For the most part computer mice are a very similar bunch, especially when it comes to those designed for use on the go; sure there are some that fold flat or offer gestures, but they all have the same form factor, carried over from the desktop. They also require a flat surface next to the mouse to operate, something that is nonexistent on a car, train or plane. This has left many users to deal with touchpads that, while on occasion are great, for the most part result in grumbling and mis-mousing. These mobile mouse problems are exactly what the SwiftPoint Mouse, shown below, hopes to address with a unique shape and a few tricks hidden in this small package.
The SwiftPoint mouse, sometimes advertised as the “Future Mouse“, is a very small device that easily slips into even the smallest of notebook bags and would even fit in your pants pocket without becoming the brunt of one too many, “Is that a mouse in your pocket?” jokes. Included with the mouse is a small USB receiver, about the size of a dime, that acts as a docking and charging station. This station allows you to charge the mouse when not in use and in the event that it is dead, you can gain an hour of life with just 30 seconds of charging. The battery is tiny, but thanks to the mouse’s ability to sense when it is not being used, and essentially go to sleep, a 90 minute charge should last between 2 and 4 weeks; though we haven’t had the mouse long enough to drain the battery.
The SwiftPoint Mouse features left and right mouse buttons as well as a scroll wheel that can be used with your finger or in a unique sidescroll manner.
Use it Anywhere:
On top of a unique look, that almost seems like you lifted it from the set of a Sci-fi movie, the SwiftPoint mouse differs from practically every other mouse made in that it is designed to be used on the palmrest of your notebook or laptop while you hold it in your lap. This makes it possible to gain the benefits of a mouse, without the need for a flat surface to mouse on. If you have a glossy palmrest the SwiftPoint mouse comes with a “Parking Accessory” that offers an adhesive clear matte surface. While it isn’t recommended to use on your keyboard we found that on the dark black island keyboard of the Acer Aspire 5745PG we are reviewing the mouse could perform on the keys as well.
The hardest adjustment you may have when trying out the SwiftPoint mouse is the new pen-like grip which it requires. When you grab it for the first time you’ll note a general awkwardness as you try to figure out the appropriate grip.
Fellow Notebooks.com writer Carter Sprunger shared a similar experience when he gave the mouse a test, writing, “Initially, the Swiftpoint mouse was awkward to use, but I soon loved it. After about 5 minutes, it felt completely natural. It feels very ergonomic and I would imagine that it would be great to use over long periods of time.”
Indeed after a bit of use the feeling was much more natural. If you’re looking for a comparison, think back to the first time you used a stylus on a tablet PC or the first time you switched to a touchpad. If you recall, after getting a feel for how the device worked, it felt almost like second nature. Even during long mousing periods the SwiftPoint remained comfortable for use.
Ultimately, whether you like the SwiftPoint mouse may come down to whether you’re a clicker or a tapper.
Once you figure out how to hold the mouse you will get a better idea of the way it works, including the somewhat addicting sidescroll function.
SideScroll – If you want to scroll with the SwiftPoint mouse you simply tilt it to the right and scroll the wheel among the palmrest or your table. This is a unique method for scrolling, and in practice a bit of fun. During use we found at times we reached the end of the palmrest before we had scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page which is where the Combo Functions come in.
If you hold the right mouse button while scrolling you will move in pages, making it easier to navigate long pages without picking up the mouse and moving it. If you hold the left mouse button while scrolling you are able to zoom in or out on the page. If you prefer not to tilt, or are just scrolling casually through a list of feeds in Google Reader, you can use your index finger to scroll the wheel.
I also found that due to the small size and ability to scroll or click with no surface, the SwiftPoint can double as a presentation mouse, advancing PowerPoint slides and scrolling through documents while you give your presentation.
SmartTouch – The Swiftpoint mouse also has a feature called SmartTouch which, when enabled, only powers the mouse on when you have it in your hand. There is a sensor in the area for your middle finger that tells the mouse to turn on when it detects a finger, and to go to sleep when it does not. In addition to saving power it prevents the mouse from moving the cursor around while you are typing.
Custom Up – Since you’ll be holding the mouse at different angles it comes with the ability to set which direction is up. If you hold down both mouse buttons and move the mouse in a downward motion the cursor will then slowly move upward, allowing you to move the mouse “up” setting the direction you want to be up for that work period.
Due to the small size, the SwiftPoint mouse is missing a middle click mouse button, which would be handy for opening links in a new tab without the need to hit Ctrl on the keyboard. It would also be great if the mouse used gestures or customizable combo functions to make it possible to go back a page or a similar action without going back to the keyboard.
While you are limited in what you can do by the lack of customization and only 2 buttons, the SwiftPoint mouse does offer a useful and fun alternative to the touchpad. While I was a bit taken aback by the price when I first heard of it, and even in my video review, once I compared it to the many other mobile mice, like the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX ($79.95) or the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse ($69.95) the price was in line with the value and with the competition. Right now there is a 30 day guarantee, so if you purchase the SwiftPoint mouse at $69.95 and don’t like it you can get a full refund. I’m pretty confident that if you hate your touchpad and do a lot of work on the go, you won’t look back after trying the SwiftPoint. Hopefully we’ll see a firmware update that allows for customization or a mixture of gestures in the SwiftPoint 2.0 so that we can do even more with this tiny device.
- Works on Palmrest
- Better than a touchpad
- No Gestures
- No customization of functions
- Right handers only