Crusade for a Cleaner Keyboard

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A PC accessories vendor is touting a cleaner way to compute. Don't laugh--it turns out your keyboard and mouse can harbor more bacteria than your bathroom's toilet seat.

Fellowes' input devices
Fellowes, maker of what the company calls "healthy input devices," says controlled tests reveal that PC input devices have the potential to be perfect breeding grounds for illness-producing germs. The possibility is especially acute for systems that are shared by several people. After all, who washes their hands before using their PC?

The solution, according to Fellowes, is keyboards and mice with built-in disinfectant.

Proof in the Petrie

With Microban protection
Without Microban protection
Microban International has independently tested its patented technology, by soaking plastics such as a keyboard key in bacteria-laden petrie dishes.

The technology and business accessories company has licensed Microban, an antimicrobial substance, to be integrated into its forthcoming line of PC keyboards and mice.

Clean Product Line

Fellowes will add Microban to an entire line of keyboards and mice, the company announced at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The new line is scheduled to ship in May, priced $10 higher than Fellowes' existing input devices.

For example, the Fellowes entry-level, standard keyboard will be priced at $20 instead of $10; and its $90 wireless optical keyboard/mouse set will cost $100.

During the imanufacturing process, Microban is injected directly into the plastic that forms the input devices. The result is a material that permanently creates an environment where bacteria cannot survive and grow.

According to a Fellowes spokesperson, the company has the exclusive rights to Microban for use in PC input devices.

See PC World's ongoing CES coverage.

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