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DriverHeaven Review

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 behind each.

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 site.

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 message.

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