Gadgets and Gizmos

Cordless optical mouse

With the development of the ball-less mouse, it seemed only a matter of time until it was tail-less as well. Now Logitech presents the first cord-free optical mouse, using power saving technology to give it an claimed battery life of three months.

Logitech; Price: $159; Phone: (02) 9972 3711URL:

Stylish drive

The designers at Iomega are working overtime to give their products a sleek, new look. Appearance isn't everything, though - the new Peerless external storage device is available in sizes ranging from 5GB to 20GB, and boasts fast connection options including SCSI and FireWire.

Iomega; Price: 5GB $769, 10GB $839, 20GB $939; Phone: 1800 466 342URL:

Remote switchWhat is there left to buy for the geek who has all the fastest hardware? Accessories, of course! One such is the RC-168 Computer Remote Control from Just Cooler, which uses a radio signal to let you turn on your computer, or reset it, from a distance of up to 20m.

AusPc Market; Price: $71.50; Phone: (02) 9817 8933URL:

LED headlight

In the last few years, advances in light emitting diode (LED) technology have resulted in the first white units. These solid state lights don't break easily, have an estimated lifetime of 100,000 hours, and use less energy than conventional light bulbs. One to three white LEDs are used in this hands-free worklight, ideal for delving into the innards of computers.

Jaycar Electronics; Price: Single $19.95; Triple $29.95; Phone: (02) 9741 8555URL:

IBM USB storage

In the wake of the Trek ThumbDrive (see Gadgets, November 2000 page 188) comes an upmarket version in the form of the IBM USB Memory Key. Featuring 8MB of memory encased in a tough plastic shell, it requires no software drivers if you're using Windows 2000 or Me.

IBM; Price: $99; Phone: 13 2426; URL:

Bluetooth headset

The micro-powered wireless technology, Bluetooth, is gradually making its way into more portable devices. The elegant Bluetooth Headset HBH-10 weighs just 30g and, together with its plug-in for compatible mobile phones, provides users with a high-tech fashion accessory that frees them from messy cables.

Ericsson; Price: $557; Phone: 1300 650 050URL:

USB light

Your computer's USB port provides, among other things, a supply of electricity for powering small devices such as cameras and modems. Gadgetmaker Kensington has taken advantage of this to shed a little light on portable keyboards with its handy FlyLight. Rumours that a USB-powered microwave oven and space heater are under development have not been confirmed.

Kensington; Price: $24.95; Phone: (02) 9700 0180URL:

Wooden keyboard

As computers become more ubiquitous, their higher-quality components creep towards the luxury market to differentiate themselves from cheap clone gear. This hand-finished wooden keyboard from Thought Support is built around a reliable IBM mechanism, and forms a great complement to a wood-panelled office.

Thought Support; Price: $470 E-mail:

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