Try as I might, I have never been able to fall in love with the little joystick that sits surrounded by the "G", "H" and "B" keys on my Fujitsu laptop. That’s why I have been interested in finding a small mouse which I could pack and bring along when traveling. Oh, I’ve dallied with a few over the years, but the first one to really catch my eye was announced at this year’s CES – the Newton Peripherals MoGo Mouse.
Take a look at the PCMCIA slot on my laptop, you’ll notice the green glow from what might be a memory drive or a tiny modem.
Ejecting the card reveals a peek at a modern mousketry marvel…
…the 3.4" long x 2.13" wide x 0.18" thick MoGo Mouse, which is literally the size and thickness of four typical credit cards.
There are no wires, because the mouse uses Bluetooth technology; there is no charging cable because the battery draws its charge directly from the PCMCIA pins into which the mouse plugs. It’s genius!
But does it work, and is it comfortable when actually being used? Let’s take a look…
Bluetooth Specification: 1.1. and 1.2 compliant
Resolution: 500 DPI
Working Range up to 30 feet (10m)
RF transmit power Operating: <4 dBm
Voltage Batteries: 4.2 V
Operating Current: 165 mAh Internal Rechargeable
Standby Current: 21 mA
Sleep Mode Current: 22 mA
OS: Bluetooth enabled Windows running 98, Me, 2000 or XP and Bluetooth enabled Macintosh running Mac OS 10.2.8 or later
The back of the mouse has an optical sensor and a "kickstand" that when flipped open turns the mouse ON.
A tab on the side of the kickstand makes the flipping motion easy to do. The first time the mouse is used it will need to be paired with the laptop.
Pairing is accomplished by pressing a small pointy object (such as a reset pin or paperclip) in the highlighted hole. The LED on the front of the mouse will quickly flash blue to show that pairing is occurring. Once pairing has occurred, the cursor on the laptop’s screen will be controlled by the MoGo.
With the kickstand open, the mouse has a roughly 20º angle that raises it’s rear end so that it will rise to the user’s palm. There are molded finger depressions for the first and second finger on what would are essentially the left and right mouse buttons. The slot that is left when the stand is kicked up creates a perfectly sized natural rest for the right hand’s ring finger when holding the mouse.
Here is a shot of the portion that plugs into the PCMCIA slot; this is also the raised end that points to the user’s palm.
When used, the mouse looks like this – the third finger is hooked in that previously mentioned slot, the thumb is resting on the left side, and the first two fingers are hovering near their buttons. It is all quite comfortable, intuitive, and the MoGo mouse can even be securely picked up and waved around.
All that’s missing is a scroll wheel, but it’s forgivable and certainly not a deal breaker. It would be really cool if a future version could incorporate a
slider scroll, similar to that on the front of the iriver H10 series.
So for anyone that is wondering what to do if their laptop doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth…you find a way to compensate! Here is a little Kensington Bluetooth Adapter that works perfectly on either a desktop or laptop.
The MoGo Mouse can only pair with one laptop at a time, and when it is paired a blue LED will flash every few seconds. The MoGo will "fall asleep" if left unused for ten minutes which helps prolong the battery charge; waking it up is done by clicking either button. If the LED turns solid red, then the MoGo needs recharging and should be docked in the PCMCIA slot. The mouse will be still paired and ready to use again when it is later ejected.
When using the MoGo, I halfway expected that there would be a lag between the mouse’s movements and the on-screen curser, but I did not find that to be the case at all. As long as the mouse is awake, it is incredibly responsive and quick. The other issue I halfway expected was that the mouse would be harder to maneuver than a more traditional model. Once I figured out the proper way to hold it, maneuverability was never an issue.
The MoGo is incredibly easy to set up, comfortable to use, and so small that it will make even the most space-conscious road warrior happy. I absolutely love mine, and can confirm that my laptop mouse hunt is officially OVER.