Today we are going to be looking at
two rather unusual mice from A4
tech , a company name many of you
might not be familar with. So what's the deal with the
mice? "Battery Free" and "Easy Go"
arent exactly eye catching names so ill explain the theory
The Battery Free mouse (NB30) is the more interesting
of the two designs. This mouse is powered by induction,
or what they refer to as Cross Inductive Power.
The mouse pad sends an electrical charge to the mouse
without requiring actual physical contact. The power is
transmitted by moving a coil of wire contained within
the mouse through a magnetic field produced by the mouse
pad. It is a little complex to detail in a mouse review
so if you need an explanation on a more technical level,
head over to this
The design of this mouse is rather stylish
and sits in the hand very well indeed, due to this technology
the mouse requires no batteries, and has no lead so its
extremely light and smooth in operation. It is possible
to push the mouse during use with several fingers not
the whole hand! Its been designed to fit most hand sizes,
and its a perfect shape for both left and right handed
users. A nice touch and one often omitted with designers.
Those of you with large hands however might find the mouse
a little on the small side.
There is however a downside to this innovative
wireless technology, we are still restricted to movement
within the supplied mouse mat area as you can see from
the image above. I also found that the lower left corner
of the mat (the upper grey area) wasn't adhered perfectly
to the undersurface and I had to stick this myself. After
that I experienced no further problems but it was an initial
question mark over the build standards.
With regards to the mouse mat size, I
found it small and I would like A4Tech to make a larger
version, twice the size with even a slightly higher price
tag. If you set the tracking high its useable, but high
tracking figures do not suit every user, so I would advise
a "trial before buy" if you have a good local
computer store. Remember you can not replace this mat
with one of your own choosing like an ICEMAT, the mouse
needs the supplied mat under it to operate.
With regards to the receiver - it is
powerful enough to send the signal to the mouse even if
you attach the mat UNDER a desk and use the mouse in the
normal fashion above the table. Of course you are still
limited to using the mouse directly above the area of
the mat, you can not move it to the left or right outside
the mat coverage zone. There is also a problem in using
this mat close to a CRT monitor (between 8 and 10 inches
in our testing), it will cause distortion on the screen,
this doesnt affect LCDs.
Aesthically the mouse is very well designed
as I mentioned briefly earlier, and during operation it
"glows" a bright red - this affects the whole
(non black) parts of the chassis. Very attractive.
In the picture above you can see the
mouse alongside a Logitech MX1000 laser mouse, this gives
you an idea of its diminutive size, the logitech mouse
is around three times the weight.
My favourite design aspect of this mouse
is the scroll wheel, I find most companies tend to overlook
this during the design phase but this is certainly not
the case with the Battery Free wireless optical mouse.
The scroll wheel has a wonderful feel and is twice the
width of most scroll wheels making operation a total pleasure,
i would go as far to say its the best scroll wheel design
ive used and extremely responsive in use.
The mouse mat takes substantial power
on the USB port and when I used it initially through a
non powered Dell keyboard hub, it gave an overloaded warning