's a complete dealbreaker for me =\[/quote]
I used to feel the same way, but trust me, you get used to it. This layout makes a lot more sense than the previous one. You won't want to go back to the old one ;)

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Posted

[quote name='paraman' post='589181846' date='Feb 3 2008, 14:04']You can disable the dynamic slider and the 100% hot key by pressing FN + Close (X). You can enable them by pressing FN + Doc Flip. This should take care of your problem![/quote]
It works. Thanks a bunch!

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