That gamers demand more out of their PCs goes without saying. But input devices like keyboards and mice are to PC gamers what Air Jordans are to hoopsters. To that end, the input device industry markets high-end gaming devices such as these:

• Mice must permit precise aiming and speedy movement, so roller balls are out. The Nyko Airflow optical mouse keeps you cool by blowing air into your palm during heated competition. The Razer Diamondback offers 1,600-dots-per-inch precision and a 16-bit data transfer rate — twice that of most ordinary pointers. Logitech’s MX Laser wireless mouse uses a laser that lets it work even on reflective or shiny surfaces, unlike other optical mice.

• Keyboards, extremely important to PC gamers, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Electro-luminescent panels light the Auravision Inc. EluminX from within, so gamers can see the key caps in a darkened room. The Ideazon ZBoard lets gamers snap in customized keyboard modules that have the controls for particular games marked out.

• Mouse pads, too, have special demands in competitive play. Twenty-three-year-old pro-gamer Jonathan “Fatal1ty” (pronounced “fatality”) Wendel designed the FadPad, an expansive 14-by-17-inch mousing surface, so he wouldn’t lose valuable milliseconds retracking when his mouse reached the edge of a normal mouse pad. Other pads, like X-Ray’s Thunder 8 and Razer’s ExactMat XSpeed, offer gamers a firm surface with a lightly textured, slightly sparkly pattern that helps any optical mouse track movement better than it ever could on a chunk of foam.

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