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Apple Releases Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Apple today also introduced the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse, a pair of Bluetooth-based wireless input devices for Macs running Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later with Bluetooth capabilities (either built in or provided by an external adapter). Both work within 30 feet (9.1 m) of the Mac and offer 128-bit encryption of the Bluetooth signals to prevent snoopers from watching keyboard traffic. Apple claims the devices are the first to use Adaptive Frequency Hopping software to eliminate interference between Bluetooth devices and other wireless uses in the 2.4 GHz band (such as Wi-Fi networks and cordless phones). The keyboard relies on four AA batteries and comes with Energizer e2 alkaline batteries that promise up to nine months of use, whereas the mouse uses a pair of AA batteries and should get up to three months of use with its Energizer e2 lithium batteries. Both switch into low power mode automatically and provide on/off switches for times when you know the computer won’t be in use. Retail cost is $70 for each device, and they should be available within two weeks from the usual sources. Apple’s press release said nothing about the new keyboard and mouse becoming standard equipment on future Macs, but given Steve Jobs’s legendary desire for sleek, uncluttered design, we wouldn’t be surprised.

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