Windows 8 is getting ready for the big fall debut and while some may think that the touch-based OS means that keyboards and mice are given the boot, it appears that Microsoft has other plans. For one thing the company’s hardware segment announced a bunch of new wireless keyboards and mice that are compatible with mobile hardware, Surface Tablet included.
The peripherals connect to PCs and tablets via Bluetooth and don’t need dongles, which is cool when USB ports are limited. The first newcomer if the Wedge Mobile keyboard, that will cost $79.95. It’s powered by a pair of AAA batteries, that slide into a tear-shaped area underneath the keyboard. On the function row we find media keys and buttons that offer quick access to Windows 8’s Charms, the area that includes Search, Share, Settings and Devices. The good old function keys, from F1 to F12 are still there, but you just need to hold down the Fn when you’re using an app that requires them.
The keyboard has a grippy rubber cover, that’s soft to the touch and designed to sit flush against the slate’s screen. Moving on, we’ve got the Wedge Touch mouse, priced at $69.95, that looks pretty uncomfortable at first sight. This is the tiniest Microsoft mouse to date, that is supposed to run on a single AA battery for 18 months. The sloping face of the mouse if a 4 way touch strip and it will recognize horizontal and vertical scrolling gestures. It also benefits from the Microsoft BlueTrack laser technology.