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Lesson 2- Mouse and Keyboard components

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When it comes to keyboards and mice there is a lot of personal preference. Because the mouse and keyboard are used to interact with the computer, the size and shape of the mouse and the lay out, look and feel of the keyboard you choose, is individual to you.  Look for a mouse that fits well in your hand, with buttons you can easily reach.

Buttons and Wheels

Mice can have several buttons. Along with the standard left and right buttons, there can be buttons that bring up your favorite search site, forward and backward buttons for your browser, as well as zoom buttons.  Most multi-button mice, come with a utility allowing you to customize what each button does.  The scroll wheel lets you quickly scroll though websites and documents.  Some mice also let you scroll horizontally with the scroll wheel.

Touch Sensitive
Touch sensitive mice allow you to use the surface of the mouse to scroll vertically and horizontally.  You can use gestures to switch between apps or open the Start Menu among other gestures.

Tracking Methods

There are two motion tracking methods used on mice today. Optical and Laser.  Optical mice use a LED light and a sensor, while laser mice use, you guessed it, a laser and a sensor. Laser tracking allows for a higher sensitivity and precision than Optical tracking.


A mouses sensitivity is measured in dpi or Dots Per Inch. 800 dpi is standard.  Higher dpi settings are used in games to give you greater precision for aiming.  Gaming mice come with a utility that lets you change the sensitivity to your liking.  With some gaming mice, the dpi is adjustable, on the fly, using controls on the mouse.

Types of Keyboards

There a many types of keyboards. There is the standard straight keyboard.  Microsoft has their Natural keyboards, where the keys are angled..  There are slim keyboard that give you the feel of a notebook keyboard.  Gaming keyboards give you programmable keys allowing you to create macros of several key presses and play them back with a single key press.   The keyboard feel is another issue. Some keyboards have keys that feel soft when you press, other keyboards feel harder and there’s more of a, click, when you type.


Most mice and keyboards connect through a USB port on the computer.  Older mice and keyboards use PS/2 ports.

Wireless mice and keyboards are also available. A wireless receiver connects through USB.  Both wireless mouse and keyboard will run for months on 1 or 2 double a batteries.  If you're a big gamer, keep in mind that wireless adds a slight delay to your movements and clicks.  A wired mouse and keyboard may be best.

Wired mouse and keyboards run between 10 to 90 dollars each, depending on the features and ease of use.

Wireless mice run between 15 to 80 dollars when purchased alone.

Wireless mouse and keyboard combos are between 25 and 130 dollars.


Keyboard/Mouse Warranties

Mouse and keyboards are usually pretty sturdy and will last for many years. As long as you treat them well and avoid slamming them when you get mad.

Warranties range from 90 days to 3 years. Generally the more you pay the longer the warranty period will be.

Keyboard and Mouse Reviews

To find more reviews do a search in your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo) for the model number of the keyboard or mouse you're interested in.

Buying a Keyboard and Mouse

Below are several sites that will help you find the lowest price from a reputable merchant.

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