Logitech S530 Keyboard and MX600 Mouse (click to enlarge).
I just got one of these clever wireless keyboard and mouse combos. The whole set lists for $99 and sells for less at Amazon, who ships it for free.
It's slick: the range is so great I can carry it into another room to control iTunes music remotely! I was intrigued by all the helpful keys at the sides to control music and switch among applications.
I also prefer it's short-travel laptop-style keys. I've never been a fan of the long-travel desktop-style keyboards. Keyboards are very personal, and I find it ideal for me.
USB receiver, self powered.
Two AAA cells in keyboard, included.
Two AA cells in mouse, included.
Battery warning lights in both.
Included driver software indicates battery strength remotely on your Mac.
Designed for Mac OS 10.2.8 and newer. It's not supposed to work on Windows, but it does (see below).
5 year warranty.
Batteries rated "up to" 6 months or longer. Low battery light flashes when you're down to 10 days left. I'll let you know when I wear then down. Remember that it's only a dollar's worth of batteries total anyway if you get them at Costco.
USB Ports: NONE. It's powered by batteries so there are no USB ports on the sides of the keyboard. These are common on wired keyboards.
EXTRA KEYS ON KEYBOARD
1.) Computer power off. It won't work for power on, since if your computer is off it can't see the keyboard. It does work to wake up my system from sleep, as does pressing any key.
2.) Go to a web-based email program (or any other application, keystroke or web address). Personally I set that button as command + R to reload my browser, which I do a zillion times a day as I update my site.
3.) Go to your favorite home page (or any other web address, like KenRockwell.com).
4 and 5.) Scroll up/down toggle.
6.) Browser BACK button.
1.) Spotlight (or any other keystroke). I set mine to command + shift + U for putting pages from Dreamweaver.
2, 3 and 4.) Play/pause, forward and back buttons for iTunes.
5.) Go to iTunes (or any other application) button.
6.) Go to iPhoto (or any other application) button. I set mine to go to Photoshop.
7, 8 and 9.) Volume up/down toggle and mute button.
Easy: just plug in the receiver, pop in the included batteries in keyboard and mouse, hit "connect" on each and off you go. It includes a USB extension cord; I ignored it and just plugged the receiver into my desktop USB hub.
Of course install the special drivers on the CD (or from Logitech's website) to turn on all the features. Its an easy one step install and restart.
Perfect feel, for me anyway. I love it. It has a nice built-in threshold on the front.
It feels quite well made, along with its five year warranty. I'll let you know if I can wear the letters off the keys as I do with some keyboards. They appear painted on, not molded.
Key repeat rates when held down seem identical to standard wired Apple keyboard.
Use it flat in your lap, or flip down the little pegs on the bottom to tilt it on your desk.
Range: I get about 30 feet solid reception through the walls of my house. I can get 50 feet less reliably. I can't type that far away, but I can drive my iTunes music.
No caps lock warning light - anywhere. No other lights except for a low battery warning.
I'm a crummy typist, and am always knocking the BACK button on the lower left while typing. No problem; just be careful if you have that button set to anything sensitive in applications in which you type.
The letters on the keys are clear, but small. I'm a crummy typist and prefer the bigger letters on other keyboards.
I got this setup for the keyboard, not the mouse.
The mouse is more oriented to web surfers than pro web developers and photographers. That's OK since for the price you can just ignore it. I do.
Better still, Macs are smart enough to take input from multiple keyboards and mice at the same time. Leave it around and use both! The only gotcha is that my favorite Apple Mighty Mouse has a very different tracking speed than the Logitech, so you'll only want to use one at a time for tracking around your screen. The Logitech is much faster. Of course you can set this in your System Preferences panel.
You can use the mouse as a remote volume control.
Range: I also get about 30 feet through walls of my house.
I love my Apple Mighty Mouse. I love being able to swap applications with a squeeze and get into Dashboard with a tap. I haven't been able to to figure out how to do that on the Logitech mouse. Apple's track pea is extraordinary. Logitech's click wheel falls behind for left-right scrolling in Photoshop. Apple's track pea is a direct vertical and horizontal scroll. Logitech's horizontal scroll is actually not a scroll, but similar to a jump left/right key. Don't get excited thinking you can do any better from Apple wirelessly: Apple's wireless mouse only has one button! There's no wireless Mighty Mouse.
The Logitech mouse offers instead browser forward and back buttons and volume up, down and mute controls. I wish I could figure out how to change the forward/back browser buttons instead to change the music in iTunes.
The Logitech mouse is intended for most web surfers, not Photoshop professionals. No big deal. I got this for the keyboard. Logitech just announced a clever new Photoshop navigation tool called a NuLOOQ for professionals. I can't wait to try it. The NuLOOQ works in your left hand in addition to a mouse in your right hand.
Use on Windows
For our less fortunate readers I tried it on my wife's junky Dell Windows Me machine. It (the keyboard and mouse that is) works great! Of course the Logitech software won't install. I just plugged it in and ran it naked. I didn't even have to hit any of the "connect" buttons.
The function keys work too. The Mail key calls up Outlook Express.
The Home key calls up her favorite home page.
The scroll bar worked, then stopped.
The browser back buttons work fine on both the keyboard and mouse.
The Spotlight button called up or eliminated the search bar in her browser, sometimes.
She doesn't have iTunes installed and the iTunes buttons did nothing.
The iPhoto buttons did nothing.
The mouse up/down scroll works fine, but the left/right mouse scroll doesn't.
This is all free anyway. It's not supposed to work at all on Windows, and pretty much does. It even calls up Outlook Express for the mail button, and I wish I could get it to call up Apple Mail instead of a website when used on my Mac.
The best application of this for use on Windows is to leave this hooked up and not tell my wife. I could either have a joke on her when she's using her machine, or of course being the loving husband I am I could help her drive while sitting at my other desk when we work together.
The price is right. This is the most comfortable keyboard I've found and it does a lot more than typing.
In the configuration panel keep your eyes out for tiny up/down arrows on the right side of the window for keyboard configuration. Hit those and you get the option to have each magic key open applications or go to web pages or any of many options. It's completely configurable, but I didn't find those options for a month!
It's required if you play music while working. You can stop or mute the music and forward/advance without having to switch to iTunes first. This alone is worth the price if you have a phone ringing all day.