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At that price, it doesn't matter how long they work before they die
That's what I used to think too, until I realized that the cheapo brands were lasting only about 6 months, sometimes less, and the name brands, like logitech/microsoft haven't broken, simple math, my ms keyboard is about 5 years old, it was a handmedown, it's fine. Given that cheapos cost about 1/3 the price of namebrands, they need to last 1/3 the lifetime to be worth it, which they don't from my experience as a rule.
Plus the annoyance of having your mouse die in the middle of a project, not worth it.
Better yet, avoid problems, avoid all things wireless.
My Microsoft intellimouse explorer at work has been around for 4+ years now and still working great. Let's hope my cheapo at home works that long too! Then that'll be a great 20 bucks spent!
If you do have a wireless mouse, consider having a wired trackball to use intermittenly so that you can 'rest' your wrist when mouse precision is less important.
My $.02, I am not a medical doctor -- I just know folks who had to get carpal tunnel surgery so they could use a mouse again at all.
At home is a different story, my home theater mac uses the Apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse. :)
I bought my sister a logitech wireless combo about a year ago as well. She ended up pouring all types of terrible chemicals into the keyboard in that time period. A few days ago, I helped her clean it out. She was prepared to scrap it. The new keyboards are apparently extremely easy to clean. Open it up and the entire circuitry is 1 chip, and 3 plastic sheets. The sheets are what is under the keys and the only thing one needs to clean. I pulled them out, soaked them in lukewarm soapy water for a little while, dried them. Now the keyboard works fine. Easy clean up job. Just something else to consider.
make sure to spend the extra for a "natural" or "split" keyboard
same here, it takes a while to get used to, but long term it's one of the biggest favors you can do yourself, and your potential future carpal tunnel syndrome. Once you're used to it standard keyboards are completely annoying.
I go through AA batteries about once every 6-8 weeks for the mouse.
Microsoft decided to reconfigure a few keys on the keyboard which threw me for a loop at first. The Key Caps indicator is on the Desktop Receiver. If it is not in plain view, you cannot tell if Key Caps is on or off. My Receiver happens to be behind my monitor so it is a small inconvenience. No biggie though.
Other than that, being without cables has been great. I have all my cables bundled together using color coded wire ties. I have a custom Rubbermaid computer office system so most of my cables are channeled through the system. No cables on the desk is a big plus.
Mouse and keyboard work at a distance which is something most won't need but a nice feature anyway.
While under normal circumstances, a mouse is a mouse... the Logitech MX900 has 8 buttons which you can custom program that saves a lot of time by not having to move the mouse (or wrist) for back, forward, copy, paste, up, down, and close.
It takes a day or two getting used to it, but it has been the best time-saving hardware I've found since dual (and now triple) monitors.
We are going to replace it with a Bluetooth.