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  • Cost: $40
    Months on list: 2
    Price Change: $0

    For gaming in the 21st century, an optical mouse is virtually a requirement. After all, who wants to be in the middle of a UT session and have to take a break to clean the ball and rollers? With optical technology, you never have to clean the mouse, as it tracks using optical sensors rather than mechanical rollers.

    The Logitech MouseMan Wheel looks to be as good a pick as any, and includes both PS/2 and USB support. In addition to the standard mouse buttons and wheel, it does have a few features that are definitely in the "way cool" category. The most obvious is the blue-glow of the Logitech symbol on the top of the mouse itself, which will certainly make you some friends at the latest LAN fest. Like the MS Intellimouse Explorer, the MouseMan Wheel Optical feels very comfortable in your hand and tracks well in games. Please note that optical mice track the best over dark surfaces, and some have trouble with certain mousepads or when used on clear or pure white areas. Something like a black matte or woodgrain finish seems to be the optimum tracking surface for an optical mouse.

    Cost: $35
    Months on list: New
    Price Change: N/A

    Although computer technology has come a very long way, you'll still need a quality keyboard to go with your gaming system. There are really two trains of though here. One is that ergonomic, split keyboards are the best answer to potential strain and fatigue. For this market we recommend the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro, which is essentially a Keyboard Elite with a few more features, buttons and a USB hub. I was a huge Elite fan, but after attaching my scanner and digital camera on the USB hub I won't be going back anytime soon. Plus, I can't imagine controlling Winamp through anything but the keyboard's multimedia buttons.

    If you are looking for a standard keyboard layout, then the Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro might be the right ticket. It has the same multimedia buttons and USB ports as the Natural Keyboard Pro, but you won't have to learn how to touch-type all over again.



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