Mad Catz launches Eclipse mice and keyboards

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mad Catz - who you might know as a gaming accessories company - has launched the "Eclipse" series of peripherals, marking a move into more general-use territory.

There's the Eclipse Litetouch keyboard, which packs a full touchscreen and trackball and the Eclipse Touchmouse, which has gesture-based control and a touchpad in place of the usual scroll wheel.

The Litetouch keyboard comes in both wired and wireless variants, and has backlit keys with adjustable brightness, an integrated trackball with left and right mouse-buttons, but most notably a great big touchpad on the right hand side.

This can be switched between three modes - a numpad, a set of media controls, and a "MyEclipse" mode than gives you a pile of custom-assignable buttons to do whatever you like with. The wired version costs £80, and the wireless one is £130.

The Eclipse Touchmouse is a wireless consumer mouse with 1600 dpi laser tracking. It features Bluetooth, but its most notable feature is its touchscroll panel in place of the traditional scroll wheel.

This can be used for four-way scrolling around documents on your screen, but can also be used to perform gestures to control applications. Swiping in a particular way could be used to go "back" in your web browser, for example. It costs £55.

Lastly, there's a mobile mouse, imaginatively called the Eclipse Mobilemouse. In place of the Touchmouse's touchpad, there's a scroll ball that lets you perform the same four-way scrolling.

It has what Mad Catz is calling a "nano-dongle" (it's what you do with it that counts), for plugging into your laptop, and onboard power management will shut the mouse down when your computer shuts down - saving battery life. It costs £55 too.

All four products will be showing up in the early part of 2010, some as early as the end of January.