Kensington PilotBoard Wireless Desktop

I’ve been tapping away at the Kensington PilotBoard Wireless Desktop for the past few weeks here at my work desk, and I think I’m ready to share my experience of using it.

Specifications/In the boxStraight out of the box, you get full XP compatibility however a driver CD is included for configuring the shortcut keys on the keyboard.Naturally, it doesn’t want to work with Vista but luckily the main plug and play functionality of the keyboard manages to get by, however it was touch and go for a while because for some reason my Dell work laptop started going all haywire on me. Vista problems aside though, the keyboard and mouse did eventually function after a couple of reboots.

A set of four AA Energizer batteries were included in the box, two for the mouse and two for the keyboard.The mouse and keyboard transmit to a circular USB receiver with two LEDs indicating which device is in use and transmitting. The receiver attaches to your machine via a single USB connection.ErgonomicsThe keyboard works well in that it is comfortable and provides an appropriate level of tactile feedback from the keys. In an office environment where others are in close proximity, it is important in my circumstances to be able to type quietly.Included in the package was a detachable wrist wrest for the keyboard. I found the detachment from cables to be great for comfort. You’re no longer restrained by the cable getting caught on objects on your desk and offer more flexibility in sitting positions. The mouse has rubber grips on the sides in a fin like formation, creating this nice spongy feel when you grip the sides of the mouse.

Switching from using a tiny notebook mouse to the Kensington wireless mouse did take some getting used to because the difference in weight was apparent, however after a few days of usage, you grow accustomed to the speed and feel of movement.ResponsivenessThere is a common myth that wireless peripherals tend not to offer the best responsiveness due to the delay in the transmission of the signal to the receiver. Whilst this may hold true for gamers where every millisecond counts, for those of us who want to just type and click, the benefits of a wireless keyboard and mouse far outweigh the not so noticeable amount of lag you get. I didn’t experience any problems with responsiveness apart from a fraction of a second delay when typing quickly, however this delay is so insignificant that you would have to be looking for it to actually notice it.Battery lifeI’ve been using this desktop set for eight hours a day, five days a week for over a month now and haven’t experienced any battery issues. It is common for cheaper desktop sets that use wireless to be massive battery drains or come supplied with shoddy batteries that last just several days as opposed to several months.Shortcut keysA row of shortcut keys can be found along the top of the keyboard including playback, volume, refresh, search, calculator, explorer and and the usual assortment of shortcut keys.

On the left side of the keyboard there is a scroll wheel and arrow up and down keys. The scroll wheel operates in the exact same fashion as it does on a scroll wheel mouse, which I found to work very intuitively with my left hand.ConclusionKensington have a good desktop set that combines useful shortcut keys on the keyboard and back it up with a five year guarantee and free technical support.My only issues I have with this product set is that the rubbery material used for the mouse needs to be changed. Unless you have the cleanest hands at all times, then the black rubber buttons and rubber side-grips will attract dust and dirt very quickly.I didn’t find any use for the function keys, which doubles the functionality of the F1, F2…buttons at the top of the keyboard but did find the left hand scroll wheel an absolute dream to use.

Volume control dial needs to be adjusted to have a smoother turn rather than the unsatisfying feel of a cog turning that you currently get.Using the shortcut keys along the top portion of the keyboard was handy for frequent tasks and features such as Mute, Refresh and Calculator did help improve productivity eliminating the need to move your hands away from the keyboard when you’re in the middle of typing.Kensington need to update the drivers for a smoother and easier Vista compatibility option because without it, most of the keyboard shortcut keys don’t function properly if at all.

2007-10-07 Onwah Tsang

1 comment - why not add yours

  • Miguel says:

    Thank you for providing “natural” pictures of these. I really like to see “real” pics instead of those shiny ones which do not correspond to the real like whenever we buy from a catalog and at the end it seemed a lot nicer when they were on paper. I also liked the mouse pic too where there’s a lil bit of dirt in it. That’s the real image and that’s what I like. Sorry for not comenting your review since it wasn’t what I was looking for – the “real” natural product image that is :o)

    Posted on 13th September 2008

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