Apple, BlackBerry, Orange, Apricot... Cherry. No, not the recipe for a fruit salad, but a list of some of the tech companies named after fruit. There's even a US firm called Tomato Computers (it's a fruit), but until Rhubarb Computers comes along Cherry will retain the place closest to my heart and fingers as the maker of the mouse and keyboard I am currently using.
The Cherry DW 8000 comprises wireless keyboard and mouse. More specifically a flat wireless keyboard with five hotkeys, and an adjustable-resolution three-button mouse with infrared sensor. Both have battery status displays, and connect to your PC via a supplied USB dongle, which utilises 2.4GHz wireless connectivity. Both devices require two AAA batteries, which are supplied.
Cherry DW 8000 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse: style and build
Continuing with our fruity theme, Cherry has clearly been taking style tips from Apple. The Cherry DW 8000 mouse and keyboard are both clad in silver, with white relief provided by the scrabble tile buttons on the keyboard, as well as the white underside of the mouse. The overall effect is very Apple like, and the better for it.
The Cherry DW 8000 keyboard is described by the maufacturer as being 'in a pure, modern design. Beautiful, flat, high-quality.' And all marketing speak aside we can see what they mean. The keyboard measures 441x165x18mm and sits flat on the desk. Thus it looks good and is stable, but if you are used to typing on a keyboard that sits at an angle you may find your fingers aching as they get used to the change. It wasn't a problem for us - like typing on an oversized laptop keyboard.
The materials from which the Cherry DW 8000 peripharels are constructed are strong and light. The mouse weighs just 127g and the keyboard 730g.
Get close up with both the DW 8000 keyboard and mouse and you'll see that the silver finish is in fact a lightweight plastic, rather than the metallic click of an Apple keyboard. This is not a criticism - the Cherry keyboard and mouse are stylish, robust, and reatively inexpensive. And the couple of weeks of heavy use to which we have subjected them have failed to mar their stylish looks. In part this is down to the fact that the shiny finish repels dust and grot. Also, the flat nature of the keyboard, and the sizeable gaps between the keys, means that even a serial desk-sandwich imbiber need only tilt the keyboard over the bin to shake out any crumbs.
Cherry DW 8000 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse: in use
Pairing the Cherry DW 8000 keyboard and mouse with your PC is a cinch. Stick in the supplied USB dongle, switch on the devices and you are away.
That it fits flat to the desk won't suit every keyboard user, but we found we got used to it pretty quickly. The keys are a decent size and although they are thin and don't have much travel, they give a satisfying click when hit. And there is a decent gap between keys, so you don't need to look to type. In general, then, it's a thumbs up for the Cherry.
We also liked the mouse, although fans of rodent bells and whistles such as additional buttons or touch capabilities will be disappointed. The Cherry DW 8000 mouse is resolutely old school: two buttons and a scroll wheel. Personally, having wrestled for some months with Microsoft's Touch Mouse I am more than happy to return to white bread, but other opinions are available.
A colleague had to use my Windows 8 desktop for a period and complained that the Cherry 'doesn't work properly with Windows 8'. I'd contend that a traditional three-button mouse works perfectly well with Windows 8 - and that if it doesn't that is the fault of the OS and not the mouse. But if you like to use Windows 8 via mouse gestures, this is not the input device for you.
The Cherry mouse is a good size and shape. It measures 107x60x27mm. More importantly the curvaceous sweep of the silver top will fit nicely hands of all sizes. Buttons clicking feels solid and receptive, and the scrollwheel - while defiantly mechanical - is accurate and proffers useful user feedback.
The mouse is, in general, accurate. Quick out of the box you can adjust the resulotion from 2000dpi to 1000dpi if you like a bit less accuracy in your mousing.
Cherry DW 8000 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse: value
Assessing the pricing of PC peripherals is always difficult. After all - who considers the cost of a mouse and keyboard when they buy a PC? Shelling out a further £60 as the Cherry requires you to feels like a hefty additional cost. But quality input devices do cost a pretty packet, and to get both wireless mouse and keyboard for £60 is pretty good.
For instance, we've recently reviewed two standalone Cherry keyboards - the Cherry G80-3000 and the Cherry G84-4100 - that cost £60 and £50 alone. Indeed, scoot over to our keyboard reviews page and you'll see plenty of keyboards that cost upward of £100. And a decent mouse will cost you around £50 to £100. So the fact that if you shop around you can get the Cherry DW 8000 bundle for around £60 makes it something of a bargain: but only if you are unhappy with the mouse and keyboard you already have. The Cherry kit will make your workstation more stylish, but it offers little in the way of additional time-saving functionality.
Cherry DW 8000 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse: verdict
Stylish and relatively inexpensive, we like this mouse and keyboard from Cherry. The build quality isn't quite what you might assume looking from a distance, but the Cherry DW 8000 is well put together, fairly robust and lightweight. In use both the keyboard and mouse are comfortable and have reasonable feature sets. There are few bells and whistles here, but for the price this is a solid product.