Though a full initial charge will apparently take up to seven hours, you can start using the mouse after only one, which provided me with a solid day of use after a weekend of standby – very impressive. Being rechargeable, the bottom of this mouse is the other area that has changed most from the 6000. First there’s an on/off switch and wireless signal button. Then we have the battery hatch, which is easy to open and close, and two power contact points that resemble a miniature continental plug.
These, of course, plug into the charging station, which again is very stylish. It’s solidly constructed, has very broad rubber feet, and is contoured to match the base of the mouse so that the only visual ‘blemish’ is the power cable. The power contact points work brilliantly in that you’re never left wondering whether you inserted the mouse so that it is charging properly, like with many upright models, but though you’re not in doubt ”when” it happens, it can be a tad fiddly to get the mouse seated in the first place.
My main regret with the charging system is that you cannot plug a charging cable directly into the mouse. This is something I’ve come across before on Trust mice, and is probably the smoothest solution for when you forget to charge it. Sure, you’re momentarily back to using a wired mouse, but at least you have a working one without needing a spare battery.
Still, the mouse is only half the story. Unlike the mouse, the Microsoft Wireless Laser Keyboard 7000 is exclusive to this desktop combo and matches the former for stylish looks. Its main feature in this department is what Microsoft claims to be ‘design inspired by Windows Aero’. To be honest, it reminds me more of the Samsung SyncMaster T200 – not because the 7000 keyboard displays touches of red, but because it has a transparent outer bezel with a hint of black turning it from clear on the outer edge to smoky moving further in.
Three large and touch sensitive ‘favourites’ keys are integrated flawlessly into the transparent outer surround, with all the disadvantages this entails, as this is another implementation where the ‘buttons’ require very firm and deliberate pressure before they’ll work. These and the bezel they’re set in is separated from the main keyboard by a thin chrome ridge to match that found on the mouse.
Next we have an inner surround in matte but smooth black plastic, in which pearly-grey media keys are nestled. I guess they’re meant to match the outer bezel, but this is probably the one thing about the 7000 Desktop I found slightly unattractive. There’s a basic but nice selection, including volume controls, media keys and internet along the top, and zoom along the left side.