Logitech will leapfrog Microsoft when it releases a trackerball optimised for use with the Internet, late in September. Although Microsoft has been talking up its IntelliMouse, that product isn't scheduled for a UK debut until November.
While both firm's claim their devices can be used to accelerate Web roaming, strictly speaking the products aren't very close in terms of features. The IntelliMouse is a serial mouse with a "cruise control" feature that speeds up surfing long documents. Logitech's SurfMan Cordless is a cigar-shaped trackerball that works via a radio connection.
The three-button, thumb-controlled SurfMan can be operated from up to two metres away from the PC. An advantage for users of Logitech's Cordless MouseMan is that both devices can be operated using the same radio receiver and serial port connection.
Other features include CyberJump, a middle-button activated pop-up utility that lets users make shortcuts to popular Netscape Navigator and Windows 95 commands without clicking. Back pages and Home pages could be found by drifting the cursor over the shortcut, for instance.
Logitech said that the product will be joined in the near future by new hand scanners and sheet-fed scanners.
SurfMan Cordless will have a list price of £70.