Kensington Ci70 wireless desktop set review

by Reads (11,377)

Kensington has released a new keyboard & mouse combo: the Ci70 wireless desktop set.  The new design is being touted by the company as space-spacing, ergonomic, and stylish.  We’ll see.


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The Ci70 Specifications

  • Keyboard dimensions: 16.0"L X 0.75"H X 7.0"W
  • Mouse dimensions: 4.5"L X 0.75"H X 2.5"W
  • PC and Mac compatible
  • 1 USB Receiver for both devices — 27 MHz wireless
  • USB extension cable
  • Low battery indicator on scroll wheel of mouse & keyboard
  • Mouse docks into keyboard when not in use to save space and conserve power
  • Keyboard folds back into picture frame when not in use
  • 5-year warranty

Design and Aesthetics

The first thing I noticed about the Ci70 keyboard was how light and thin it was; a single pad of post it notes is thicker.  But the next thing I noticed was the color.  The Ci70 came in this weird, ugly shade of goldish silver beige that is hard to describe as anything but unattractive.  The pictures actually make it look better than it does in real life. And as far as I could tell from the Kensington website, it’s not being offered in other colors.  This would be a huge drawback for me because my desktop computer did not look “stylish” with the keyboard and mouse connected, it looked hodgepodge. 


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I did like the feel of the keys.  They are flatter than both my laptop keyboard and my desktop keyboard and only needed a light tap.  There are ten pre-set hot keys on the keyboard.  Five are on the top left corner and are programmed to bring up e-mail, music, an internet browser, computer search and a Mac eject button. The other five are above the number pad and are dedicated to controlling volume and a CD/DVD drive. Since the keyboard is Mac and PC friendly it comes with the signature apple and windows keys. 


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The keyboard also serves as a dock for the mouse.  When the mouse is plugged in, both go into power saving mode, intended to extend the life of the four AA batteries needed to power both devices. But wait, there’s more.  When the mouse is docked, flip the keyboard up and the keyboard and mouse turn into a picture frame.  Sweet!  But seriously, Kensington claims this is a space saver but it just seems to take up more space and it falls over easily.  But it was a nice try at being inventive.


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The mouse is pretty small but I liked it because it fit great in my hand. It’s symmetrical so it would work for left handed and right handed people.  For more details about the Kensington mouse, check out the review on our Tablet PC website.

Using the Ci70

Installation was a snap.  There was no software to load.  Just pop the USB receiver out of the mouse and plug it in.  The keyboard and mouse worked immediately. 

My biggest complaint when using the keyboard (besides the color) was that the feet on the keyboard were too small.  It might be a part of the ergonomic design but I wouldn’t want to type on it all day long.   And what’s the point of having feet if they are only going to lift the keyboard up a centimeter or two? 

The wireless worked great and it lived up to the claim that the mouse and keyboard didn’t have to be in direct line of sight.  I tested both through a wall and had no problems.  It also comes with an extra USB extension cord so if for some reason you wanted to be really far from the computer but still type and surf the web you could.  I’m not sure if I would use the extension cord, but it’s a nice option.

Pros

  • Light weight
  • 5-year warranty
  • Can use either right or left handed
  • Compatible with a Mac and PC
  • Wireless works great

Cons

  • Small feet
  • Comes in only one color
  • Relatively expensive
  • Mouse pops out of power saving dock easily

Conclusion

The Ci70 wireless desktop set was actually a great addition to my desktop.  The keyboard was definitely nicer than what came with my desktop and I liked not having wires everywhere but it didn’t save me any space.  The mouse was comfortable in my hand and had no annoying ball to get stuck.  (Yes, the mouse I use with my desktop is that old.) But if I was going to spend $80 on a wireless combo, I would choose something with more style. 

Pricing and Availability

The Ci70 Wireless Desktop Set can be purchased on the Kensington website for $79.99 plus shipping.


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