THROUGHOUT THE EXISTENCE of the modern personal computer no peripherals have endured like the keyboard and mouse. While other input devices like touchscreens, touchpads, and digital pens often give better control for specific tasks, none have supplanted the versatility and simplicity of the keyboard/mouse combo. It is the quintessential connection between computer and user.
For those looking to get anything done, the venerable dynamic duo is the interface of productivity, and peripheral makers like Cherry Americas have a vast sea of alternatives tailored to maximize productivity and user comfort. One solution to consider is Cherry’s Gentix Wireless Desktop, which aims to be a budget-friendly ergonomic wireless keyboard and mouse combo with three areas of focus: durability, improved performance, and attractive design.
Out of the Box
The Gentix Wireless Desktop ships inside an attractive white box with color print and suitable material to ensure a safe journey through whatever box butchers happen to deliver it. Nestled inside are three items: the Gentix wireless keyboard, a mouse, and an instruction/warranty sheet—the latter being the least interesting of the three.
Being wireless, the keyboard and mouse require batteries, which Cherry handily includes. Installing the batteries simply requires inserting them into the appropriate slot behind a sliding plate on the back of the keyboard and the bottom of the mouse. Next to the battery compartment in the mouse is also where the slim USB receiver is found, which like most other combo sets serves as receiver for both the keyboard and the mouse.
With the batteries installed and the USB receiver plugged in, I was ready to find out if the Gentix combo would bring happiness to my hands.
The Gentix Wireless Keyboard
I was initially impressed by the quality of this keyboard the second I took it out of the box. Weight alone isn’t always an indicator of quality, but you could tell Cherry put a lot of thought into using thicker, more durable materials here. Take the back risers (pictured left), for example; there are three instead of two (each back corner and the middle) and they are incredibly well-built, with a smooth motion and satisfying snap when they lock into place. The extra riser also adds additional stability and a solid feel when hands on.
The business side of the device houses a full keyboard layout, number pad, multimedia controls, and a few essential ease-of-use buttons for web browser, email client, calculator, and Windows Lock. There’s no software required to get up and running, but there is an optional (surprisingly robust) software download that allows for customization of the function row and extra keys noted above.
There’s an integrated wrist rest on the front, though I didn’t find it extended out long enough to offer much support. I found the layout and key spacing a little less roomy than what I prefer, but I was typing at a good clip after a day or two of adjustment.