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Tech Buzz 1/04

Versatile mice for your employees; the next generation of portable display devices

Peripherals Vision
If you haven't thought twice about your computer input devices lately, it might be time to reconsider. A small hardware investment can make a computer user more comfortable during long hours at the desk and-the ultimate goal-increase worker productivity. One of the more recent innovations out on the market is embodied in Microsoft's Wireless Optical Desktop Elite package for $105 (all prices street). Included is a mouse with Tilt Wheel technology, a sideways scrolling feature that makes quick ergonomic work of navigating Web sites, spreadsheets and long documents. A similar scroll wheel is also built into the keyboard.

Logitech introduced the $49.95 Cordless Click! Optical Mouse with Fast RF wireless speeds equivalent to USB. It works with either hand, an important consideration for computers with many users. The $65 Kensington StudioMouse Wireless also includes rechargeable batteries and a cradle.

Wireless mice are smart options for graphic design work or for anyone who doesn't want to be tethered. Wireless connections typically give you about 6 feet of room to roam. This is also handy when conducting small gatherings, meetings or presentations around a monitor. Laptop users wanting space between themselves and their machines can take along a lightweight cordless optical mouse that can be used on just about any surface. When it comes to work comfort and convenience, new peripherals can be a quick and inexpensive step up.

Now Presenting . . .
When plain old PowerPoint isn't enough, you might want to consider a portable document camera (PDC), sometimes called a desktop visual presenter. That's a long name for a device that can display hard copy documents, 3-D objects or even microscopic images with the right adapter. Entrepreneurs who can't get away from paper can use a PDC as an alternative to scanning in or digitizing a pile of documents for a presentation. Most PDCs work through a projector or by being hooked up to a monitor.

Growing businesses whose products don't translate well onto a slide can add a PDC as a powerful sales presentation tool. Live product demos can be broadcast to meetings or to audiences at trade shows. PDCs with lots of bells and whistles run about $1,000. On the lower end, you'll find PDCs like the AVerMedia AVerVision110, which clocks in at less than $500 (street).


92%
of managers monitor employees' use of the Internet and e-mail.
SOURCE: Bentley College's Center for Business Ethics


Nearly
50%
of all U.S. workers use some kind of mobile technology.
SOURCE: Gartner Inc.

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This article was originally published in the January 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Tech Buzz 1/04.

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