IBM unveils desktops, wireless mouse and keyboard

IBM Monday released a new wireless mouse and keyboard kit as well as five new models of the desktop NetVista series.

The mouse and keyboard are sold together as a kit and come in black. The kit is available immediately from IBM's Web site, and costs around US$99, the IT vendor said in a statement.

The keyboard and mouse kit also comes with a receiver that connects to a PC via a USB (universal serial bus) port, said Bob Paige, a spokesman for IBM. The mouse and keyboard however are wireless.

"You can use the wireless keyboard with a ThinkPad (portable PC) if you want a bigger keyboard and more flexibility," said Paige.

The market for peripherals has not done as badly recently as that for PCs, according to International Data Corp. (IDC) analyst Roger Kay.

"During this economic setback period in the US, people have spent money on smaller items rather than on PCs," said Kay. "You might treat yourself to a wireless kit, something that might improve your PC," instead of spending money on bigger and more expensive items, Kay said.

IBM also announced Monday the immediate availability of five new models of all-in-one PCs. The smallest of the PCs targeting individuals and very small businesses, the NetVista X40i, has a starting price of $1,599, IBM said. The least expensive of the models designed for businesses of all sizes, the NetVista X40, starts at $1,899, IBM said.

The NetVista X40 has a processing speed of up to 1GHz and features a hard drive with 40G bytes of storage capacity, IBM said. Furthermore, the PC has a 15-inch TFT (thin film transistor) display which together with the mouse and keyboard is the only visible part of the computer. The hard drive and speakers are hidden behind the display, IBM said. The user can push a button to lower a tray from the display to reveal the disk drives.

In addition, IBM released a radial arm that can suspend the PC above the desk to save space, the company said. The radial arm, also available immediately and named NetVista Radial Arm X Mount, starts at $219, IBM said.

IBM so far seems unaffected by recent troubles in the US PC market and in January beat analysts' expectations for its year-end and fourth quarter results. The IT vendor also announced Monday that it will be consolidating its NetVista and ThinkPad operations, forming a new group called Personal Computing Devices Group. IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-499-1900 or http://www.ibm.com/. IDC, a subsidiary of International Data Group, the parent company of IDG News Service, is in Framingham, Massachusetts, and can be reached at +1-508-872-8200 or at http://www.idc.com/.

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