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Microsoft Designs Bluetooth Keyboard for Tablets

Keen eyes have discovered that Microsoft recently added a new keyboard designed specifically for tablets to its library of gadgets. Simply called the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000, it's compatible with Microsoft Windows, Apple's iPad and iPad 2, and "many Android devices." It measures just 0.62-inches in depth, making it nearly twice as thick as Apple's flagship device.

"Miss the tactile feeling of a real keyboard when typing on your tablet? The full-sized Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 enables more comfortable typing than on-screen keyboards, and encourages natural posture with the Comfort Curve design," reads the product description. "And at less than three-quarters of an inch thick, you can easily slip it into your bag, which makes it the perfect mobile companion. Plus, there’s no need to worry about cords or transceivers."

Microsoft's big selling point is not only in the tablet-friendly Bluetooth connection, but the keyboard's "comfort curve" design that "encourages natural wrist posture and is easy to use." Otherwise, it's just another Bluetooth keyboard that runs on three AAA alkaline batteries and requires a PC enabled with Bluetooth technology (meaning it doesn't come with a USB-based Bluetooth adapter, sorry).

It's probably no coincidence that we're seeing this tablet-oriented keyboard show up right before CES 2012. Windows 8 tablets aren't expected to enter the market until the fall, but that apparently isn't stopping Microsoft from getting ready while offering a branded product for competing devices in the process.

Microsoft's Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is available now for $49.95 and can be purchased directly from the company here.