September 22, 2008

Mice to Meet Mobile Needs

By Rozana Sani

UNLESS you have no prior contact with information and communications technology (ICT), you would certainly know that a computer mouse is used to tell a computer what to do, including moving the cursor and choosing the items on the screen.

What happens is that a mouse's motion typically translates into the motion of a pointer on a display, which allows for fine control of a graphical user interface.

With increased mobility in personal computing, the cordless mouse is the logical choice - particularly for those on the go. There are many choices in this category, including the wireless laser mouse.

The laser mouse uses an infra-red laser diode instead of a light- emitting diode (LED) to illuminate the surface beneath its sensor. Its key advantage is, laser enables about 20 times more surface tracking power for navigation compared to the conventional optical option, through interference effects. While the implementation of laser slightly increases sensitivity and resolution, the main advantage comes from power usage.

The Prolink PML302M is one such mouse, touted by Prolink to be the world's smallest wireless laser mouse at 75 millimetres by 52mm by 29mm. At RM159, it comes with a nanoreceiver (18mm by 14.5mm by 6.5mm before plug-in) that practically disappears from sight once inserted into the universal serial bus (USB) slot.

The PML302M comes in six different colours - grey, pink, white, blue, green and red - to suit the user's laptop colour.

Performance-wise, it features motion detection of up to 30 inches per second and high resolution of 800/1,600 characters per inch (cpi). The design incorporates robust wireless connection with a 2.4- gigahertz (GHz) two-way fast digital radio frequency, Free Smart Link connection and 16 auto-hopping channels. A power switch and built-in sleep mode are said to ensure maximum battery life.

For long hours at the computer, Microsoft's Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 can be considered. Its tilted, elevated hand position is designed to reduce pressure on the carpal tunnel and wrist.

The RM299 Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 features four-way scrolling for efficiency and comfort with Tilt Wheel Technology, and a magnifier that enables point-and-click to enlarge and edit details. Connectivity is through USB.

And if the mouse's battery is running low, the Battery Status LED Indicator will glow red. Users can get quick access to media, programs and files that they use often with customisable buttons. Two AA alkaline batteries are included with battery life expected to be slightly over six months.

Meanwhile, the Logitech V450 Laser Cordless Mouse promises no delays or dropouts with the performance of a 2.4GHz wireless microreceiver.

A plus for the RM169 V450 is, it is designed for both the left and right hand. Power management is also a highlight with the batteries able to handle at least a year's usage. Power is said to be able to go even longer with a low-battery light and auto-off feature.

For RM200, the Logitech Notebook V470 Laser Mouse offers connection for Bluetooth-enabled PC or Mac notebooks. So, no receiver is necessary. Users can enjoy cable-free connection from up to 30 feet.

The V470 has an On/Off switch, which helps to extend battery life. It also comes with a protective pouch that secures and protects the mouse during travels.

System requirements for the PC include either Windows XP or Vista. For the Mac, it is Mac OS X (10.3.9 or later).

As with the V450, the V470 uses two AA batteries and has a three- year limited hardware warranty.

(All prices quoted are correct at Press time.)

(c) 2008 New Straits Times. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.