Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mini-Optical USB Mice

I'm gonna take a break from all of the software programming stuff and talk about an input device: the Belkin Mini-Optical USB Mouse. The product is essentially a bite-sized mouse with a cleverly implemented, retractable USB cord.

This very small laser mouse -- between 1/2 and 3/4 the size of an Apple Magic Mouse -- leaves room for a scroll wheel, as well as left- and right-click buttons. (I eyeballed that -- good thing I have 20/20.) Nevertheless, it is very small and, as a result, your hand is not able to rest on it with ease, but rather remain perched up.

The USB retraction mechanism is still clever, regardless of the fact that it serves the same utility on countless earphones. Nevertheless, the design definitely prevents any tangling the mouse cord can -- usually without fail -- produce.

If you are on the run, and you need a portable mouse, the one I have certainly does the job. However, it is not comfortable in my hand. Additionally, even though one's hand may adjust to the new grip and feel, that does not mean that it's good for one's arms. (For example, the mini-mouse to the regular mouse is, in terms of typing, the obtuse angle to the 90 degree elbow angle: although one may adjust to typing with their elbows bent at over 90 degrees, that makes it neither optimal nor safe.) To reiterate, although this product gets the job done, I would not rely on it for extended use, as it just isn't comfortable and a hindrance to productivity.

Nevertheless, if you must use this mouse -- either once or for an extended period of time -- please try to do this following step: lower the tracking speed, which is basically the ratio between how much physical space the mouse must cover to move the cursor on the screen. Accustomed to a normally sized mouse, a user will likely exert excess force in moving the device and thus, lose control of the mouse. Therefore, as you are adjusting to the product, lower the tracking speed to a point at which you reach a level of basic proficiency; from there, you can slowly increase the tracking speed.

In sum, although I have provided one way to cope with a mini-mouse temporarily, I find the mini-mouse to be an inconvenience, for its small size impedes switching between inputs (e.g. keyboard to mouse), expectedly hindering productivity. To make a statement, I am not using the mini-mouse as I adjust fonts and click "SAVE NOW."

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