Friday, 21 March 2008

Rocketfish Twister Laser Mouse

(Review) - Although there are a number of notebook mice in the market, and they are generally similar to one another, once in a while we see a truly interesting product that defies traditional product designs and ends up being quite interesting. That's the case with Rocketfish's Twister, at least. It's one of the smallest notebook mice in the market with updated ergonomics and a whole new dimension to portable mice. Based on the latest laser engine, it's smooth and precise with regular operations, but it does have a few major quirks that prevents it from becoming our favorite.

Rocketfish's Twister has a glossy black exterior and an amazingly slim design that will fit in even the tiniest of compartments in your notebook's carrying case. In addition, Rocketfish has kept things simple with two buttons and a scroll zone, which is an interesting addition, to say the least. Despite the unique addition of the scroll zone, it failed to impress us. The performance was a bit lackluster, since we had to apply more pressure to scroll through webpages and documents. And also, since it's not a physical button, you will definitely miss the middle click functionality of the device. It's a great effort on Rocketfish's part, but expecting users to change otherwise normal behavior is asking for a little too much.

Logitech MX Air Cordless Air Mouse

What also disappointed us was the distinct lack of multimedia keys on the mouse. What's up with that? If Logitech's mice could include those, Rocketfish should certainly be able to work it out in its design. Granted Rocketfish is really after getting the "world's slimmest notebook mouse" title, but it's a drawback nonetheless. On the upside, the wireless 2.4GHz receiver stores inside the mouse to make it easy to store. Of course, it's not a new feature by any measure, but we can appreciate it.

With the general drawbacks out of the way, the ergonomics is a key flaw that outshines everything else. Unless you have small hands, working with the Twister is going to be a pain, literally. It's designed to be used with small hands, and even then it's not ergonomically friendly with its boxy, flat structure. Sometimes over-innovating is a curse, as it's evident with Twister.

On the performance end (scroll and connectivity), Twister passed with flying colors, thanks to its updated laser engine and a reliable 2.4GHz wireless connectivity option. It also lets you program buttons to perform specific tasks, but since it only has a couple of buttons to work with, there are a number of keyboard + mouse combinations to launch and work with a variety of shortcut options. For the price of $39.99, it's adequately priced, but we would let the price to drop a bit more before opting for one. All in all, it's a decent device that could use work in future iterations to meet our expectations.

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