Awards

  • Recommended by TR

Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price £49.99

Now Windows 7 is out and to a gentle, polite ripple of applause (nothing too raucous thank you) we can finally get back to what the company is 'obviously' best known for: peripherals! We've reviewed plenty of Microsoft keyboards over the years but the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 is the company's thinnest keyboard yet. Yes, it's not an especially exciting claim to fame, but if you need a compact, portable keyboard then this could be the answer.

It's not a particularly cheap answer, mind. Most online retailers don't have any stock just yet, but pre-order pricing ranges from around £42 to the £55.99 we've listed from Play. A ways out there in the land of make believe is eBuyer, who is offering pre-orders at a staggering £110 and an expected shipping date of November 30th! All of which suggests getting hold of this set could be easier said than done.

Still, we've got it here and a neat set it is too. Some of its considerable cost can be explained by the presence of a separate number pad (necessitating two integrated Bluetooth transmitters). It can be used with the keyboard or independently and even comes with its own rather smart fabric carry pouch. This, allied to the already compact dimensions (the keyboard itself is just 355mm wide, 167mm deep and is little thicker than an AAA battery), means the Mobile Keyboard 6000 fills the 'mobile' criteria exceedingly well.

There's no shortage of style, either. Just being so slim obviously helps here, but the combination of white plastic base, black soft-touch plastic and a slim glossy strip along the top has an elegant simplicity. All these materials are pretty durable and overall build quality is excellent, too.

Being Bluetooth-based, this set doesn't come with a separate dongle thus restricting it to PCs and laptops (more likely the latter) that have it built-in. This makes perfect sense (what use is a portable keyboard if you then lose the dongle when you need it?), though if you don't have Bluetooth you could just buy a dongle yourself.

Pairing is perfectly straightforward, though obviously the number pad and keyboard have to be paired separately; simply search for the device in Windows, input the code it provides to verify it's connecting to the correct keyboard and you're done. Wireless range is, in common with most Bluetooth devices, around 10 metres in clear line of sight. This will vary depending on conditions, but is ultimately more than sufficient.

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