Several days ago I received a Swiftpoint Mouse from Amazon. Although these are not cheap,
around $75 $69 for the one listed including shipping, I had read some reviews and was eager to try one out. Some reviews I had read said that larger hands may have a hard time holding this mouse for long periods of time without cramps. At 6 foot 4, I’m a large guy, so buying this sight unseen was a bit of a risk.
After using this mouse for a couple of days, I think there is some truth to this, especially if you’re going to be using it on a flat surface. Your hand is forced to twist to the right and down somewhat, which ergonomically is probably pretty good for most people. If your hands are very large though, it pushes the outside of your hand into the desk it’s sitting on. However, if it is sitting on the bottom of your notebook’s keyboard tray, there is naturally some space for your hand to twist. Using the mouse on the keyboard tray works better than I expected, and is actually pretty comfortable.
The other drawback to this mouse is that you can’t use the scroll wheel as a middle mouse button. This can be a bit inconvenient if you like to scroll around documents using this, but isn’t a huge deal normally. As for actual wheel scrolling, it works well. The buttons are positioned in front of one another, but this is not generally a big deal. You get used to it pretty fast.
All that being said, comparisons with a full-size mouse aren’t really fair. For what it is, it seems to work pretty well. A general feeling of working well wasn’t quite good enough for me though; I needed to see just how well this worked compared to my regular mouse, the pointing stick (“Trackpoint” is IBM’s trademarked term for it) that my notebook uses, and my new Swiftpoint mouse. To this end, I made up the test in the following video:
[ad#Google Adsense-text leaderboard wide not home]
If you watch the video, you’ll see that the “traditional” mouse won my made up test. Keep in mind this is not a scientific test and I used one device after another, so I may have gotten better at the test itself as time went on. I’ve used a traditional mouse for close to 20 years, a pointing stick for around 10, but the Swiftpoint mouse I’ve used for only around 2 weeks. Here are the results:
- Mouse: 5.8 seconds – winner
- Swiftpoint: 6.2 seconds – 6.5% slower than mouse
- Pointing stick: 8.5 seconds – 45.7% slower than mouse
So for the portable devices, the Swiftpoint mouse is about 27% faster than a pointing stick at completing the tasks. I’ve used a trackpad very little, so that isn’t listed, but hopefully the results would be similar.
Which brings me to my conclusion that if you are going to travel a lot, or like to edit your blog from the couch while watching college basketball, this may be a good mouse for you. The $75 price tag is a bit much to swallow, but after having had it for a couple weeks I don’t regret my decision to buy it.
If you like to play first person shooters, don’t expect this to replace your gaming, or even normal traditional mouse. Additionally, don’t expect it to be a whole lot better for normal office tasks than a normal mouse. However, if you are used to using a pointing stick or trackpad, this is a great mouse and I would recommend it if you use your notebook away from your desk a lot.
I haven’t even mentioned the clever USB charger/wireless receiver, or the magnetic “positioning pad” for your notebook. These both work well. The charger especially makes a nice resting place for the mouse when it’s not being used.
The last thing that I will say is that you really can use this on the base of your computer, at least with the Lenovo T60 notebook that I use. If you turn on the feature that allows the mouse only to move when properly gripped, you can use the pointing stick occasionally as well. I personally like to use both as sometimes it’s easier just to reach over to the stick with my index finger.
Edit 5/13/2012 – These things tend to be dog-bait, so seriously make sure poochy doesn’t get it or you may be buying another one (After “losing” two, I thought it was time for a break from this excellent device).
Buy the Swiftpoint Mouse from Amazon.com here:
Swiftpoint SM300 Laptop Mouse