Microsoft Announces New Mobile Keyboards and Mice for Windows 8 Tablets and Laptops

Microsoft Wedge Mobile KeyboardMicrosoft announced this week that it would be releasing new keyboards and mice that have been optimized for tablets and laptops running Windows 8, the newest operating system from the company. These new devices are lighter and more mobile and are designed to work with tablets running Windows 8 and RT, both of which are set to be released on October 26, 2012.

The new mice and keyboards are completely wireless and are capable of connecting to devices via Bluetooth, eliminating the user’s dependence on USB ports and dongles. These new products are said to be released around the same time as Windows 8, according to Microsoft, who stated that the Surface tablet would also come out around then as well.

The Wedge Mobile Keyboard is a full-sized keyboard designed specifically for tablet users. It has specific hotkeys for Windows 8 that provide quick access to search, system settings and the Metro user interface in the Windows 8 operating system. In addition to that, the device uses Bluetooth for connection and comes with a cover that turns the keyboard off and can also be used as a tablet stand.

The Microsoft Sculpt Mobile Keyboard has a six degree curve reminiscent of the company’s ergonomic keyboards and has many of the same specific Windows 8 hotkeys that the Wedge Mobile Keyboard has. One difference is that the Sculpt Mobile Keyboard offers a 10-month battery life on active usage.

The Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse has a four-way touch scroll strip, making it easier to navigate through the Windows 8 start screen. You can easily navigate through multiple panels on the Start screen by simply swiping your finger on the the panel.  The mouse also enables easier navigation through documents.

The Microsoft Touch Mouse also incorporates finger swipes and movements to navigate screens, switch applications and zoom in and out. The Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse can shut down whenever a tablet goes into sleep mode and is smaller than a traditional mouse. It is designed for mobile use and can easily fit into your pocket or on any work surface while also providing four-way touch scrolling.

All of these devices will work with devices based on Intel processors and with Windows RT devices based on ARM processors. These devices are also compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista and Mac OS devices, though some advanced features may not work. Prices are $79.95 for the Wedge Mobile Keyboard, $49.95 for the Sculpt Mobile Keyboard, $49.95 for the Sculpt Touch Mouse, $79.95 for the Touch Mouse and $69.95 for the Wedge Touch Mouse.

Source: Computer World – Microsoft announces new hardware for Windows 8

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