I’m guilty of being a collector of Microsoft Hardware - particularly mice and keyboards. I recently added a few new ones in my collection that have just been announced. Two in particular I am coveting are the Wedge Touch Mouse and Wedge Mobile keyboard – shown above.
The Wedge Mobile keyboard is a full sized keyboard that is currently cozying up to my Samsung Series 7 tablet running Windows 8. I’ve been getting used to it this weekend and it’s a pretty great companion given Windows hotkeys for search, share, devices and settings. There is also something I really like about seeing the new Windows logo as the windows key. The keyboard feels very solid in the hand and the cover is ingenious. Not only does it power the unit off when applied but it also doubles as a stand for a tablet device – it does so by making good use of materials that bend reassuringly in to a V shape to form a stand. Speaking of materials the cover has a rubbery surface and is adorned with Microsoft in Segoe font. All in all, it’s a sweet package and as much as I love my Arc keyboard, this is truly the most elegant mobile keyboard I’ve ever used. Oh and given it’s Bluetooth enabled, there are no dongles to lose or take up valuable USB slots on your device (the assumes your device has a USB slot of course…cough). While it works a charm with Windows 8, this keyboard will work with non WIndows devices too. (estimated retail price is $79.95)
The Wedge Touch Mouse reminds me of a piece of cheese. A very, very nice piece of cheese. This thing is beautifully engineered and it’s no surprise that Young Kim has a hand in it. He’s the man behind the award winning Arc Touch Mouse and he often talks about the attention to detail and use of materials that deliver as part of the overall package. Despite its miniscule size (this mouse is literally small enough to fit in your pocket) it has a great feel to it. It takes some getting used to but as a companion to my tablet and the keyboard, it’s perfect. Despite that size, it packs I four way touch scrolling (handy for the Metro style UI on Windows 8) and like the Wedge Keyboard, it’s Bluetooth enabled as well as having our Blue Track technology - means it works on almost any surface. Two things I really love about the design of this mouse – the ejector slot for the battery (which I’ll have video of soon) and the glowing power indicator across the back of the mouse. Oh and it has something called Backpack Mode whereby it powers down along with the computer it’s paired with. (estimated retail price is $69.95)
In addition the Sculpt Mobile Keyboard and Sculpt Touch Mouse were both announced today. The former is a full sized mobile keyboard, weighing in at just over 1lb with a curved design to reduce fatigue when typing while the mouse is a great companion to Windows 8 with a touch scroll strip that supports four way touch.
And finally, the Microsoft Touch Mouse is getting an updated specifically designed for Windows 8 - with new gesture settings to easily navigate the new UI.
All in all, a pretty nice lineup at Windows 8 nears. Expect to see this gear on retail shelves very soon.
More details on the Windows blog and Microsoft News Center.
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