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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Battery Life in Wireless Keyboard

    How long a life should I expect from the batteries in a wireless keyboard?

    I bought a Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5000 on August 1st and have just had to change the batteries for the third time on December 1st. I'm not aware of changing them so frequently on my last wireless keyboard, also a Microsoft set.

    I was pretty disappointed with the keyboard already, before the new battery failure. It replaced the previous set, which was functionally sound, but from which the letters had begun to disappear from the keys. After over two years, I didn't think this too bad and was pleased to buy another Microsoft set to replace it.

    I've begun working from home several days a week for the last 6 months and use the PC actively while at work and fairly often when not at work. I wasn't aware of the disappearance of the keyboard letters accelerating in the last few months before replacement but, as a hunt and peck typist, though not slow, I need the reinforcement of visible letters on the keys.

    The new keyboard started to show evidence of its keys rubbing off in late September. By mid October, the E was gone, the T was faint and the A well on the way to disappearing. I spoke to the supplier, who advised that a refund was the only option, as the model was now discontinued. I decided to persist and bought some stick-on letters from eBay, which appear to be doing the trick.

    I get conflicting information if I Google for information on expected battery life. Some sites say batteries last as little as a month, but others say they've had years out of their batteries given apparently similar usage. One site suggests a Logitech set can give three years of battery life, but that sounds a bit hyperbolic.

    If, as I suspect, the battery life is annoyingly short, then that may the impetus I need to bite the bullet and go for the refund. Does anyone else have any idea how long I should expect from two fresh AA batteries, (Duracell Ultra, at that), given that the keyboard is used for 8 or 9 hours a day, (averaged across the week).

    For the record, I'm using a Dell Optiplex 9010 SFF with 16Mb RAM, running Windows 7 x64.

    Many thanks for reading this far.
    Regards,

    Steve

    "A good friend will help you move; a really good friend will help you move a body"

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I bought and MK620 mouse wireless mouse and keyboard set from Costco over 9 months ago with the claimed three year battery life and I haven't had to change batteries in either yet.

    Jerry

  3. #3
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    This is not answering your question, but if you can, I would suggest getting a USB keyboard. One advantage of such (apart from never needing batteries) is that being physically connected, the keyboard lights for Caps Lock, Num Lock etc. will activate. If you don't have a spare USB port, a USB keyboard can usually be connected via a multi-port hub. I have a Logitech USB keyboard attached to a hub, and my Logitech cordless mouse connects to another port on the same hub, both devices work perfectly. The Logitech keyboard is a model K310, which claims to be waterproof and washable, so I doubt if there is much chance of the letters wearing off. I have had it for about a year, used extensively, and the letters are still pristine. The occasional wipe with a damp cloth, to remove fingermarks and grime, does not affect the letter quality. Black letters on white keys, by the way. Key characters are laser printed and UV coated to ensure the letters don’t fade in the wash.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveTetch View Post
    Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5000
    From Amazon, where this KB+Mouse combo has good rating:

    Q: "How long do the batteries last?"
    Answers:
    'Depends on the usage and battery quality, but it could be up to years'
    'The batteries can last for months. However, the keyboard itself will fool you into thinking it needs more batteries. Don't buy'
    'The batteries last me close to a year depending on the quality of the battery.'
    'Well I've had one just like it for about 5 years and only replaced once. The keyboard wore out before the batteries had to be replaced a second time.'

    Q: "What's the battery life?"
    Answers:
    'The original batteries delivered with mouse and keyboard lasted about 14 months. I suspect using a higher grade/quality battery as I am now using may extend the life even further.'
    'I had the version prior to this one and never had any problems with the batteries either. I had it for 7 years and only remember changing the keyboard batteries once.'

    Q: how can i extend the battery life ?
    Answer:
    'Try using normal rechargeable batteries. This only sips power so my batteries last 10-12 months and are always on.'

    Judging from those, you got a bad keyboard. I suggest refund.
    Lugh.
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  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    Batteries will last a longer or shorter time based on several things. The two most important are usage and battery quality (buy good batteries and they will last longer).

    Modern keyboards and mice should "go to sleep" when not being actively used. But the settings/software on a computer can keep them "busy" such that they are active much longer than necessary. If there is an On/Off switch on the device, then consider turning it off at night.

    This isn't something that you can easily test since even with the cheapest battery's out there, you should get a few months. I'm not sure how long your warranty is on the hardware but you may have gotten a lemon, particularly if the paint is also being rubbed off after only a couple months of use. If you still have a receipt then you might want to consider taking it back to wherever you got it from
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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