Mac Keyboard And Mouse Combo

Alison Young
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March 24, 2006
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There are so many desktops (keyboard/mouse combos) on the market, but very few are available for Macs. You Mac fans will appreciate Logitech’s new Mac-specific keyboard and mouse combo. The Logitech Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser for Mac is a stylish white-and-silver upgrade from the plain standard Mac keyboard and mouse. It is a perfect addition to any Mac, especially a Mac mini (which doesn’t come with a mouse or keyboard).

My favorite functions are the iTunes and iPhoto buttons. Pushing these gives you instant access to your music and photos. There are other dedicated keys you can custom program (with the included software) to launch Safari, Mail, Spotlight or whatever you prefer. The keyboard is ergonomically shaped and ultra-flat (less than 3/4-inch tall) designed to minimize wrist extension and the built-in palm rest provides added support.


The sculpted MX 600 laser mouse features a tilt wheel that lets you scroll pages top-to-bottom or side-to-side. It also has five reprogrammable buttons that you can use to control volume and your web browser (back and forward) without taking your hand off the mouse. The USB mini-receiver plugs in easily to any Mac, and its small size is particularly convenient for laptop users such as myself. The included USB stand provides a convenient place to store it and sits neatly tucked away in the corner of your desk.

The keyboard uses two AAA batteries and the mouse two AA batteries. On both devices the battery life is approximately six months each with

Logitech’s built-in extended battery life management technology in both. Both keyboard and mouse include LED battery level indicators. When it’s flashing, the LED gives approximately 10 days’ notice before the batteries need to be changed. The mouse has an on/off switch to further the battery life.

The only couple of drawbacks I found is that it did not work with my husband’s MacBook Pro because of the Intel chip, but worked fine with my trusty 15-inch PowerBook. I would imagine it will not work with any Macs with the Intel chip. Perhaps that bug will be worked out in a future software update from Apple. I would have guessed that some programs and peripherals wouldn’t work properly with the new Apple Intel chip. My other issue with the S 530 is the fact that the wireless range doesn’t seem to be that far. The wireless is the standard RF (radio) and not the 2.45 GHz (Bluetooth) that other Logitech products have. If you’re right next to your computer, though, it doesn’t really make a huge difference.

The Logitech Cordless Desktop S 530 is available from www.logitech.com or CompUSA for $99.99. It also includes a five-year limited hardware warranty.

 

three star

PlayStation 3 Update! How long has it been since I’ve been waiting for the much-anticipated PlayStation 3 (PS3)? I say too, too long, especially since it’s been in development for about three years now. Much to my disappointment, Sony recently announced that the PS3 will be released in November 2006 instead of spring of this year, as was previously announced. The PS3 will hit North American, European and Japanese markets simultaneously at this time.

The PS3 consoles will come standard with a 60GB hard drive out of the box. An essential use for the hard drive will be Sony’s online service, which will offer downloads similar to Microsoft Xbox Live. There will be about 30 game titles available upon the PS3’s launch, including the successful and popular Metal Gear Solid 4, Fight Night Round 3, Final Fantasy PS3, Devil May Cry 4 and Tekken PS3.

I suppose Sony is spending extra time perfecting its performance with that insane 3.2 GHz Cell super computer processor that will give it graphics capability. It is thought to be one of the most powerful among the next generation consoles and definitely the most expensive. It will have 256MB of XDR memory, 256MB of GDDR video memory, six USB ports, three Gigabit Ethernet ports and Bluetooth capability.


Most of the PS3’s delay is probably from the struggle of trying to perfect the Blu-ray component. Sony will incorporate the Blu-ray Disk (BD), which has a maximum capacity of 50 GB of space. To give you an idea, that’s about five times the space of today’s PlayStation 2 game on a DVD. BD is a highly anticipated storage medium that will deliver game and movie image quality at levels we’ve never seen before. Sony projects this leap in graphics will allow the PS3 to help popularize the Blu-ray format. Currently Toshiba is Sony’s only competitor with the Blu-ray format.

Sony anticipates producing 1 million PS3 consoles per month by November, and plans to make 6 million by March 2007. With the PS3 launching in the fall, and losing out on early 2006 sales, at least Sony can catch this year’s Christmas season.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is benefiting off this delay with its non-stop competitive Xbox 360 sales. In fact, Microsoft expects to sell 5 million 360s by June. There is no official price set for the PlayStation 3, but expect to pay about $400-$500.

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