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Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Microsoft Unveils New Keyboards, High-end Mice

Microsoft on Tuesday rolled out a new set of peripherals, including a laser-based mouse with enhanced game performance features.

In its annual refresh of its computer input hardware, the world's largest software maker introduced two new keyboards and six new mice.

However, the company's first-ever laser mice, dubbed the 6000 series, come at least a year after Microsoft's peripheral rival Logitech unveiled its first laser mouse, the MX 1000. The new class of mice, which use a laser instead of a light-emitting diode to track their movements, are said to be 20 times more sensitive to surface details than conventional optical mice. Microsoft believes that this feature will be popular for games and graphics applications. The other three mice, which use optical tracking, featured new designs and technology improvements.

In addition, the new keyboard features a split configuration keyboard for more ergonomic typing that also includes a zoom slider bar to shrink or enlarge digital text or photographs. The second keyboard featured a new, concave design for the keys aimed at making it easier for users to type without straining their arms, fingers and wrists.

Microsoft also released a few optical mouse products, including the $54.95 Wireless Optical Mouse 5000; the Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 4000, at $44.95; the Notebook Optical Mouse 3000, at $34.95; and the $29.95 Comfort Optical Mouse 3000.

The firm said the Wireless Optical Mouse 5000 and new keyboards will be available starting this month, whereas the new Xbox 360 Controller for XP-based PCs and Xbox 360 console--priced $44.95--will hit the market in November.

The new keyboards are expected to retail for between $25 and $65, while the mice are expected to sell for $35 and $105, depending on their form and function, Microsoft said.

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