Input Devices Beat
By Gil Loyola
Unsurprisingly, USB was the theme as new input devices made their way to the Macworld Expo floor. In the coming months, iMac and Yosemite G3 owners will have several products to choose from, ranging from two-button mice to slick new game controllers.
Users who find Apple's new mouse to be "ergonomically-challenged" can find solace with one of many traditional-style USB mice seen at this year's expo. There's Macally 's iMousePro (booth #949, www.macally.com ), Contour Design 's UniMouse (booth #4047, firstname.lastname@example.org ), CompuCable 's iMouse (booth #1147, www.compucable.com ), the iPoint from iMaccessories (Consumer Showcase section, www.imacsessories.com ), and the Podiki Mouse from Ariston Technologies (booth #2051, www.ariston.com ). All come in translucent plastic with one or two additional buttons (the iPoint is single button only). Prices range from $20 to $70.
Looking for total control? Check out Logitech 's (booth #135, www.logitech.com ) USB Wheel Mouse and MouseMan Wheel. Both come with additional mouse buttons and a scroll wheel control. Both models are available today, but final Mac drivers won't be available until mid-February. The Wheel Mouse goes for $40 and the MouseMan Wheel for $50.
Macsense and Macally offer cool alternatives to buying a whole new mouse. The iCatch from Macsense (booth #416, www.macsensetech.com ) and iPocket from Macally attaches to Apple's round mouse and extends its length, creating a more standard shaped mouse. The iCatch is available now, while the iPocket should make its way to stores by the end of the month. Both cost around $10
If you're one that prefers using a trackball, two new products were introduced at the show. Macally's USB iBallpro costs around $80 and will ship later this month. The iTrack from iMaccessories is available now and goes for $40.
For digital artists, Wacom (booth #4026, www.wacom.com ) introduces a USB version of its PenPartner graphics tablet. Scheduled to ship in a couple of months, the PenPartner offers a pressure sensitive pen and a software bundle that includes MetaCreation's Painter Classic software. Suggested retail is $99.95.
While Mac gamers anxiously await all the cool and exciting new games bound for the Mac later this year, Ariston, iMacsessories, Macally, and Macsence will all offer USB joysticks and gamepads to help you navigate through the most intense action. Ariston's Joystick stood out from the pack, with its 8 programmable buttons, nice ergonomics, and wide stable base. You can get your hands on it now for $45.