The £59 Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510 set combines a mouse, a keyboard and a media remote for PC users who are as likely to play music or watch DVDs as they are to use Word. The low-profile keyboard, the well-shaped mouse and the narrow remote have a stylish black and silver look, though the remote suffers from an awkward scrollwheel and poorly placed buttons. The keyboard and the mouse however, feel good in the hand and provide enough programmability to please casual users. Still, real media enthusiasts will have better luck with the comparably priced Microsoft Remote Keyboard, while users more interested in straightforward functionality will be well served by the Logitech Cordless Desktop MX3100.
Setup is fairly simple. Just load the included batteries (the mouse takes two AA batteries, while the remote and keyboard take two AAA each), plug in the USB receiver and press the connect buttons on the receiver and each device. It took several tries before we established the connection, but once linked up all three peripherals remained synced.
The set works as a plug-and-play device, and the default settings for the shortcut and media keys are useful for media players and other common programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. To customise the buttons and change settings on the keyboard or mouse however, you'll need to install Logitech's included SetPoint software. Also included are Musicmatch Jukebox 9.0, a media player and Logitech's MediaLife software, the last of which helps you manage and view pictures, music and video.
The keyboard sits low and flat on the desk to avoid putting your wrists at an awkward angle. Clearly designed for media mavens, it includes a dedicated, configurable media-player launch button -- shuffle, play, stop, forward, back and volume controls, and image-rotate and zoom buttons for graphic designers. The other function keys are programmable, and assigning an application to a function key is simple -- open the target application and hold the desired button down for two seconds. All the function keys and the standard control-key shortcuts are clearly labelled, making it extremely easy for even a novice to get the most out of this keyboard.
Both left- and right-handers can use the accompanying optical mouse, which curves comfortably under the palm. However, it has only right- and left-click buttons and a scrollwheel -- in comparison with more fully featured mice such as the Logitech MX1000 Cordless Mouse, it's a bit disappointing. Still, the included mouse features a four-way scrollwheel for easy navigation of Web pages and spreadsheets. And like the rest of the set, it's highly programmable, so users can designate cursor speed, acceleration and specialised controls for gaming.
The media remote doesn't live up to the ease-of-use standard set by the mouse and the keyboard. While the central scrollwheel lets you navigate menus and find media files, it doesn't advance far enough with each scroll. Cruising through a long list of songs proved RSI inducing. We were also displeased by the button layout, which inconveniently places the most-used controls -- play, stop, forward, and back -- at the bottom of the remote. Also, selection buttons weren't consistently responsive.
We did like the big orange Media button that you can program to launch the media player of your choice. We also liked the six programmable buttons at the top that let you launch all your favourite applications or map oft-used functions to the remote. Nevertheless, we ended up bringing the keyboard and the mouse across the room with us to avoid fumbling with the media remote.
Edited by Lara Luepke
Additional editing by Kate Macefield