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VAIO VN-CX1: You heard it here first -- a mouse that talks

The VAIO VN-CX1 is a mouse that moonlights as an Internet telephone. Crave likes mice, but mice that can talk, well, that's just scary

Crave has seen it all. A mobile phone that's also a games console, a games console that's also an MP3 player and even an MP3 player that looks like a mobile phone.

Then we came across the VAIO VN-CX1, a normal-looking mouse with a split personality. This is no normal pointing device, this is the Clark Kent of mice -- glasses not included.

The CX1 is one of Sony's latest creations and brings together a mouse and Internet telephony. It does this by cleverly concealing a handset through a hinge at the back that lets you flip the mouse open to reveal a full-sized phone.

When the mouse is closed, it functions as a normal mouse, but when you receive a call through Skype, it rings and flashes to alert you. Then all you have to do is flip the CX1 open and before you can say "Is it a mouse? Is it an Internet telephone?" you'll be speaking to your pals in the furthest reaches of Internet-enabled Australia.

Once you're connected to a call, you can use the scroll wheel to control the phone's volume, and if you're really busy you can even leave the handset on the desk for hands-free operation.

The beauty of all of this is the fact that you don't need two devices taking up space on your desk -- and it runs on USB. So, unlike the days when Internet handsets had to be cleverly attached to the headphone jack and microphone jack, now all you have to do is plug it in to the nearest USB port. Don't you just love USB? -AL