Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse and Wedge Mobile Keyboard review
Ever since Windows 8 first darkened our desktops, we’ve struggled to get to grips with the new “Modern” interface when using mouse and keyboard. Now, with the advent of Microsoft’s Bluetooth-connected Wedge mouse and keyboard combo, it’s starting to make sense at last.
The strikingly shaped mouse is effectively a laptop touchpad slapped onto an over-sized Trivial Pursuit cheese wedge. It accepts both vertical and horizontal scrolling gestures, although the latter is awkward on such a small device. Fortunately, the Windows 8 Start menu can be scrolled sideways with a vertical swipe, even if scrolling through lengthy documents and web pages isn’t quite as silky smooth as we’ve grown accustomed to in OS X. A 44MB downloadable software driver allows you to customise the mouse buttons and gestures for specific apps, although we suspect most people won’t bother.
Our first impression was the mouse would be too small to use comfortably for long periods, but after a few days of sustained use, it proved to be much more comfortable than we thought, and easy to sling into a bag with a laptop or tablet.
The Wedge keyboard is also an ideal Windows 8 tablet companion. Unclip the rubberised case from the keyboard and the clever central hinge allows it to transform into a surprisingly sturdy stand for your tablet. Pop the case back on, and the Bluetooth keyboard is automatically switched off.
The keyboard is rattly, and the tiny cursor keys and half-size left-Shift key undermine Microsoft’s “full-size” keyboard claims, but a series of shortcut buttons to access the Windows 8 Search, Share and Settings Charms save you from having to rely on gestures.
With no USB Bluetooth dongle included, this pricey pair are only really suitable for Bluetooth-equipped tablets, but it’s a price worth paying: the Wedge combo turned our Samsung Series 7 tablet into a genuine laptop replacement.