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Microsoft preps couch-oriented Arc Keyboard

updated 12:55 pm EST, Thu January 7, 2010

Shaped for lap use

Microsoft's hardware division has announced a new keyboard, the Arc. The model is intended mainly for couch surfers, as its curve is designed to conform to a person's lap. For the same reason it has been built to be lightweight, sacrificing features like a numeric pad in order to weigh less than a pound.

The Arc is completely wireless, connecting to a computer through a small 2.4GHz USB receiver. Both Mac and Windows systems are supported; Macs must be running Mac OS X 10.4 or later, while Windows PCs require XP, Vista or 7. The keyboard will first become available at American Best Buy stores on February 21st, at a price of $60.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    What's missing is

    A built in trackpad. If you're couch surfing, that's the missing piece. Having to use a mouse is a pain. One keyboard that's like a laptop with a built in trackpad would be ideal.

    Also, why don't they make it bluetooth? Using up a USB port doesn't seem to make any sense at all.

  1. icewing

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2008


    Swing...and a miss!

    WTF? So close and yet so far...for a second I was thinking, wow, they've actually come up with a good idea...

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Yeah well...

    No trackpad? No problem! Don't a significant number of Windows fans swear by keyboard navigation anyway?

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999



    I am using a 12-year-old Compaq keyboard for the server terminal. It has a trackball on it.

    Are these idiotic product designer insane? Maybe they are planning to use eye sight and blinking (blink or double-blink) as the pointing device.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    and yet

    Many people were all agog over Apple's wireless 'small' keyboard when they released it last year, saying it was great for the couch...

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    RE: and yet...

    My thoughts exactly. Would be interesting to know what the comments would be if there was a shiny fruity logo plastered on this L-A-M-E keyboard.

    And yes this would have been a bigger hit if there was a trackpad built in to it, but then some clown would complain that it's too big or something...

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    The instant the small keyboard...

    The instant the small keyboard was introduced, I said 'wtf, without an integrated pointing device, it's pointless.'

    If the trackpad made it too big, try the eraser head (definitely an acquired taste for most people).

    By the way, the Magic Mouse is going to work like magic for orthopedic surgeons in a few months as people realize that the 'swipe' function is meant to swipe clean Magic Mouse user's wallets as they pay for their medical bills.

  1. thesearcher

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Mar 2002


    No trackpad, no problem.

    Trackpad, schmackpad, that's where a wireless mouse comes in. Bluetooth would have made sense, though, which is probably why they didn't use it.

  1. JEB

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001


    My couch keyboard ...

    ... is a MacBook Pro!

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    I've had several bluetooth mice and several wireless ones. Bluetooth mice just aren't reliable. Always seem to drop connections and lose their pairing for no reason.

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