Wednesday, 20 May 2009 12:49

New mice, keyboard and webcam from Microsoft

Microsoft has boosted its range of peripherals. New models include a pair of mice, a keyboard, and a webcam.
Featuring Microsoft's BlueTrack technology, the Wireless Mouse 5000 and 6000 are said to work on virtually any surface.

The $US39.95 Wireless Mouse 5000 is a full-sized ambidextrous mouse with a snap-in transceiver for portability.

The $US49.95 Wireless Mouse 6000 is intended for mobile use and features Microsoft's new "nano" transceiver that protrudes just 0.8 cm from the USB port. For comparison, the previous transceiver that shipped with the Arc Mouse seemed tiny at 1.6 cm.

While the nano transceiver is probably short enough to safely remain plugged into a notebook while travelling, there's also provision to stow it in the mouse.

The Wireless Keyboard 3000 ($US39.95) features the normal straight key layout (as opposed to the two curved designs used on some other Microsoft models), a thin profile, a soft palmrest, and a 2.4GHz transceiver.

It is also available bundled with the Wireless Mouse 5000 as the $US69.95 Wireless Desktop 3000.

The LifeCam VX-2000 is positioned as an affordable ($US29.95) yet quality webcam with easy setup for video calling.

It supports VGA video and 1.3MP for still images with automatic adjustment for low light, and includes a Windows Live call button.

"These days more than ever, consumers are looking for the biggest bang for their buck, and the LifeCam VX-2000 fits the bill, with an excellent webcam experience that's easy on the wallet," said product marketing manager Daniel Anguiano.

All four devices are scheduled to ship in June.

Australian prices and availability have yet to be announced.

Although Microsoft is primarily a software company, its hardware operation dates back the 1980 introduction of the Softcard, a Z80 coprocessor card for the Apple II.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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