Product Type: Apple in Misc Systems
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Pro accessories for Pro computers!
Member Name: bigbtommy
Date: 27/05/01, updated on 02/06/01 (231 review reads)
Advantages: Mouse: Optical technology, USB connection, Keyboard: Media key / Volume control
Disadvantages: Mouse: Only one button so fairly incompatible with PC-based computers., Keyboard: lack of shut down / power switch!, Mouse: See above!! Grr...
The Pro keyboard and mouse comes with all new desktop Apple computers, including the iMac and PowerMac G4 computers, and replaces the much hated 'pebble' accessories for the previous iMac.
You can also buy the Pro Keyboard and Pro Mouse from the Apple Store online, for £39 each. They are USB-based peripherals for Macintosh style computers, but also work with PC based computers, and even with the much talked about PlayStation 2. I know, because I have tried. You can load up yaBasic on the PS2 and type using an Apple keyboard. But enough about that... What are they like? Are they worth it?
Firstly, the mouse. The mouse is based on optical technology, rather than sensors and a rubber-ball like previous mouse designs. This means you don't have to take the balls out of the device (no pun intended!) and clean 'em. There is also no button. The whole mouse is a button. Just push down anywhere, and it will click.
You also don't need a pad. You can use it pretty much any surface, apart from glass or mirrors.
Currently, after much testing, my mouse has worked on cotton sheets, wood, polyester shirts, wallpaper, cardboard, rubber, CD cases, nylon jumper, steel bedframe, a pair of jeans, the lens of a pair of dark sunglasses, the side of the iMac itself, a vinyl record and my hair to name but a few places I tried it! It also works dubiously on the monitor itself. No need for a mouse pad!!
This makes surfing the internet a lot more friendly, as wherever you can get your computer, you can pretty much use your mouse!
The mouse features a very tasty see-through design, reminiscent of the PowerMac G4 Cube, and sports a white Apple logo 'inside' the seethrough plastic. It has a long silver wire with a USB plug on the end, which connects in to your Pro keyboard! Even the USB plug has a groovy indented Apple logo!
For lots more details from Apple about the mouse have a look at
The Mouse' USB connection leads us straight on to the Keyboard.
Unlike many PC-based keyboards, which have 'clunky' action, the Apple Pro Keyboard is a very soft, yet firm action. It has 108-keys, including 3 to control the volume of the Mac's inbuilt speakers, or output to a stereo system. It also features a media eject key, which makes compact discs, and digital versatile discs pop out of the drive. (This is also done via Apple+E or dragging the CD's icon to the Trash).
A word of warning, if you have quite an old Mac, the media eject and volume control keys will not work unless you move up to OS 9.1 or above!
The keyboard also features 15 programmable user-function keys, which can be changed to run the default 'F' functions of a program. The keyboard also has a 'help' key, which if pressed will open up the Macintosh help files for whatever application you are in.
Another exceptionally cool thing that happens, is that when you push the Caps lock button, a small green light appears THROUGH the key! The only things that will really confuse PC users, is the @ key, which is Shift and 2, and the lack of a # key, which you have to press Alt and 3 for (this is particularly bad for people in to IRC-ing, as that appears before channel names, eg. #mp3, #chat, #uk etc...)
It also features 2 USB connections on either side, so all you have is mouse in to keyboard (via USB), something else such as a printer or scanner going in through the other USB port (I have an Epson Stylus Colour 680), and the cable comes out the back of the keyboard and goes to the side of your iMac (or monitor of your PowerMac G4 Cube).
Also have a look at...
In summary, these are the ideal accessories for the super-cool Mac of yours! And need'nt worry, they come as standard with all new Macs! But you will need OS 9.0.4 or higher to run the keyboar
d. They are perfectly colour-coordinated with both the iMac and PowerMac series of computers. So, there's no excuse for not having one!
It's sods law innit! A few days after writing a opinion on the Apple Pro Mouse, it goes and dies! I reckon there is some kind of loose connection within the mouse, and I am gonna have to return it to an Apple dealer next week! God, how majorly annoying!
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