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Today Microsoft Hardware is announcing new mice and keyboards that are designed to take advantage of Windows 8. These new mice and keyboards will help people interact with their Windows 8 PCs and devices. They will be perfect companions to Windows 8. And I was able to get my hands on the new hardware to share my hands-on experience with you.
I’m pretty quick at typing with Windows 8’s touch keyboard on my Samsung Series 7 tablet. However, for writing out something a bit longer – such as this blog post for example – I find it easier to use a physical keyboard. And that’s where the Wedge Mobile Keyboard comes in. The Wedge Mobile Keyboard is designed specifically to be used with tablets. It seamlessly connected to my tablet via Bluetooth with no trouble at all. Within seconds I had a physical keyboard to use to write this post with.
The Wedge Mobile Keyboard is what I like to call “uber-mobile”. It’s got a full size keyboard yet has a minimalist, lightweight design that makes it super easy to carry around with me. It’s also stylish. It definitely looks pretty slick.
This keyboard features the new Windows logo as seen in Windows 8 for the Start button – which is an easy way to get back to my Start screen (which is the dashboard to everything that is important to me). It also has Windows 8-specific “hot keys” which represent how the apps can work together in Windows 8 (charms) – Search, Share, Device and Settings. I especially enjoy quick access to the Share as I love sharing stuff. The Wedge Mobile Keyboard also has media keys for volume and playback control.
To protect the keyboard from getting banged up and scratched while on the go, it comes with a durable cover that sort of “clamps” on to the keyboard at the sides. The cover will also turn the keyboard off when you “clamp” it on, saving the battery, and turns it back on when you take it off.
The cover is made of a rubber material that doesn’t just protect the keyboard. When I’m on the go, I like to carry the keyboard and my tablet together and the rubber material of the cover for the keyboard prevents my tablet from getting scratched and scuffed up. It also works great when both the keyboard and tablet are put together in a bag.
The cover also has one other purpose…
The cover bends at the middle to be used as a tablet stand. I have a dock for my Samsung Series 7 tablet but I don’t carry it when popping from one meeting to the next here at work. This is perfect because I only need to take the keyboard with cover and my tablet to my meetings which can quickly be set up as a stand.
The Wedge Mobile Keyboard will be available soon for $79.95 (U.S.).
The Wedge Mobile Keyboard also has a little brother – the Wedge Touch Mouse.
The Wedge Touch Mouse is a stylish little mouse that fits in your pocket. It’s really tiny.
There is no USB transceiver with this mouse – like the Wedge Touch Keyboard, it seamlessly connected to my tablet via Bluetooth. But this mouse isn’t just great with tablets – it can be used with any PC or device and works especially well in limited working spaces. And it features BlueTrack Technology so it works great on virtually any surface. The Wedge Touch Mouse also has four-way touch scrolling. Oh, and to save battery life – it will power down and go into sleep along with the PC or device it’s paired to. How cool is that?
The Wedge Touch Mouse will be available soon for $69.95 (U.S.).
Also being announced today is the Sculpt Touch Mouse and Sculpt Mobile Keyboard.
While I didn’t get a chance to get my hands on the Sculpt Mobile Keyboard, I am very familiar with its cousin, the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000. The Sculpt Mobile Keyboard has been updated for Windows 8 and like the other devices I’ve mentioned, it too connects via Bluetooth and can be a great traveling companion. It features the same Windows 8-specific “hot keys” mentioned above with the Wedge Mobile Keyboard and has the Comfort Curve design that helps position the hands and wrists to be in a more natural resting position. To save battery life, it will power down and go into sleep mode after inactivity.
The Sculpt Mobile Keyboard will be available soon for $49.95 (U.S.).
I did, however, get to play around with the Sculpt Touch Mouse.
This little mouse also connects to your PC or device via Bluetooth and like the Explorer Touch Mouse, has a four-way touch scroll strip let lets you swipe up and down, left and right through apps and the Start screen in Windows 8.
The Sculpt Touch Mouse will be available soon for $49.95 (U.S.).
Earlier this year, Microsoft Hardware announced that the Microsoft Touch Mouse would get updated to include new functionality specifically designed for Windows 8. Today, we’re announcing what that functionality is. The Touch Mouse will be updated to support new gestures that will help make navigating through Windows 8 a breeze.
Here’s a nifty chart that gives a little more detail behind the gestures in Windows 8 with the Touch Mouse:
I am absolutely loving the Touch Mouse on my All-in-One here at home and Windows 8. For more on the Touch Mouse – see my post here. One thing I’d like to be clear about – if you already own a Touch Mouse you don’t need to buy a new one for Windows 8! All existing Touch Mouse customers will be able to take advantage of these new gestures for Windows 8 when Windows 8 is released this fall.
You can buy the Touch Mouse today for $79.95 (U.S.).
Starting July 30th, you will be able to pre-order the Wedge Mobile Keyboard, Wedge Touch Mouse, Sculpt Mobile Keyboard and Sculpt Touch Mouse on Amazon.com, NewEgg.com, TigerDirect, and Buy.com.
Microsoft Hardware celebrates their 30th anniversary this year and today’s announcements show they have no intention of slowing down! Microsoft Hardware: designed by Microsoft, optimized for Windows.
Wait, what!? 70 dollars for that mouse? It looks really uncomfortable, it has no extra buttons. That is extreme.
But will you fix the right click and middle click issue? FYI:
the mouse can't middle-click, it just can't, there are some third party software that allow you to do this, but should come out of the box.
and just like the magic mouse (ugh), you can't right-click if your index finger is resting in the left button. you have to lift it and then click.
Also the scrolling is a bit twitchy and has issues with programs like photoshop.
Not sure why it says 70 dollars, I got this one today for 40$. it was in 50 and I got a discount on the retail store and I live in Panama (the country, not the florida city)
You can get it on Amazon for $20
love the wedge keyboard (currently using an arc keyboard even for non-mobile use) would love to see a non-mobile version of the wedge mouse to pair to it
More importantly: MS Hardware/Surface Team NEED to design a Surface dock for launch (the kick stand is great for mobile and will make life easier BUT it will get irritating if it is something that needs to be kicked out EVERY time the Surface is put down. This is especially true if you are setting it down in a more fixed work environment like a desk.
More than the irritation factor though is the incredibly practical consideration of peripherals. The Surface has video out, USB, audio out, and a power port as well (which is all great). As an example let's say I would like to have an external monitor, nicer speakers, maybe a non-Bluetooth mouse and keyboard like the Arc series (each of which use a USB dongle) all connected at my desk... If I have to disconnect each of those devices from each individual port on the Surface and then reconnect them again when I want to use them every time, then the Surface is a no go for me. I am basically envisioning the Samsung Series 7 tablets dock. All the user has to do is dock it to gain access to those peripherals and undock it to make it entirely mobile
Really hope y'all have already figured this out and simply didn't talk about it at the Surface event just b/c it wouldn't have been THAT exciting (to the press anyway)
Great stuff. The keyboard with cover/stand is brilliant simplicity. Nice to see MS continue to push these OEMs who have failed for years to deliver basic needs. +1 for showing the stand holding up a "samsung" tablet.
Logitech sells an equivalent to Apple's Magic Trackpad called the Touchpad. Why isn't Microsoft selling something similar? Since everyone can't get a touch screen, you'd like Microsoft would be on top on this.
I am sorry but the mice look like a TERRIBLE product. I don't know about you, but I rest my fingers on my mouse at all times. I don't sit there with my fingers hovering above the buttons. I actually tend to have a problem when sitting there reading something I might accidently right click from a twitch. Also, 70 dollars for a wedge? I saw it and thought it looks uncomfortable. Then when I saw it with a hand on it it only made me think it was more uncomfortable. Its not going to be used for anymore than 10min at a time, in which case its not worth 70 dollars.
To sum up, Over priced and poorly designed. I don't buy apple products for a reason. Don't try and copy them
I have been using the Samsung 700T with Windows 8 Release Preview and I believe the keyboard will be essential.
Unlike Android or iOS, I have two modes of interacting with a Windows 8 Tablet: Workstation mode (where I need a bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard that can compete with a desktop/laptop) and Tablet mode.
The one major complaint i have about the 700T is that there *is* a docking station that is a hassle to carry around. It feels strange to have a tablet that requires Dock, Keyboard and Mouse to become a real business system.
The Kick-Stand should resolve this, but I am still waiting for a knock-out Keyboard/Mouse solution to be as minimal as possible to accompany the already great Windows portability.
Otherwise, I can just grab my Macbook and rool without having to carry all of the hardware.
Doesn't a "full size keyboard" include a numeric keypad? This junk is clearly microsoft's reaction to people who know they can't drive metro very easily with a standard mouse/keyboard on a desktop and they want us to shell out extra $$$ for it. No thanks.
Glad to see more Microsoft Bluetooth mice coming out. Best mice in the world, minus the dongle. Also good to see more metal in these products, instead of faux-metal plastic accents.
Why Bluetooth? I went shopping for a Bluetooth mouse about a year ago and could hardly find any. The reason why? The spectrum is so noisy these days that Bluetooth devices are constantly getting interrupted. That's why all of the wireless mice are RF. I hope that there will be RF versions of these.
Is that an updated Microsoft logo? It looks different...
Where can I get that awesome mouse pad shown in the Wedge Touch Mouse photo??
Hmm… Our opinion is this mouse won't be extreme design obviously.
Microsoft® Touch Mouse looks pretty hench IMO but I don't rate the Wedge coz it looks plain ugly IMHO
I just don't see a tablet being useful for any significant content creation. That's where a desktop will forever reign supreme. As far as keyboards go, give me my nice solid Model-M keyboard (produced by Unicomp) with buckling spring keys for that great tactile typing experience. The IBM Model-M is the best keyboard ever produced.
No middle-click - no deal.
No right-click - burn with fire.