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Christmas Gift Guide

Microsoft may have shot itself in the foot by revealing some incredibly tasty looking keyboards and mice -- designed to go with its touch-friendly, tablet-gracing Windows 8 software.

The Wedge keyboard and mouse (photo 1 above) are both tiny -- the mouse is the length of your fingers -- and packed with neat design touches. The black stand you see in the first photo is actually a cover for the keyboard, as you can see in photo 2.

The keyboard has Windows 8 hot keys and media buttons along the top row, and decently sized Ctrl, Shift and Backspace keys. It's only real concession to space is a one-row Enter key.

It connects to your Windows 8 tablet using Bluetooth, and automagically turns on and off when you take the cover off or clip it back on.

As for the wee mousey (photos 4 and 5), you can use it on practically any surface (I suggest you avoid lava and toffee) and it also connects using Bluetooth, powering up and down when the computer does. That'll avoid that annoying thing when you accidentally knock a mouse on your table and it turns your whole computer on.

If you need a bigger keyboard, Microsoft's ergonomic new Sculpt keyboard is slightly bent to better fit your awkwardly angled arms. Check it out in photo 6.

The software behemoth has also detailed the way in which its current Touch Mouse will work with Windows 8. The Touch Mouse lets you shortcut to various functions by doing various one, two or three-fingered gestures, which isn't quite as rude as it sounds.

In Win8, two-finger slides to the left will beckon forth the operating system's 'charms', the common menu functions relevant to every app. Sliding right with two fingers will switch between open apps.

The new peripherals will be out "in the coming weeks and months" according to Microsoft, with the Touch Mouse updated when Windows 8 arrives on 26 October. The Wedge mouse will set you back $70 (£45), the Wedge keyboard $80 (around £55) and the Sculpt keyboard $50 (£35). UK prices are yet to be announced, but bung an extra 20 per cent on those conversions for VAT and you'll be about right.

Would these sumptuous accessories make you forswear your Windows tablet's touch interface? Make use of your keyboard in the comments below, or over on our elegantly machined Facebook page.

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This is the Wedge's folding cover, which turns the keyboard on when you remove it.
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The Wedge is very thin and light.
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Here's the wee Wedge mouse. It's Bluetooth too.
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Another angle on the tiny new pointer.
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This is the larger, cheaper Sculpt keyboard. It also has Windows 8 hot keys.
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