Labtec Media Desktop 800 - review

Actually, I wanted to buy a new cordless desktop (keyboard + mouse) for quite a long time - I really hate cords on my desk and try to do as much as possible without wires.

Since my laptop (my nice, stylish T43p :-) ) has Bluetooth, I was initially looking for the BT-enabled desktop. Most popular of them is Logitech diNovo. Checking the prices, I was really shocked - from 180 EUR (in MediaMarkt store) to 80-90 EUR at eBay. I was not ready to pay so much money just for BT and Logitech logo, therefore I started to look for simple wireless solutions (radio-based). That evening I was surfing eBay and noticed one lot, which was about to end. It was Labtec Media Desktop 800 (official description in German is here) - originally packed, with 23 months of the warranty. I asked very quickly Google about this good, read a couple of reviews and decided to buy it. At the end I won the auction for 4,5 EUR + 6 EUR of shipping costs.

Finally, yesterday the desktop has arrived. I played a bit with him and decided to post short review.

1. Package
This desktop comes in a stylish black box. It contains
- wireless keyboard
- mouse
- USB receiver (approx. 5,5-6 cm long)
- 4 batteries of type AA
- USB cable (I will come to it later)
- short installation/start up guide.

The keyboard is very light and made in "place-saving" style (according to the advertisement on the producer's page). What it means, I noticed later - and describe later either. The colour iz black and matches rather good my black Thinkpad T43p and black loudspeakers Logitech Z-10.

2. Installation/startup
Actually, you don't need any installation at all. Just plug in the receiver into any free USB port, switch on your PC - and that's all. I tested it both under Linux Debian and Windows XP Professional - it simply works. 9 additional keys (E-Mail, Internet, Search, etc.) do not work at Linux (although I didn't spend any time to find out why) and only part of them work under WinXP Pro - namely Internet (it starts default browser), E-mail
(it starts default mail client), Search (starts Windows Search Assistant). All others didn't show any sign of life.

3. Impressions
The general impression is "good". The keyboard is quiet (no loud clicks), mouse is quite precise, the appearance is quite stylish and nice. This desktop is not intended for gamers, but I think it is a good deal for home desktops/laptops and offices. Especially taking into account the price - 4,5 EUR. :-)

But this keyboard has one disadvantage, that can be deciding for many users. I talk about location of the technical keys ("Insert", "Delete", arrows, etc.). If you look at the image of the keyboard, you will see that those keys are placed in one additional column between "ordinary" keyboard and numeric pad.

This is the price designers paid for the compact design I mentioned earlier. And it means, that you will have to get used to the new - and quite nonstandard - placement of those important keys.

And there is one trick with receiver. As I mentioned in the very beginning, this desktop comes with USB extension cable. When I saw it first time, I thought "What for?". When I plugged the receiver into the USB slot, I saw the answer - the receiver is large enough to block the neighboring port when inserted into the
port. So, if you want to use those neighbouring ports, you must use the cable - just to make free space for other devices.

4. Conclusions
As I said, the desktop itself is rather good and comfortable. If you are ready to spend a couple of weeks learning where technical keys are, then you may think of purchasing this kit. Otherwise continue saving and sometimes you will buy Logitech diNovo. :-)

I hope, this review will be useful for someone.


P.S. By the way, I could play Doom 3 with this desktop. I'm not a profi-gamer, but sometimes I relax with this bloody shooter.