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Logitech S-520 Keyboard-Mouse combo

January 18; '09; BANGALORE:

ANAND PARTHASARATHY;

If you are one of those who feel shackled, having to use your keyboard and mouse tethered to your PC, then the cordless wireless desktop combo is obviously something they don't have to pitch too hard to you.

I say this upfront, because for the vast majority of home PC users on slim budgets, it's really no big deal, having to connect the mouse or keyboard with a cable to the USB or PS2 ports of the PC. They don't want to spend too much money on such accessories and can easily buy both for less than Rs. 1000.

But I have seen younger users for whom the ability to lounge in various contortionist positions on bed or sofa while handling a keyboard is something that spells f-r-e-e-d-o-m. If they want a basic wireless mouse-keyboard set, Logitech's new S520 just released in India, might seem like a good buy -- at Rs. 4275.

The downside of any cordless accessory is the need to power it with batteries which by Murphy's Law, will run down, locking the keys or mouse, just when you are in the middle of doing something important, -- but Logitech promises 8 months life for the mouse and almost twice that for the keyboard on a fresh set of double AA batteries.

In addition to one-touch access to commonly used office utlities like Microsoft's Word, Excel and the browser, the S520 gives you four programmable function keys as well as play, volume and zoom buttons below the space bar. One click will open the calculator -- again a useful feature if you have ever tried opening "all programmes"... "accessories"... "calculator" every time you need to do some quick math.

There is nothing special about the 2 button - plus-scroll - laser mouse so hard core games freaks who like to customise their pointing tools have to go elsewhere. But for the rest of us it might just be the time to say, untether my desktop and make me free!