Shopping around for a wireless keyboard and mouse usually means choosing a package deal. But what if you like the keyboard from one package and the mouse from another? Each comes with its own receiver and may not be compatible with the other. Logitech is about to release keyboards and mice with a tiny USB receiver which aims to overcome such things by allowing multiple peripheral devices to connect to just one receiver.

The 'nano' receiver protrudes only 8mm from the edge of a laptop, making it almost undetectable and harder to damage than receivers that protrude further. It's so small you can connect it and forget about it, says the manufacturer. The device can control up to six peripheral devices (in the Logitech Unifying product range) enabling users to have one unique set up for the office, a different one for home use and yet another for your evening class or college.

According to Logitech, connecting a compatible keyboard/mouse to your new USB receiver is simplicity itself. Plug the receiver into a spare USB port, after confirming that your peripheral displays the unifying compatibility symbol, switch it on. If it's not picked up automatically by the receiver, head for the website and follow the instructions.

To add more devices, follow the same procedure. The system uses Logitech's advanced 2.4GHz wireless connectivity along with 128-bit AES encryption so that you know that your data is being received by your laptop, PC or Mac only.

Logitech advises that the first product in the unifying range, the M505 mouse, will be available in the US and Europe in August. The suggested retail price in the US is $49.99. The two keyboards, K350 and K340, will follow in September (USD$59.99 and USD$49.99 respectively). The K705 Marathon mouse is expected to be available in early 2010 with more unifying products to follow.

Wim Vanheertum, product marketing manager for Unifying, describes the benefits of this new technology in the following video.:

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