Microsoft announces new hardware for Windows 8

The new mice and keyboard will be released around the time of the Windows 8 launch

Microsoft on Monday announced new keyboards and mice optimized for tablets and laptops running the Windows 8 operating system.

The new devices are lighter and more mobile, and will work with tablets running the latest versions of Windows 8 and RT, which are due for release on Oct. 26. The new mice and keyboards are wireless and connect to devices using Bluetooth, cutting the dependence on USB ports.

Microsoft's new mice and keyboard will be released around the time of the Windows 8 launch, Microsoft said in a statement. The company will release its Surface tablet with Windows at around the same time.

The $79.95 Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard is a full-size keyboard designed for tablet users, and has specific hot keys for Windows 8 that provide quick access to search, system settings and the Metro user-interface in the Windows 8 OS. It uses Bluetooth to communicate and comes with a cover that when used turns off the keyboard to increase battery life. The cover can be used as a tablet stand, as well.

The $49.95 Microsoft Sculpt Mobile Keyboard, has a six-degree curve, much like Microsoft's ergonomic keyboards. The keyboard has many of the specific Windows 8 hotkeys, and offers 10 months of battery life on active usage.

Earlier this year, Microsoft's Hardware division announced that the Touch Mouse would get updated to include new touch functionality specifically designed for Windows 8, including support new gestures that will help make navigating easier.

The Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse, also priced at $49.95, has a four-way touch scroll strip, which makes it easier to navigate through the Windows 8 start screen. By swiping the finger on the panel, users can easily navigate through multiple panels on the Start screen. The mouse also enables easier navigation through documents. Similarly, the $79.95 Microsoft Touch Mouse incorporates finger swipes and movements to navigate screens, switch applications or zoom in and out.

The $69.95 Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse can shut down when a tablet goes into sleep mode, extending the battery life of the mouse. It is smaller than a traditional mouse, and is designed for mobile use as it can fit into a pocket and work on any surface. The device provides "four-way" touch scrolling, Microsoft said.

The new accessories will work with devices based on Intel processors, and also with Windows RT devices based on ARM processors. The new keyboards and mice are also compatible with Windows 7, Vista and Mac OS, though some advanced features may not work, according to Microsoft.

(With inputs from Mikael Ricknä³ in London)

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?