Review: Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000

Looking for a new keyboard and mouse combo? Got a bit of spare cash? Look no further, this is the "Ultimate" keyboard and mouse combo set that Microsoft has ever created.

The Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 combines a mouse, keyboard and a new charging "dock". The dock allows you to charge both the mouse and keyboard...wirelessly. You simply slip the keyboard under the charging port and it's charging, stick the mouse on top and that's charging too. It was this sole reason I was interested in this combo combined with the fact it has a backlit keyboard.

Lets take a look at all its features.

The keyboard:

The keyboard has a slightly curved design but it's not as dramatic as the "Comfort Curve" range of Microsoft's keyboards. The feel of the soft keys is similar to that of a laptop and is very comfortable if you're typing a lot day to day or feel like writing a novel. The key layout is similar to a normal keyboard, up the top you have the F keys which are "touch" so they sense your finger touch on them rather than actually depress. You also have a re-arranged Windows Orb key, no numpad and various buttons you wouldn't find on a normal keyboard. There's a Media Center button on the right which directs you straight into Media Center, you can also find a navigation pad so you can command your PC from the sofa without the need for a mouse.

On the left hand side there's right/left mouse click buttons, a magnifier button, a gadgets button to show the gadgets on your Sidebar (Vista) or desktop (Win 7). There's also a range of media buttons from channel up (for media center) to volume up and down and skipping audio tracks forward and backwards.

Aside from all the buttons this keyboard is also backlit. It auto senses when to turn on the light and if you turn your PC off in the dark the little Windows Orb flashes 3 times into the ceiling before turning off, a neat little effect just as you're about to go to sleep.

The mouse:

The mouse has a fairly simple and eloquent design and fits nicely in your palm. In addition to the left, middle and right click you have 2 buttons either side which are easily programmable to different functions.

The charging hub:

A simple hub sits near to the front of your keyboard and provides 4 USB ports within it and the ability to wirelessly re-charge the keyboard and mouse. You simply slip the keyboard underneath it and drop the mouse on to the top. It couldn't be any more easier. I've created a 30 second video below to demonstrate how easy this is:

My thoughts:

The design of this desktop set puts it into another league from standard desktop sets but unfortunately as does the price. I have been using this set for approximately 3 months now and find typing a lot easier due to the soft keys. Currently I have the desktop set running in Windows 7 and it compliments it perfectly. It's an expensive set but if you want the ultimate keyboard and mouse combo then certainly look no further, you will not be disappointed.

Keyboard pros:

  • Backlit keyboard
  • Soft keys
  • Excellent media buttons
  • Navigation pad
  • Wireless charging
  • Very thin and lightweight
Keyboard cons:
  • No numpad
  • Position of the windows key
  • The F key "touch" is fiddly sometimes
Mouse pros:
  • Light weight
  • Feels great in your palm
  • Smooth scrolling through pages with the scroll wheel
Mouse cons:
  • The click scroll wheel middle button is impossible to click
  • Right hand button placement is difficult to use
Overall this keyboard is for the enthusiast and Media Center owner, it works great with Windows Vista and Windows 7 so if you're an avid fan of either of those (and Media Center) this would be an obvious purchase for you. The starting price in the US is $216 onwards.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft insists UAC vulnerability is not a flaw

Next Story

Update: Google search back to normal after hour long outage

55 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

You guys do realize that the keyboard is designed to be used as part of a home theatre (ie sitting on your lap).
That's why the track pad and mouse buttons are on opposite sides of the keyboard.
No number pad is hardly a deal breaker. How often do they get used when playing games anyway?

What?
No <some well-known Apple troll> whining that Microsoft should be sued for stealing that "dock" and those "keys which are "touch"" from Apple?

I've been looking into a new keyboard/mouse set. Still debating on bluetooth or normal wireless. Great review Tom :).

P.S. No numberpad? Is this a new trend :o?

I dont like the curve design. I can live without a keypad and you an always buy those if you really need to. Besides, never was a big fan of MS keyboards and mice. I like the Logitech design better.

This keyboard... well, it's amazing. At least to me. It probably has something to do with the fact that I use Windows Media Center nearly every day... but it would be incredibly useful for me. The only problem is the price.

* The click scroll wheel middle button is impossible to click

No kidding. Even the Wireless Mouse 5000, which came out years ago, has the exact same problem. Even worse, it scrolls when you click, so you miss the link!

What I do like is the fact the Windows key isn't where it normally is, it's out the way. So if you're a gamer this keyboard may be good because pressing the Windows key instead of Ctrl minimises the game and gets very annoying. Yes you can disable the key with sortware such as Intellitype but still. Looks very nice.

When you say scroll-wheel mouse click impossible to click, does that mean that it's supposed to click but does not? Or that the feature is simply not present? I ask because my scroll click was quite difficult to click on my Logitech G5 when I first purchased it, but became easier as I put it to use.

Also, no numberpad = fail for me.

Personally, when it comes to keyboards, I've been wanting the G11 from Logitech forever now. I don't like the G15 exactly, and the G11 seems to fit my needs perfectly. If you guys are continuing with reviews, I really wouldn't mind seeing one on that product, despite its age.

It is supposed to click, but Microsoft mice scrollwheels are "smooth" and it will only click if you are not scrolling, so on this mouse it happens to be nearly impossible to use. The trick (if anyone is wondering) is to sort of pull the scrollwheel back, rather than pushing directly down.

Wow. This is one ugly set. The keyboard has no numpad, huge "bevel & emboss" effects applied for some buttons, and when you backlight it, your eye focuses on the Vista orb, not on the buttons themselves.

Also, if I remember well about that dude who worked in ergonomy, its shape does not make it ergonomic at all. More like the opposite.

I would certainly not buy this thing, especially for 216 USD. It's a theft.

Well I used to have the 7000 set as well and while its a nice set the mouse had issues charging and the lack of a number pad made me switch to the Sidewinder X6 which has a detachable numberpad that can be used on either side of the keyboard, or removed entirely.

The "blinking red light" issue? This set has the same thing then. I can't use the charger any more because of it, and have to use alkaline batteries instead. I am surprised the reviewer hasn't experienced it yet. It started happening on mine about 2 months in.

jkenn99 said,
The "blinking red light" issue? This set has the same thing then. I can't use the charger any more because of it, and have to use alkaline batteries instead. I am surprised the reviewer hasn't experienced it yet. It started happening on mine about 2 months in.

I've gotten that with my rechargeable Microsoft bluetooth mouse (the mouse from this set) before. Whenever it happens, I open the battery door and spin the battery. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 tries, but it always starts charging afterwards. I've had mine almost 2 years now and that's the only issue I've had with it. I'm still using the original rechargeable battery as well.

Yeah, thats the issue that I had with the charger, however, it was intermittent for me, ended up using a separate charger for the batteries.


This is directed at an entertainment center vices desktop computing. I could definately see using one of these in the living room. The lack of a numpad would be critical for daily use, but ommitting it in this case would greatly reduce the overall size of the keyboard. When surfing from the couch, you really want something compact. It being blue tooth should mean that the range is good.

The key word here is "entertainment" desktop. If you are looking for a wireless solution for your desktop, try the Wireless Desktop 7000; and, yes, it has a full size numpad.

My problem with this set is not the lack of numpad. Like you said it is a media center keyboard. My problem is they try to please everyone.

The lack of numpad makes this kayboard almost useless for everyday use so then why does it include a mouse ???

I mean i use my PC as a media center and i wanted to buy this keyboard but the price was really too much. I just did not see myself replacing my logitech g15 kayboard and g7 mouse with this set and 350$ CAD for a keyboard to use with my media center was really too much.

The keyboard while small is still a little big for a media center the Logitech diNovo Mini is less expensive (still too much expensive tough) and doesn't look out of place close to your couch.

TCLN Ryster said,
you could always buy one of those external USB numeric keypads... usually very cheap.

You should just buy the Microsoft remote. Much easier. That was the best purchase I've ever made.

warwagon said,
You should just buy the Microsoft remote. Much easier. That was the best purchase I've ever made.

agreed

i'm using a microsoft 6000 mouse at the moment, and it has the same scroll button click issue. Its impossible to click it without moving the mouse.

I have the same problem, at first I thought it was because I was using the mouse under OSX but then I had the same issue under XP, Vista and even Linux. So it's a hardware problem

Another alternative:

Logitech Ultra Flat keyboard (if you dont care if its wireless), and the Logitech MX Air - and its almost half the price to the Microsoft setup.

Argh. Keyboards without numpads are pointless, I don't understand why they're catching on.

It spoils what otherwise looks like a pretty nice set.

Tom W said,
Yeah it is definitely a bad thing :(


i feel the same, i always buy 17 inch laptops just to make sure I have a numpad. It's so much easier, which means that a keyboard without a numpad doesn't stand a chance for me

Wakers said,
It spoils what otherwise looks like a pretty nice set.

I had the 7000 set, and while it looks nice, it wasn't all that great. The mouse wore out too fast (like most MSFT mice) and the keyboard started having problems sending keystokes.

miguel_montes said,
I also agree. I need to have the numpad, just can't use any keyboard without it.

I agree. But this keyboard looks like it belongs with a media center were the numeral pads probably aren't going to be used that much.

Interesting. What exactly do you guys use the number pad for? I've never had to use one, in any career I've had, and I've been using keyboards as part of 5 different careers for over 30 years. I thought number pads were only for data entry?