Microsoft touts Windows 8 hardware
The latest iteration of Microsoft's flagship operating system lands this October for x86 PCs and ARM-powered tablets.
Unsurprisingly, Redmond is also rolling out a slew of accompanying peripherals designed specifically for Windows 8, including two new Bluetooth-enabled keyboards and a slick pair of mice.
"As PCs get smaller, lighter, and thinner, they are appearing with fewer and fewer USB ports. Coupled with a growing ubiquity of BlueTooth-enabled PCs, there's a clear trend developing," explained Microsoft exec Brett Kelleran. "As computing becomes more and more mobile, it's only natural that keyboards and mice adapt accordingly."
Indeed, the new keyboards and mice boast special touches designed for just such use, including a cover for the Wedge Mobile Keyboard that doubles as a stand for your tablet, a mouse that sleeps when the computer sleeps to save batteries, with a battery door cover that slides instead of unclipping.
As expected, the devices are completely in sync with Windows 8 - as the keyboards have Windows 8 shortcut keys for searching, sharing, changing settings, and device access, while the mice are designed to offer the same precision, control, and fluid interaction as a touch screen.
Additional specs include:
Wedge Touch Mouse - This $70 mobile peripheral offers four-way touch scrolling and navigation. It's Bluetooth-enabled, and features BlueTrack Technology, so can be used on virtually any surface. It also has "backpack mode," which means the device will power down and sleep along with the computer it's paired to, saving battery life.
Wedge Mobile Keyboard - The $80 'board is designed for use with a tablet, yet attempts to appeal to those who are used to a full-size keyboard with a Windows 8 hot key, media keys, Bluetooth technology, and a durable cover to protect it – and your tablet – from scratches. The cover also converts into a tablet stand.
Sculpt Touch Mouse - The $50 Sculpt mouse includes a four-way touch scroll strip for navigating up and down, left and right, and swiping through windows and documents.
Sculpt Mobile Keyboard - Weighing in at $50, the Sculpt keyboard is sturdy, yet just over one pound and ideal for travel. It has a Comfort Curve design to position hands and wrists naturally, and a battery saving mode that powers the keyboard down after a specified period of inactivity.
Microsoft Touch Mouse - The stalwart $80 mouse has been updated specifically for use with Windows 8 to incorporate finger swipes and movements that allow for navigation, switching through apps, and zooming in and out.