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Seven products that complement Microsoft's new operating system

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It's gadget time again, as we look at things that play nicely with the new Windows 8 operating system. Each of these products was designed to work well with Microsoft’s new software and make life easier for users.

Microsoft Corp.

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The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 ($49.99) looks like an ordinary wireless mouse, but the touch strip down the middle supports both vertical and horizontal scrolling on both Windows 8 and Windows RT. If you click the top of the touch zone, it launches the Start screen; click the bottom and it cycles through open apps. Add Logitech's software (Windows 8 only) to get additional configuration options.

Logitech

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This 64-gigabyte flash drive from SanDisk (about $100) has a larger capacity than some tablets and uses USB 3.0. Windows 8 natively supports USB 3.0, which is up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0. That allows you to copy larger files faster and use larger storage devices.

SanDisk

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The quirky looking Microsoft Wedge Mouse ($69.95) is half the size of an ordinary rodent and connects via Bluetooth. It supports both horizontal and vertical scrolling and shuts itself off when its connected PC is shut down or hibernating.

Microsoft Corp.

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The Microsoft Wedge keyboard ($79.95) gives you a two-fer. Its cover (which also shuts the keyboard off to save battery when it's in place) can be bent into a stand for a tablet. It connects via Bluetooth, and works with most tablets (even iOS), not just Windows 8 models. But Windows 8 users will benefit from the Windows 8 shortcut keys.

Microsoft Corp.

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This cover/keyboard for the Surface tablet ($139.99) attaches magnetically with a satisfying click and immediately talks to the tablet. It has mechanical keys and a capacitive trackpad, is only 6mm thick and weighs about half a pound. When you fold it shut, it turns off the tablet's display. And the touch, while not as good as that of a separate keyboard, is quite acceptable.

Microsoft Corp.

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If you have a tablet, or anything with a touchscreen, you need good cleaning cloths. Toddy Gear microfibre cloths ($9.93 at Staples) are washable and will wipe off grungy fingerprints without scratching the screen.

Toddy Gear

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Okay, so the Kobo Mini ($79.95) has nothing to do with Windows 8, except that there's a Kobo app available for it. But the Mini, with its 5-inch, E-ink display, fits handily into a shirt pocket yet holds up to 1,000 books in its 2-gigabyte memory. You can set fonts and do everything else you can do on a larger Kobo, even update it via WiFi.

Kobo Inc.

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