Gyration Ultra Cordless Optical Mouse

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
August 13, 2002
Views
90533
This is one of the most unique mouse I've ever seen. Does it also function as well as it looks?

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Page 1
<center>This is an exclusive only on ASE Labs review!</center>

<b>Intro</b>:

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/articles/aug02/gyration/box.jpg">
Gets your attention, yes?</center>

A little over a month ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the fine city of New York when I went to PC Expo. I saw some very innovative things at the trade show, but only a few things really caught my attention. If you recall back to my <a href="http://www.aselabs.com/articles.php?id=26">Day 1 of PC Expo</a> article, I saw a mouse that some very strange and unique features that I never had seen before. Meet the new, and I mean not even released, <a href="http://www.gyration.com/ultra.htm">Gyration Ultra Cordless Optical Mouse</a>.



<b>Not just your ordinary mouse</b>:

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/articles/aug02/gyration/mouse.jpg">
Nice mouse eh?</center>

You must be thinking why I really like this mouse so much, or maybe not... First off, it is totally wireless. This mouse has no problem whatsoever and not having the damn wire is one of the greatest things since sliced bread. That's all well and good, but this is more than just an ordinary wireless mouse. This one has the very unique feature of being a handheld pointing device! No more do you need to be tied down to that desk anymore to browse the internet or navigate on your computer.

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/articles/aug02/gyration/iso.jpg">
Nice shape too</center>

This is the ultimate tool of the presenter, think about using this instead of a horrible ordinary desk mouse. You get the ability to easily move around and have full control over the computer. This is also great for lazy people. You can do your various computer stuff in bed! I know that most of you won't be using this thing in the air the entire time, who would. Don't worry, this mouse is also a regular optical mouse that you can use on the desk.

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/articles/aug02/gyration/receiver.jpg">
You don't need a line of site to use this thing</center>

The instructions in the box were helpful and colorful. I'm sure you don't need them, but regardless. On another note, this unit will not work with a PS/2 port because of the power it draws from the USB port (The receiver).

The unit turns off its sensor on the bottom when it isn't near a surface. It determines this by a second sensor on the front of the unit.

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/articles/aug02/gyration/bottom.jpg">
The two buttons are for channel and teach, the other thing on the top is the second sensor</center>

<b>Specs</b>:

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/articles/aug02/gyration/parts.jpg">
Nice color pictures and everything!</center>

System Requirements

IBM compatible PC running Windows 98 (2nd ed.), 2000, ME or XP
Mac running OS 8.0 or later (GyroTools software is Windows only)
Available USB port
CD ROM drive (for GyroTools installation)
Microsoft or Mac compatible mouse driver

Size 4.8"L x 2.0"W x 1.8"H (12.2 cm x 5.1 cm x 4.5 cm)
Weight 5.3 ounces (150g) with battery pack

Operating Range Up to 25 feet (7.6m) typical with no line-of-sight requirement

Radio 49MHz (U.S.), 8 channels and 36,800 security addresses

Batteries NiMH battery pack

Operating temperature +10 to 40 C (+50 to +104 F)
Storage temperature -30 to +70 C (-86 to +158 F)



Gyration RF Receiver Specifications

Size 5"L x 4"W x 2"H (13 cm x 10 cm x 5 cm)

Weight 4 ounces (124g)

Connector USB w/ 5' cable

Operating temperature +10 to 40 C (+50 to +104 F)
Storage temperature -30 to +70 C (-86 to +158 F)
Page 2
<b>Testing</b>:
I asked myself how do I test a mouse? Well, I'd use it totally for two weeks and see how I liked it compared to my wired counterpart (In this case, the MS Intellimouse Explorer V3). Wireless mice are notorious for not having a good response time at all. Nothing is worse than waiting for that stupid little cursor to acknowledge your movements. Luckily to say, this mouse doesn't have a problem with response time that I noticed.

Normal Use:
I was very worried about the response time compared to my wired mouse, I didn't notice any slow down in performance with this mouse though. You will notice the mouse will become sluggish when the battery is extremely weak. One thing I did notice is that the optical sensor seems to be along the lines of the first generation type because when I moved the mouse very fast, the sensor didn't pick it up. I can think of two reasons for this. This unit is on battery operation and using a slower optical sensor saves battery power, and there is a reduction in cost. I wouldn't worry about that though, you won't be doing anything nearly that fast, I was just testing it. The mouse is fairly heavier than a normal mouse and it'll take a little bit to get used to as well, due to the battery.

In Air Navigation:
This is where the unit shines, the gyroscope is very precise and it only took about and hour to get really good with it. To enabled air navigation, you must click a button on the bottom of the unit and hold it. You can also double click the button and the air navigation will stick enabled. The great thing about this way of using the mouse is that you can sit back in your chair and not strain your back. The battery will drain quicker in the air due to the fact that the unit needs to send information about the gyroscopes movements all the time.

<b>Battery Life</b>:

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/articles/aug02/gyration/battery.jpg">
Plain old NiMH</center>

Gyration recommends that the battery be charged 9 hours before first use, and I do as well. <i>The unit uses a NiMH battery which means that there may be a memory problem so make sure it has a good first charge</i>*. Once and awhile it is good to totally drain the battery and recharge it totally, this is called refreshing. * Information through Slashdot's bashing reminds me that the NiMH batteries do not have the memory effect, but as I recall do have a sell discharging problem. Regardless it is also good to keep it charged.

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/articles/aug02/gyration/charger.jpg">
Leave the mouse in here to keep it charged</center>

Battery life was generally good, on the order of around 6 hours per charge. I would have liked to see a Li-Poly battery, but that would have added a $10 cost on the unit. Just remember to leave the mouse in the charger when not in use to get that power back or you'll be stuck without a mouse. You won't notice any problems unless your on the computer straight for 8 hours a day.

<b>Quirks</b>:

I noticed only one quirk with the unit. It happened only on my P4 ECS L4S5MG motherboard. I would always have to learn, and teach the unit on every single reboot. That is the only problem I noticed.

<b>Conclusion</b>:

I would recommend this mouse to all that want to keep their posture and to all college students. I can think of nothing better than to lay in bed and browse the internet not even being near the computer. The price is $80 direct from <a href="http://www.gyration.com">Gyration</a>. I suggest you pre-order one right now!

<center><img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/awards/2.gif">
Editor's Choice, Highly recommended</center>

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