Thursday, January 18, 2007
Cool Gear: Bluetooth
This hot wireless standard is changing the way we interact with technology at work, at play and in the car
While eliminating the cable on your keyboard may be mostly a reduction in clutter, wire-free mice are a real pleasure, especially when working in mouse-intensive applications like Photoshop. You may not even be conscious of how many times your mouse's cord interferes with free movement, but when you lose the cord, you immediately notice that the need to pick up and reposition your mouse is reduced dramatically, as you're no longer tethered by the cord's length.
For pen tablet aficionados, Wacom now offers a Bluetooth Graphire tablet. Here's another device that benefits from the technology, as you can hold or position the tablet comfortably, without restriction, in whatever way best suits your preferences and workspace.
There's one downside to all of this freedom-batteries. Mice and keyboards are usually powered by the computer, via the cord, so Bluetooth necessitates onboard power. Wacom's tablet, as well as some mice and keyboard combos, feature built-in rechargeable batteries. For those that don't, we recommend buying rechargeable batteries to save cost over time.
Wireless printing not only cuts cords, it makes it easy to share printers with multiple computers. Several Canon printers, including the PIXMA MP800 all-in-one, the PIXMA iP90 portable inkjet and the Selphy DS810 4x6-inch printer offer Bluetooth printing capability with an optional adapter.
Select Hewlett-Packard printers are also Bluetooth-ready, or use HP's bt1300 Bluetooth wireless printer adapter to make any USB printer compatible.
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