Apple Introduces New Wireless Keyboard & (One-Button) Mouse

In addition to the new PowerBooks, Apple has launched a new line of wireless keyboards and mice. Appropriately called the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse, the new devices are Bluetooth products designed to remove that many more cables from your desktop. The new products offer encryption to keep others from shanghaiing what you type, and Apple also says that these devices are the first to use Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH). AFH is designed to keep Bluetooth devices from interfering with, or being interfered with, other wireless devices. The products are battery powered and Apple says the batteries will last up to 9 months. From Apple:

Apple today introduced the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse, new Bluetooth-based peripherals that provide reliable performance at up to 30 feet and offer secure 128-bit, over-the-air encryption keeping sensitive information safe as it is being typed. Apple is the first to deliver Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) software which eliminates interference between Bluetooth devices and other wireless networks and devices. This feature enables the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse to perform reliably in home, office, school and lab settings where other wireless devices and networks may be in use.

"Apple was the first to fully integrate Bluetooth support in its operating system with Mac OS X and the first to make Bluetooth standard across our entire line of professional notebooks," said Philip Schiller, Appleis senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "The Bluetooth-based Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse are an ideal complement to our new PowerBooks and provide our desktop customers with an elegant way to eliminate cable clutter."

The Apple Wireless Mouse features a comfortable, easy-to-use ambidextrous design. The optical tracking engine provides responsive and accurate cursor movement on almost any type of surface. The Apple Wireless Keyboard features 16 function keys, full numeric keypad, inverted-T, audio control and the ability to eject optical media. Freed from cables, the full-size yet compact wireless keyboard takes up very little space on a desktop and easily fits on a useris lap. Both products feature AFH software allowing the Bluetooth radios to adapt to the presence of other wireless products by avoiding the frequencies used by other wireless devices and networks to virtually eliminate interference which could otherwise impact performance or mouse and keyboard control.

Both devices feature an advanced power management system that automatically switches to low power modes during inactivity and can also be turned off when not in use such as during travel or weekends. Ready to use out of the box, the Apple Wireless Mouse features two Energizer e2 AA batteries providing up to three months of use. The Apple Wireless Keyboard features four Energizer e2 AA batteries providing up to nine months of use*.

Both the keyboard and mouse require Mac OS X version 10.2.6 or later and easily connect to Mac systems with either a built-in Bluetooth adapter or the external D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter.

* Actual battery life may vary depending on usage patterns

The new mouse and keyboard are priced at US$69 each, and Apple says the devices will be available in two weeks. You can find more information on the mouse and keyboard at Appleis Web site.