TECHXNY - Logitech unveils secure keyboards, mice

Talk about mousing around: Logitech has debuted four new computer mice and two wireless keyboards at PC Expo (part of TECHXNY) here this week. The input devices range from corded optical mice to stylish wireless keyboards with Web-access functions, set for release this (Northern) summer.

Logitech's Cordless Freedom Optical keyboard, bundled with an optical mouse, will ship in the US in August priced at $US99, say Logitech representatives. Both it and the new $US79 Cordless Freedom iTouch are more stylish and svelte than Logitech's previous keyboard offerings. Both ship with four new programmable Internet buttons, shortcut keys to desktop applications, and increased security features.

The Cordless Freedom Optical keyboard comes with Logitech's Cordless MouseMan Optical computer mouse. That model of optical mouse sells separately for $US69. The Cordless Freedom iTouch is bundled with a wireless mouse.

Extras: easier surfing and security

Most notably, the new Cordless Freedom Optical keyboard sports a new iNav Module on the left side for handling tasks like scrolling Web pages, accessing local file directories, and switching among desktop applications. The Cordless Freedom iTouch doesn't share same colour schemes and ships without the iNav Module.

The extra keys on both keyboards include a Media Key to launch a dialogue box that displays a list of the media players on your system (great for people who don't like their system's default media player or are too lazy to change it).

For the paranoid, Logitech now encrypts the wireless signals transmitted from keyboard to the radio frequency (RF) receiver, reducing the likelihood that your keystrokes will be logged by hackers crouched in a black van parked outside your house. Logitech has added a second RF signal to the keyboard ensuring wireless signal reliability.

New mouse trappings

Logitech is also showing its latest corded ($US29) Wheel Mouse Optical, which has an enhanced optical sensor that supports 800 dots per inch, compared to the previous 400dpi. Logitech says increased optical sensors make quick work of precision and accuracy in both game play and graphics work. The mouse is scheduled to ship this spring.

A small and slightly boxy MouseMan Traveller optical computer mouse is scheduled to go on sale this fall priced at $US49, catering to notebook users. A $US49 three-button Cordless Optical Mouse rounds out this fall's new products. It is intended to complement Logitech's current four-button ($US69) Cordless MouseMan Optical.

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