A4Tech NB-30 Wireless Battery Free Mouse

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
December 9, 2004
Views
60390
A4Tech NB-30 Wireless Battery Free Mouse
A4Tech makes the first wireless mouse that happens to be battery free. It uses a special mousepad that transfers power by induction. Let's see how this new type of mouse operates...

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<B>Intro</B>:

<center>Battery Free</center>

Everyone knows that wireless mice and keyboards are the biggest input devices currently on the market today. Just recently, Logitech has released the first consumer laser mouse that is also wireless. The one thing that annoys people with wireless technology is the use of batteries. Batteries cause the mice to weigh more and are a bit bulkier than traditional mice. <a href="http://www.a4tech.com">A4Tech</a> steps in with their new patent RFID mouse and pad, no batteries required. Before I get into it, I had a similar idea over 4 years ago. That's what I get for not getting a patent.

<B>Why RFID?</B>

Since my senior design project deals with RFID, I'm going to briefly explain what all the talk about it is. Radio Frequency Identification, RFID, has been around for awhile, but now people have been buzzing because it happens to be very useful for taking the place of barcodes. The common tag can hold up to 2 kilobits of information and works passively, the scanner gives off enough energy in the radio waves for the device to work. Think of a crystal radio. This tag's large information block can be used for IDs, meaning that everything can have a unique ID. The technology is in use for this mouse to allow it to work with hundreds of other common mice. The same technology can be used to replaced bar codes for fast checkout systems. http://panda.ece.stevens-tech.edu/sd/grp10/

<B>Packaging</B>:

<center>Box</center>

The packaging for the product is pretty plain and boring, but it is a mouse after all.

<B>The Mouse</B>:

Before we go any further, let me remind you that the mousepad and the mouse work together. Without the mousepad, the mouse is useless. The mouse gets its power from the pad, which is pretty interesting, I still couldn't figure out where the power was contacting the pad and the mouse from. I also didn't feel like ripping the mouse apart to find out. At any rate, you can be one of the coolest people on the block to have a working battery less wireless mouse.

<center>Stuff</center>

That being said, we can move on to the parts. The pad itself is quite small. I'm used to the Steelpad S&S which is over double the size of this pad in width. I sure did notice the change. The pad is also raised a bit off the surface of my desk. I dislike pads that have a large height difference, it makes my wrists hurt after awhile. The quality of the pad is good, the surface is nice and slick. The mouse glides across the pad with ease and still has enough friction to get fine movements in.

<center>Mouse Bottom</center>

The mouse, on the other hand, is very light. It is also made of very (I think) cheap feeling plastic. I think I'm just used to the MX700 to be able to judge a lighter mouse. I happen to like a heavier mouse. Regardless of that, the clear plastic allows the red LED in the mouse to shine out on the top and is visible in the large scroll wheel. The wheel was just a bit to bit for my tastes. One thing that is good about the mouse is that it can be used by both right and left handed people. As with all mice, you really should try before you buy. The mouse and keyboard are what you are using to input to a computer and they should be exactly what you like.

<center>Top LEDs</center>

The mousepad says to not operate the pad on metallic surfaces. The manual says it will effect the cross induction frequency and make the mouse go weird. Go figure.

<B>Testing</B>:

<center>Glow</center>

I've been testing the mouse for a few days now. It is fine for an everyday mouse. For some reason, I haven't been gaming the last month on the computer. Been busy with school and such. Anyway, I've found that this mouse can handle pretty much anything, albeit it does take some getting used to as any mouse does. I do like the slickness of the pad, the mouse just glides across the surface. Like I mentioned above, I don't like how light the mouse is, nor do I like the feel of the plastic. Try before you buy!

<B>Conclusion</B>:

<a href="http://ase.dealtime.com/dt-app/SE/KW-a4tech wireless batteryfree/FD-0/linkin_id-3002062/NS-1/GS.html">$35 for this one</a>. Worth it? I don't believe so. While the idea is novel, the mouse could be of a higher quality and the pad could be much bigger. I simply cannot go back to smaller mouse pads and cheap feeling mice. I really do applaud A4tech for coming up with the idea and making a product out of it, it is a very novel idea. Unfortunately, that's all it is.

I'd like to <a href="http://www.a4tech.com">A4Tech</a> for supplying this thing for review.

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