The Swiftpoint Mouse boasts an innovative design and one of the most versatile scrolling mechanisms we’ve seen, but the required finger position–similar to the grip of a pen–may be uncomfortable for long-term use.
The $69 Swiftpoint Mouse (price as of January 10, 2011) is a head-turner simply by virtue of its unusual design. It looks like no other portable mouse, and it operates differently, too. Whether this supersmall, distinctive mouse will work for you depends upon how large your hand is–and whether the position it forces you into feels comfortable to you.
The Swiftpoint measures about 2 inches long and about 1.5 inches at its widest point, toward the back. Intended for righties, it has a large, grippy groove meant to cushion your thumb, the left and right mouse buttons lined up in the middle section (with the right-click button raised more prominently than the left), and a more awkward cutout on the right to accommodate your index finger and–more critically–the scrollwheel.
I found the design usable for my small hands, but larger-handed colleagues felt contorted when they tried to manipulate it. You’re supposed to hold the mouse as if it were a pen, which might explain even my occasional discomfort when using it for long periods. However, I did like how naturally my thumb fell into the designated spot; the wide, responsive scrollwheel was a pleasure to use, too, either when I used my index finger or when I turned the mouse on its side and moved the scrollwheel on a hard surface.
The device’s tiny USB receiver magnetically attaches to the bottom for storage and charging. This was a nice touch, though in a briefcase or bag the two pieces could easily become separated; additionally, the combination is large enough that you might have issues charging the mouse on your laptop‘s USB ports (depending on how tight the PC’s port configuration is). It lacks programmability, though, which could be a deal-breaker for some people.
The scrollwheel feature really makes this gadget stand out among the pack. If you don’t mind holding a pen, the unique style of this mouse may work well for you. But if you find a tight, compact grip awkward, you may want to look elsewhere.
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