Mice (mouses?) have slowly gone the way of the dodo in recent years, at least where I’m concerned.
It’s been around since the days of the original Macintosh and gone down the years as a staple of GUI-centric computing, but it’s on its last legs, I think, now that the prevailing environment is increasingly more laptop-based than desktop.
Developments in trackpad technology, particularly in the world of laptops, have all but rendered them obsolete. The thought of a tethered (or untethered) mouse needing the necessary table area for movement beside your laptop and taking up space in your gear bag is nigh unthinkable these days. That, and the thought of all that frenzied, mouse-y movement, and having to take your hand off the mouse to type on the keys every time makes me tired already.
I bought an Apple wireless trackpad for my iMac to use in lieu of the provided mouse, and I haven’t looked back since. I do keep the Magic Mouse handy still, but mainly for games like Call of Duty and Diablo III, where having a mouse is essential for gameplay and for enjoyment. Much as I love trackpads, I can’t think of running a First Person Shooter or some similar game on them.
Developers still haven’t given up on the concept though, and they keep trying to think of ways to make a better mouse.
Enter the folks from Swiftpoint.
They’ve developed a small, compact device that just barely can be called a mouse. It’s wireless, operating off an even tinier micro-USB dongle that doubles as a charger – you just stick the mouse on it to charge through your laptop’s power, and you can also use it as a handy place to store the mouse as you travel, provided your bag has enough space for it. It has a quick-charging function where leaving the mouse on the charger for 30 seconds gives it an hour’s worth of charge, but normally it takes up to 90 minutes or so to give it a full charge, which lasts for about four weeks. There’s no additional software needed, it’s plug-and-play.
You hold the mouse as you would a pen, with your thumb resting on the red area on the left side, and your index finger on top, where there are a couple of buttons to representing the left and right buttons of the mouse. On the right side is a small dial which acts as a scroll wheel which you can roll up and down by tilting and moving it on the surface in a feature they call “SideScroll” (or you could use your index finger to do it). You just need a tiny space on the palm rest of your laptop to operate the mouse (even on the trackpad itself, since it doesn’t trigger a response on the pad), and the whole thing is so light and tiny you’d think you were just holding a pen. You can just put the mouse on the palm rest when you need to type.
It’s a great alternative to the conventional mouse, as it takes up little space to use, and you can operate it even when you’re stuck in small cramped areas, like a plane seat tray, or if your laptop is literally on your lap. It’s also great in presentations, where it can operate up to a range of 30 feet. The mouse is ultra sensitive, and senses the surface at 1000 dpi. The mouse comes with an adhesive film (0r as they call it, a “Parking Accessory“) that optionally attaches to your laptop’s palm rest, where it outlines the area where you can conveniently rest the mouse when typing. (A major complaint, though, would be that it’s made for right-handed folk, but I’m sure Swiftpoint will have that covered in the near future.)
SwiftPoint’s marketing tells us that it’s 30-40% more efficient than a trackpad, and with the tiny movements you need to operate it, I can believe the hype. If they keep coming up with mouse alternatives as good as the Swiftpoint Mouse, I might be persuaded to switch back.
PRICE: US$75, (or around P3400)
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