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Logitech ditches its mouse balls

Logitech ditches its mouse balls

Judging from Logitech’s new product announcements at Cebit trade shoe in Germany, it may be time to say good-bye to the mouse ball.

The company’s new mouses feature optical technology, in which mouse movements are tracked optically, eliminating the mouse ball. The company claims this method increases pointing accuracy.

The company also introduced wireless keyboards and refreshed its line of wired mouses.

The $US49.95 Cordless Desktop Express is a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse combination. Both devices, available in one package, communicated with a computer using a radio frequency (RF) receiver plugged into a computer’s PS/2 port, the company said.

The keyboard and mouse could operate up to six feet away from the receiver, a Logitech spokesperson, Nathan Papadopulos, said.

The keyboard used two AA batteries that lasted one year based on a 40-hour work week, he said.

The mouse uses two AAA batteries that last three months.

The Logitech Cordless Optical mouse, which is part of the Cordless Desktop Express, will also sell separately for $29.95. Both products work on Mac and Windows systems, and will become available in the US and Europe next month, and later this year in Asia. The new MX510 Performance Optical mouse was Logitech’s fastest, most accurate and responsive optical mouse, Papadopulos said.

Its specifications would attract gamers and power users, he said.

“For quick shooter games and graphic design, this mouse’s cursor will move smoothly across the screen,” Papadopulos said.

Gamers avoided optical mouses because the cursors didn’t move smoothly, he said. The MX510 bundles eight reprogrammable buttons, to which gamers can assign keystrokes or weapons.

“We had a request from gamers to assign keystrokes to the mouse [buttons], so [they] don’t have to switch between peripherals,” Papadopulos said.

The mouse also comes with Logitech’s proprietary scrolling system and MouseWare software to control performance of the mouse on PCs.

The MX510 is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems. Like the Express package the $US49.95 mouse is already available in the US and Europe and reaches Asia in April.

Logitech’s new portable Notebook Optical Mouse Plus has a built-in cable that can be pulled out and connected to a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port.

That made the mouse easy to carry and was good for travellers because it eliminated the jumble of wires, Papadopulos said. Once the mouse was unplugged, the cord wound itself and snapped back into the base of the mouse, where it was positioned to protect the optical sensor.

The $US29.95 mouse goes on sale in the US and Europe in April and in Asia later in the year. It is both Windows and Mac compatible.

A mini-receiver would soon ship for the Cordless Click Plus Optical and Cordless Click Optical mouses, Logitech said.

The mini-receiver, about the size of a car key, plugs into a USB port and works instantly after sensing the companion mouse, the company said.

The device’s installation was designed to eliminate complications usually involved in installing wireless devices, Papadopulos said.

The receiver used RF technology and would work with mouses up to 1.83m away, he said.

The $US49.95 Cordless Click Plus Optical is meant for right-handed users, and the $US39.95 Cordless Click Optical is meant for ambi- dextrous users.

European vendors receive both devices in May, and the products reach the US and Asia in July. An optional receiver extension will be included in the package for difficult-to-reach USB and PS/2 ports.

The company launched its redesigned wired Optical Mouse for $US14.95, its cheapest price ever, Papadopulos said.

It will be available in the US and Europe in late-March and in Asia in April. The mouse comes with a scroll wheel and two buttons and works on USB or PS/2 ports.

“Technology is now more affordable for the regular user,” he said.


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