by Rob Williams on January 10, 2006 in Peripherals
There’s no shortage of keyboards and mice to choose from when you are looking for a purchase. Today we are taking a look at a combo that should prove perfect for media buffs; even better if you have an HTPC!
Having used the MX3100 keyboard since last May, I can say that there was no huge leap switching to this one. Both keyboards are near identical, although this one has a few additional buttons. Looking at the keyboard from a fresh standpoint though, it’s clear that this is an ultimate media solution… or tries to be.
There are over 30 additional buttons over the standard keys which provide a lot of functionality. The F Mode key is present on this keyboard as well. The F Mode key is nothing naughty, so get your head out of the gutter. Basically, you can configure your F1 – F12 keys to perform keystrokes or other tasks, or pushing the F Mode key will revert them to their regular functions.
On the left side of the keyboard we have a few navigational buttons. If you are browsing a website or looking at a picture, you can zoom in and out with ease. There is also a 100% button which will revert the page or picture to the default state. As if the mouse scroll wheel wasn’t enough, you have one here also. There’s also a back button which will bring you back to the previous webpage or folder, depending on where you are navigating.
There are specific media keys to the top left which are used to open up the respective folders, including My Documents. The top of the keyboard is where most of your functionality will be had though. Of course, you have back and forward buttons, stop and play, eject and mute. If you are using the keyboard for your HTPC, then you may find the record button useful also. Pushing the media button will automatically launch your default media application, which may end up being MediaLife if you chose to install it.
Two nice additions to this area are the shuffle and playlist control buttons, which do exactly as you’d expect.
Other random buttons that are available correspond to your IM program, webcam, e-mail, etcetera. One interesting button is the status, which allows you to change your IM status if you are logged on. There is so much functionality on this keyboard, that it may be able to do things that you are unaware of. To better suit things to your liking, you can change the functionality of *any* of the extra buttons which is a very welcomed option.
If you have used an MX1000 before, then you would get comfortable quickly with the MX600. Both mice are quite similar, but this one is clearly sleeker. The mouse is very solid and should suffice for all of your everyday tasks. I didn’t find it to be as comfortable as the MX1000, but your opinion may vary depending on how you grip the mouse. I can certainly say that this one is not for gaming. After an hour of Unreal Tournament 2004, my hand was sore due to the awkward way I had to hold the mouse. On the other end of the stick though, I found the MX600 to be more precise during gameplay than I did with the MX1000.
The mouse shares a lot of functionality with the keyboard. You can again find Back/Forward buttons here, in addtion to Zoom In/Out and even the 100%. Like all new Logitech mice, the scroll wheel tilts to the left and right. This can be useful if you are viewing large images on the screen, or are reading a poorly coded webpage! If you do choose to use this mouse for gaming, you can set any of the keys to a generic button in the SetPoint software. This will allow you to use these buttons for specific functions in any game, but you cannot do this unless you unassign the default function.
If you want to learn more specifics about a similar mouse, you can read a more in-depth look right here, which is of the MX610. Both mice are identical, minus the color scheme and status lights.