Microsoft sneaks 1GB of memory into new laptop mouse

Microsoft sneaks 1GB of memory into new laptop mouse

Microsoft has a handful of new laptop mice the company wants you to know about this morning. And while Microsoft isn't usually the first brand name that springs to mind when you think of computer hardware (software's another story), a few of the promised features look interesting enough to check out.

The Memory Mouse 8000 includes 1GB of flash memory in the USB receiver.

The $99 Microsoft Mobile Memory Mouse 8000 calls itself the world's "first rechargeable notebook mouse with 1GB of flash memory built right into the transceiver," which we suppose is technically true, since the only other mouse we can think of that includes flash memory in the receiver runs off of AA batteries.

Still, having some onboard storage space on the USB receiver is an idea we're fond of, and it's especially good for taking PowerPoint files and presentations along on the road. Also cool is the little switch on the bottom of the mouse that switches between Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless modes. The Memory Mouse will be available in October.

Two other new MS mice are also debuting this morning. The Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 can obviously operate without the need for a USB receiver, thanks to the built-in Bluetooth technology found in most (but not all) laptops today. Look for it in October, for $49.

Slightly more pedestrian is the Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 7000, which has a snap-in USB receiver that easily stores in the bottom of the mouse itself--handy for traveling. Even though it's small in size, we like the ergonomic design, curved to fit our hand--as most portable laptop mice tend to be small, flat, and not very comfortable for extended use. It should be available for $49 later in September.