Logitech's basic Cordless Desktop S520 is one of its least expensive wireless mouse and keyboard sets. And even though the low-profile keyboard and basic laser mouse come with few frills, we're glad to see Logitech apply the thoughtful design philosophies of its high-end products to the less-expensive members of its product line.
There's nothing quite revolutionary about this package, and for around £34 you might not expect there to be. But for the little touches of convenience, on the keyboard especially, the Cordless Desktop S520 earns our recommendation in this price range.
For the most part, this mouse and keyboard set is utterly boring. The two-buttons-and-a-scroll-wheel laser mouse, for example, gives us little to discuss. You get no thumb-side button, accelerated scrolling or DPI selection buttons -- but then we don't expect those things from a mouse in a £34 desktop set. It works as it should via the standard RF wireless connection, and if all you want is a basic mouse, you'll find little to complain about.
And at first glance the keyboard seems similarly dull. It's maybe even a little ugly, given the massive gray wrist rest jutting out from the bottom. We do like the keyboard's flat profile, but that bulky wrist rest is at odds with the keyboard's wireless capabilities -- and at a large 438mm long and 203mm deep, we don't really recommend it for the living room.
If it's not ideal for your coffee table, however, it certainly works well as a desktop keyboard. Unlike most keyboards, where media control and other keys sit above the function keys, the S520 integrates extra play, volume and zooming buttons into the trim below the space bar. We often find that keyboard designers put hot keys in inaccessible places, discouraging you from using them. But with the extra keys right up front on the S520, we found them much easier to use.
The one exception is the extra hot key that opens Windows' Calculator. The Calculator key isn't unique to Logitech ( has one, too), but regardless of who had the idea first, we think it makes lots of sense. We also find it logical that both Logitech and Microsoft put it next to the number pad. It just feels right in that spot.
The USB receiver is bigger than a standard USB dongle, but not overly obtrusive. And as usual with Logitech input devices, you don't need to install the SetPoint software to use the mouse and keyboard, but you get a few more settings options if you do. Both the mouse and keyboard require two AA batteries, which are included.
All in all, it's hard to get too excited about Logitech's basic Cordless Desktop S520, but on close inspection, a few design elements help it stand out. With well-placed hot keys and a low price tag, this wireless keyboard and mouse set will be a good choice for many.
Edited by Marian Smith