Cherry eVolution Orca Wireless Laser Design Desktop review

Price when reviewed

Cherry is a company associated with top-quality keyboards but, as you’ll see if you browse through, style isn’t always the first word you’d associate with its products. The Cherry eVolution Orca Wireless Laser Design Desktop marks a significant departure from this, dressed as it is in a striking white and piano-black finish. Think 1920s spats and you won’t be far wrong.

It isn’t just here to look good. The keys have a very nice, positive feel that will delight anybody who spends long hours tapping away at a keyboard. They do make a little more noise than we’d like, but it would be unfair to call them rattly: there’s a slight clatter, especially if you reach any sort of pace, but it isn’t annoying.

Unlike the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000, extra features are kept to a minimum. Aside from the standard keys, all you get are shortcut buttons for calculator, email, your web browser and sleep – plus six media controls.

The reason we separate the media controls for special mention is that they’re rather niftily separated themselves, sitting below the keyboard in two sections of three. On the left, you have volume up, down and mute; on the right, previous, play/pause and next. But rather than use normal buttons, these are ridged buttons just 1mm thick arranged in a wave pattern. It makes them easy to find by feel (good, again, for touch-typists).

The mouse, however, is much less special. It feels light in the hand and, although it’s accurate, we far preferred the slightly heavier and fractionally more responsive mouse in Microsoft’s Wireless Desktop 3000 set.

The Orca’s mouse isn’t weighed down by features either: its scrollwheel has a good feel to it but doesn’t add anything extra (such as horizontal scrolling), while the back and forward buttons are both found on the left-hand side of the mouse, and due to their tiny dimensions are tricky to hit.

But what’s most off-putting to anyone of a highly-strung nature is that the buttons are just too clicky. That’s a real shame when compared to the discreet nature of the keyboard. The only feature worthy of note is that the tiny 2.4GHz transmitter slots back neatly into the body of the mouse when not in use – perfect for anyone who wants to carry it around in a laptop bag.

Perhaps surprisingly, considering this set’s high price, neither item is rechargeable. The mouse uses a single AA battery; the keyboard (due to its slimline dimensions, perhaps) two AAA batteries. Naturally, these are supplied in the box.


So is it worth the money? We have our doubts. For most people, Microsoft’s wireless offering is a better deal. After all, it costs almost half the price. And even if the Orca was the same price it wouldn’t be a clear-cut decision, mainly because of its slightly lightweight and clicky mouse.

Nevertheless, for anyone who pumps out thousands of words a week the Orca’s attractions are undeniable. And if you have a jet-black PC with white stripes and need a matching keyboard and mouse set, then your dreams have just come true.

Basic Specifications

Wireless protocol2.4GHz
Charger included?no


TechnologyRed laser
Middle scroll wheelyes


Numeric keypad?yes
Media transport keys?yes

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