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Cherry Cymotion Master Solar

Cherry keyboards divide people into two categories, lovers and haters. That is because keyboards from Cherry are a little bit like Volvos, anyone you know who has one has probably owned it for over ten years without a single problem and will emphasize that fact to you should you question its more dubious styling. You see, whatever Cherry keyboards may lack in style they make up for in reliability. Sadly, in this particular case that appears to be all it has going for it as Cherry’s latest effort is very disappointing.

Laying this kit out on my desk all I could think of was Battlestar Galactica. This thing really does look like it was made from Cylon spare parts; the mouse even has a red visor at the front and back. This may appeal to you, but personally I have always been more of a Star Wars man myself (the original trilogy of course).

Things did not improve with the install. The manual comes from a hellish place where even staples are deemed an optional extra. The text is written in a tiny size with broken English and the only diagram in the entire booklet illustrates how to clip on the wrist rest, which kept falling off anyway. And despite fast becoming an expert at wireless installs, it still took me over an hour to get the mouse to be recognised by the ugly black brick that claimed to be its hub.

Once in operation, I did find some positives. The keyboard has a thick strip of solar panel along the top which worked well (at the expense of any centrally located multimedia keys) and it didn’t have any embossed logos to tear my flesh. But that was about it.

The keyboard itself has to be the noisiest I have ever tried as there is no tension in the keys. If you intend to use this in an office I can see your popularity plummeting and I would advise against using it around nervous pets. Gathering up a head of speed on this thing really does sound like distant thunder. I also have issues with the spacebar as its height has been cut down from the other keys, slanted towards the typist and depresses with the slightest glance. Inevitably, I ended up filling my sentences with extra spaces and no matter how I tried; I just couldn’t make it stop. When I wasn’t doing that I was accidentally adjusting the volume up and down because the buttons are inexplicably positioned just beneath the spacebar, or muting the sound altogether because the button for that is just below the arrows keys.

As for the mouse, well it does come with a recharging cable and rechargeable batteries; one up on Microsoft. As for features, it has just the left and right mouse buttons and a scroll wheel. I will concede that the lag is not too bad but funnily enough, I could improve it by connecting the charging cable which plugs in right at the front and leads off to the PS2 port. This amused me because what I had created was a wired PS2 mouse with less no lag at all.

Verdict

Batteries may not be an issue with this Cherry combo, but everything else is.

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