By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Unit volume share of cordless mice jumped 16 percent from 2006 to 2007, according to The NPD Group, and to be sure, mice introductions were aplenty at International CES, Macworld and afterward, with companies introducing them in combinations and as individual add-ons.
Unit volume share of cordless keyboards remained essentially flat from 2006 to 2007, NPD said, but they too made recent debuts.
Last week, Microsoft's hardware group announced two desktop mice: the 6000 and 7000 wireless laser mice.
The 6000 ($49.95) is a full-sized mouse with a portable snap-in transceiver. It is meant to combine the need to easily transport a mouse from place to place with the comfort of a full-sized mouse.
The 7000 ($69.95) is a rechargeable mouse; users can reduce their battery consumption by up to 80 percent over three years of use with a rechargeable mouse, according to Microsoft. Other features include a horizontal charging station, battery-status indicator, mini transceiver and ergonomic design.
Both mice have 2.4GHz technology — they can be used up to 30 feet away from the transceiver — and both come with the company's High Definition Laser Technology, which is meant to provide improved responsiveness, greater precision and smoother tracking. Other features include one-click access to the Windows Vista Flip 3D feature, a magnifier tool and tilt wheel.
They will be available in March.
Logitech announced the Cordless Desktop MX 5500 Revolution keyboard and mouse combination. The combo comes with the company's MX Revolution cordless laser mouse, and the keyboard offers a "dynamic" keyboard display. Both feature Bluetooth 2.0 Enhanced Data Rate wireless technology that allows use up to 30 feet away from the computer.
The mouse features Logitech's proprietary MicroGear Precision scroll wheel, enabling users to fly through long documents — up to 10,000 lines of a spreadsheet in seven seconds, according to Logitech. The scroll wheel can also be set to click-to-click mode, which allows precision movement through lists, slides or photos, and the thumb wheel can be set to launch the Windows Vista Flip 3D feature. The mouse comes with a charging stand.
The MX 5500 Revolution keyboard has a built-in 2.95-inch by 0.79-inch display that shows the time and date, calculator, temperature, Web site favorites, a keystroke counter, email updates and media information.
Currently available, the MX 5500 retails for a suggested $169.
Macally used Macworld, held last month, to announce four mice: the Accuglide, Pebble, Pebble Wireless and Turtle.
The Accuglide mouse uses Opto-mechanical technology, which combines laser sensor performance with optical sensor safeties and 800 dpi for precision and smooth control, said Macally. It connects to a computer via a USB port and has a $19.99 suggested retail.
This five-button Pebble mouse ($19.99) comes with a programmable four-way scroll button with tilt-wheel technology. It has a selectable laser resolution (400, 800 and 1,600 dpi) and an ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use. It too connects to a computer via USB.
The Pebble Wireless ($29.99) is similar to the Pebble, except that it connects to the computer via 2.4GHz RF. It comes with a swivel cover meant to hide the IR receiver when not in use.
Finally, the Turtle ($19.99) is described by the company as ideal for use with Mac notebooks. It features a retractable USB cord that extends to the desired length, then tucks inside a compartment to prevent tangling, and it has 800 dpi precision.
All of the mice are currently available. They are designed for use with both Macs and PCs.
Targus announced the Stow-N-Go line of laptop mice at CES, showing three models with tilt wheels and four-way scrolling: the retractable optical Stow-N-Go ($19.99), the retractable laser Stow-N-Go ($29.99) and the wireless laser Stow-N-Go ($39.99).
Users can adjust the cursor speed with one touch of a button, and the dpi setting can also be changed from 1,600, 1,200 or 800. Both of the retractable models feature a 2.5 foot retractable cord that attaches to the bottom of the mouse.
With a 2.4GHz frequency, the wireless mouse can expand to greater distances of up to 10 feet, according to Targus, and the receiver can be tucked under the mouse.
All three mice are scheduled for March availability.
Trust's MI-2850SP optical notebook mouse with integrated retractable cord is offered in white, pink and black. The optical sensor technology reportedly combines precise movement with the latest low-power consumption technology.
The mouse's three-button design is meant to be compact and for use with either right or left hands. Pricing will range from $19.99 to $29.99, said the company, and it will be available in late February or early March.
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