Keyboard and Mouse Options for PC Gamers - dummies

Keyboard and Mouse Options for PC Gamers

By Mark L. Chambers

Many ace players swear by the gaming keyboard and mouse/trackball combo. You may be wondering what could possibly be done to these two venerable input devices that would make them so attractive for gamers.

On the keyboard side, the Logitech G19 gaming keyboard (which retails for $200) has four features that help illustrate the attraction of a gaming keyboard:

  • Customizable backlighting: Many gamers prefer a darkened room while playing, and you can choose the color and arrangement of backlighted keys to make them easy to spot.

  • 12 programmable keys: You can configure up to 3 macros (remember, macros are strings of keyboard commands, not just a single command) for each of these programmable keys. Each game you play can have its own 36 customized keys!

  • Windows keys disable: Ever died because you pressed the Windows key on your keyboard by accident and found yourself staring at the Start screen? Not with the G19, which enables you to disable the Windows keys while playing.

  • LCD panel: And the crowning touch? This keyboard has its own built-in LCD panel that’s supported by many PC games, enabling you to display everything from the elapsed time you’ve spent playing to the number of kills and flags you’ve captured. Sweet indeed!

Besides the wireless connection, the Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming Mouse (which retails for $100) differs from a typical PC mouse in three important ways:

  • A whopping 13 programmable controls: The mix includes both buttons and the scroll wheel — this mouse looks (and feels) like something out of a science-fiction movie. Each button is carefully located so that a player can find it by touch (and doesn’t have to look down, which can spell instant obliteration).

  • On-board memory: If you’re wondering how the G700 can keep track of all the macros and settings for up to five players (or five different games), it’s because this mouse has its own memory.

  • High-speed optics: A gaming mouse or trackball must provide the fastest and most precise response possible, so the tracking laser in this mouse can deliver up to 5,700 dpi (enabling you to cover the entire width of a high-definition monitor in a single swipe).

Oh, and don’t sell these peripherals short — they’re perfectly comfortable with Microsoft Word or Photoshop Elements as well as gaming, so you don’t have to constantly swap your gaming gear when the real world intrudes.