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Belkin Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse

Belkin Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse

Freeing yourself from desktop cable clutter can be an uplifting experience. Once you discover the joys of using a wireless mouse and keyboard, you'll never want to return to your primitive tethered existence. With Belkin's $75 Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse kit, you can liberate yourself and not break the bank.

Upside: The benefits of wireless input devices speak for themselves: freedom of movement and no tangled mess on your desk. Belkin's kit offers an ambidextrous mouse, which means both lefties and righties can use it comfortably--great for those who switch mousing hands regularly to avoid repetitive stress injury. It's optical, too, so you don't have to worry about a rollerball becoming encrusted with grime and gunk. The keyboard's 14 hot keys provide quick access to e-mail, the Web, and other programs, and batteries are, in fact, included for both components.

Downside: Battery life is always a question with wireless technology, and the Belkin Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse is no exception; you'll need to keep a stash of AAA batteries for the keyboard and AAs for the mouse. The mouse has only two buttons and a scrollwheel, which might be enough for some, but many people have gotten used to thumb-side buttons for moving forward and backward through Web pages--a feature sadly missing here.

Outlook: This simple keyboard and mouse duo brings wireless input to the people. Despite the $75 manufacturer price, we've seen the kit going for between $40 and $50 from various online retailers. Dexterous multitaskers will want a more full-featured mouse, but if your goal is to get rid of cable clutter, this Belkin kit is a straightforward approach.

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